Garden to table can't happen soon enough

Talking about my house here, longing for my vegetable garden to come to life, but Garden to Table in the back of Hall B at the flower show is the subject here. (Grab your apron - how about this one?) These culinary demos are one of my favorite things.

Yesterday I popped in to see David Corbett, a congenial Irish chef who made what he calls Molly Malone's shellfish paella. I was struck by something Corbett said: that in Ireland, no one is ever more than two hours away from the sea, so all the fish is very, very fresh. (I'll think of that next time I'm in my local Super Fresh. Do not stop at the seafood counter!)


Corbett's recipe called for clams and mussels, shallots, garlic and red ppper ("Spanish holy trinity"), tomatoes, stock and herbs. It smelled wonderful, and gave me an idea for a special dinner this weekend to celebrate my retirement from the 2014 flower show.

There's a full roster of chefs every day ... today, for example, Wyatt Lash of The Whip Tavern in Coatesville, whom I saw last year, cooks at 2:30, 3:30 and 5:30. Chef Myra Kornfeld, an Organic Gardening magazine contributor, comes on at 11:30 a.m., and Rufino Rengifo of Celebrity Cruises will be there at 7:30. But the big name today is Rachael Ray, who will do a 1-hour Q&A on the main stage from about 1:40-2:30. (She won't be cooking. No EVVO available?)

Tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby of Vedge will be in the Garden to Table studio (cooking and book-signing), followed by Rengifo at 1:30; Miriam Rubin, OG magazine contributor and author of the book Tomatoes, which has 50 tomato recipes and all the history and folklore you need to know about our number one garden staple, at 3:30 and 5:30; and Eric Aber of the MidAtlantic Wine and Food Fest at 7:30.

Sunday will feature Chef Chris Tavares of Davio's at 11:30 a.m.; Caitlin Mateo of Square 1862 at 1:30; and Hope Cohen, author of Fast, Fresh and Simple, at 2:30.

Garden to Table is a relatively new feature at the flower show, one that makes sense and offers the chance to watch a pro at work, ask questions, and get ideas. Organic Gardening magazine sponsors it all. If you've noticed, OG has been completely redone and has a lot more emphasis on fresh, local food. Like art and horticulture, cooking and gardening are a natural pairing.

The show ends Sunday at 6 p.m. It's been a good one.