Eric Skokan opened Black Cat Bistro
in 2006 and added a kitchen garden the same year, "originally just to relieve stress," says the chef/restaurateur, who now also operates Bramble & Hare
just two doors away from his original Boulder restaurant. He remembers "puttering around in slippers with a cup of coffee," tending to the plants that would provide flowers, leaves and herbs -- finishing touches to dishes that were otherwise created as they are at most other restaurants: by cooking meats and vegetables from boxes delivered by food distributors. But those little tastes of homegrown produce made them come alive, and Skokan realized he could probably do more.
See also: Rioja Chef Tim Kuklinski Talks Truffles and Family Traditions