Happy September, foodie friends!
I am so excited to kick off the beginning of the fall season – even if I’m rushing it a little bit. I noticed that one bloggy friend (Heidi from The Busy Nothings) mentioned this week that she was happy to see Pumpkin Spice Lattes on the menu at Starbucks even though she doesn’t drink them, while another local Instagrammer assured us that it’s ok to have white wine after Labor Day, and that tall boots are in our very near future. I’m sure this version of social media commiserating sounds a bit odd, but I genuinely love that we are all on the edge of our seats to dive into fall together. Another fun foodie thing about this season: one of my favorite foodie bloggers and soul sisters, nwaFoodie, is celebrating her blog anniversary in grand style with tons of local foodie giveaways. You must check it out.
Look. Straight from her blog, this is why you must get to know her and follow nwaFoodie:
But I digress. Another reason I’m celebrating the arrival of September and almost-fall is that it is time for Chefs in the Garden! The event is next Thursday, September 12 at 6p at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks in Fayetteville.
I. Love. This. Place. Honestly, my favorite activity is just meandering through the nine gardens – I’m not sure who loves the Children’s Garden more – me, or my kids. Actually, I am sure. It’s me. We love to visit the little bantams at the chicken house, marvel at the goodies growing in the kitchen garden, climb into the goblin-like Eagle’s Nest and explore the Reading Railroad. We always sneak over to dip our toes in the cold creek water, and we stretch our toes high toward the sky on the swings, listening to the sounds of the Ozarks around us.
My Mom first took me to the Seattle Flower & Garden Show when I was barely out of high school. As one of the top botanical shows in the nation, it was a regular pilgrimage for her and several other enthusiastic gardener friends when we lived in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve since visited Garvan Woodland Gardens here in Arkansas, the St. Louis Botanical Gardens, the Tulsa Rose Garden and many others gardens and flower shows, and I would put the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks up against them any day.
I remember waiting with bated breath for years during announcements about plans for the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, and then being on pins and needles for it to open. Today, I make it a practice to visit the BGO regularly – with and without my kiddos and often with my Mom now that she lives in Northwest Arkansas. One year, I even trucked in canvases and paint for Sophie and we sat under a big tree near the chicken house on a gorgeous November day, and she painted Christmas gifts for everyone in the family on a blanket!
So, imagine my foodie delight that the smart folks at the BGO have combined an experience in the Garden with two of my other favorite subjects: good food and libations! Plus, one of the neatest and most genuine individuals in Northwest Arkansas, Kelly Zega, is the honorary chair for this year’s event. Suffice it to say that Mom and I will be there with bells on.
Chefs from local restaurants throughout the region will cook at tables under tents set up throughout the garden using ingredients donated by sponsor companies along with their own selected array of ingredients and local foods. There will also be wine pairings and a complimentary bar with a signature cocktail and upscale beers. Tickets are $45 and are available on the BGO website, here.
As the first weeks of school wrap up and we plunge forward toward the holiday season, this would be the perfect evening to say goodbye to summer and usher in autumn and to sneak away with someone special for a unique date night under the stars.
I can’t wait. Will I see you at Chefs in the Garden at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks? Say yes!