The Art of Cooking from the Garden

At Napa Valley's award-winning Ubuntu Restaurant, culinary inspiration comes straight from the earth
The Art of Cooking from the Garden

Ubuntu is a South African word that means kindness, humanity, compassion, and goodness. At Ubuntu Restaurant and Yoga Studio in Napa, Calif., chef Jeremy Fox applies the concept to vegetarian fare that elevates the simple to the spectacular. "The vibe in the restaurant is warm and festive—it feels like you're eating in someone's home and being well taken care of," Fox says. Yoginis from the adjoining yoga studio mingle in the dining room with loyal locals and foodies in search of a gourmet meal. "Customers can come in for pizza and a glass of beer, or an eight-course tasting menu," he adds.

Fox's culinary inspiration comes from the restaurant's biodynamic gardens six miles away. The result is an ever-changing menu that's as local, seasonal, and eco-friendly as you can get "I go to the gardens once a week and talk to the gardener on a day-to-day basis so I stay informed of what's fresh and what's ready to pick," Fox explains."Then I cook by sight and by taste—I don't usually plan recipes."

Fortunately for VT, Fox agreed to do a little recipe planning (and writing down!) to create a springtime menu in honor of Earth Day. Here are the recipes, in all their natural glory.