Chef Jakob Reed Introduces Table in the Garden
January 06, 2017
A new restaurant opening at Huntsville Botanical Garden in Spring 2017
Decatur, AL- Modernity meets natural appeal at Table in the Garden, a new restaurant coming this spring to the Huntsville Botanical Garden's multi-million dollar welcome center expansion. The restaurant's convenient location is at the heart of the development's entrance and will seat approximately 90 guests, with 50 indoor seats and 40 spots on the outdoor patio bordered by an ornamental garden.
Table in the Garden will enhance the experiences of Huntsville Botanical Garden visitors and local residents alike with a locally sourced, seasonal menu in an environment that reflects the surrounding gardens. An online ordering platform for to-go meals will enable patrons to save time on their lunch break or as they grab dinner on their way home. Table in the Garden will offer catering services for the seven event spaces on the Garden's grounds, making it a convenient option for those hosting events such as weddings, corporate gatherings, fund-raising events, and reunions.
The restaurant is a concept of Jakob Reed, owner and chef at Albany Bistro in Decatur, Alabama. Over the past seven years, Chef Jakob and Albany Bistro have been leaders in the local food movement in North Alabama. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has praised Chef Jakob on his commitment to incorporate natural, seasonal ingredients and commends his "harnessing of the region's local food economy and robust entrepreneurial ecosystem."
Reed is active in the farm-to-table culinary movement and a proponent of sustainability, personally and professionally. Reed's affinity for the growing and incorporating of organic ingredients stemmed from his upbringing in Lawrence County, where he cultivated his family's gardens and learned to love the art of cooking from his grandmother. He leads his Albany Bistro team in efforts to end hunger in the area. Albany Bistro's staff works in the Committee on Church Cooperation kitchen quarterly to prepare meals for those in need. The group also led the first Chefs Against Hunger bike ride in Decatur in 2016, raising funds for area food banks.
"Food is sensory- whether it's a simple tomato pie or a five-course dinner. One of the things I love about being a chef is creating experiences around the table for folks," said Chef Jakob. "We do that in many ways and the Huntsville Botanical Garden is the perfect backdrop. We will host demonstrations and cooking classes in venues across the gardens. For instance, in the summer when herbs are at their peak we might hold a cooking class in the herb garden and in the fall, a demonstration in the pumpkin patch using pumpkins and gourds as the main ingredients for a dish." Also planned are themed dinners on the grounds similar to ones Reed has hosted annually at 1818 Farms in Mooresville, AL. Other long-term plans for Table in the Garden include a sustainable kitchen garden to supply the restaurant with fresh herbs and vegetables year-round.
To Huntsville Botanical Garden CEO Paula Steigerwald, Table in the Garden is a key component for the future growth and community appeal of the Huntsville Botanical Garden to North Alabama. Steigerwald noted Table in the Garden's ability to meet the diverse needs of the largest botanical garden in the state. "Visitors to our Garden range from horticultural enthusiasts to parents with small children to school groups. Our vision for Table in the Garden is a space that will be welcoming for them all and will offer educational opportunities in a new way for us. We are excited to see those opportunities bear fruit with Chef Jakob Reed and Table in the Garden."
In preparation for its slated spring debut, Table in the Garden will begin the hiring process in January 2017. The restaurant will be open from 10:30 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Monday through Saturday. The restaurant also plans to offer Sunday brunch just in time for summer with a special menu beginning in mid-May.
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