Chicago’s weather is nothing if not unpredictable, but inside the 20-by-28-foot greenhouse of Avondale restaurant Eden, it’s always more or less a balmy 86 degrees. That’s where partner and chief culinary officer Devon Quinn spends part of his day in the on-site greenhouse tending 46 different types of vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers. While these days there are plenty of restaurants waving the farm-to-table flag, Eden has been at the forefront of the movement here in Chicago for nine years. The greenhouse, along with Eden’s in-house sustainability expert, commitment to composting, sourcing locally, and donating food surplus, makes this a one-of-a-kind establishment in the city.
Relying on the greenhouse and sourcing locally is only part of the work Eden does for the environment and its community. The restaurant reintroduced composting to its building six months ago and now composts 100% of its compostable items. Clear composting containers on the chefs’ workstations act as visual reminders to avoid using the garbage cans and show chefs the food they’re saving. Donating surplus food from the restaurant, such as housemade pastries in the display case leftover after brunch, is another responsibility Eden takes on. The restaurant works with outside firm Copia, which picks up prepared food and drops it off at local non-profits.Read the Full Article on OpenTable