Arthur Ave. cuisine spices up the day

Orazio Cariciotto, chef and owner of Casa Della Mozzarella in the Arthur Avenue community, held a workshop at the New York Botanical Garden’s first Edible Evening on Thursday, July 9. The Edible Evenings are part of the NYBG’s summer exhibitions, The Edible Garden (L-r) Caricotto, NYBG’s Jennifer Jozef, and Casa Della Mozzarella assistant Alex Fava demonstrate how mozzarella is made. Photo by Victor Chu

The New York Botanical Garden kicked off the first of seven Edible Evenings, a celebration of wine, beer, and food featuring a different theme each week. The first Edible Evening was Thursday, July 9 and celebrated Arthur Avenue’s cuisine.

Edible Evenings will occur every Thursday through August 20, and feature celebrity and local chefs preparing innovative cuisines featuring edible plants in an outdoors “Conservatory Kitchen.” In August, the evenings will coincide with the popular Waterlily Concerts.

Visitors to the garden will be able to enjoy the conservatory, the family garden, and other areas of the botanical garden. They will also have the opportunity to discover how to grow their own edible plants, sample culinary delights, and discover the ins and outs of beer and winemaking.

“Arthur Avenue is a local bastion of excellence when it comes to food, and we thought it was a great way to kick off our Edible Evenings and showcase the wonderful food from the area,” said Karl Lauby, vice president of communications for the New York Botanical Garden. “This is the first year we have held Edible Evenings, but we have been teaching people about food gardens for 100 years.”

The first edible evening, which ran from the hours of 6 and 9 p.m., included Orazio Caricotto, chef and owner of Casa Della Mozzarella; Larry Addeo chef and owner of Addeo Bakers; Wayne Law, NYBG scientist; and a “Tasting Terrace” featuring food and drink from Umberto’s Restaurant, Mike’s Deli, Manhattan Beer, and other restaurants and shops.

“We are a museum of living plants; edible plants have a strong connection to every person’s life because we have to eat to live,” said Jennifer Josef, director of public education for NYBG. “Many cultures focus their traditions around the kitchen, and Edible Evenings allow us to bring some of that spirit to the garden.”

Josef said that the NYBG offers educational programs on vegetable gardening for children ages 3 to 12. They also offer beginning and advanced classes in edible gardening for adults.

Upcoming Edible Evenings include July 16, “Botanical Beverages: Beer, Wine, and More” featuring Audrey Sauders; July 23 “Grilling From the Garden” with Anne Burrell and Sunny Anderson; and July 30 “Summer Desserts” showcasing Sara Moulton.

For more information, call (718) 817 – 8700 or visit

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