Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Garden Designer to the Stars Jon Carloftis Creates Rooftop Garden

Kentucky native Jon Carloftis, the renowned landscape designer who has created urban gardens for such celebrities as Julianne Moore, Mike Myers and Edward Norton, is working with Proof on Main to bring farm-fresh produce to downtown Louisville. Proof chef Michael Paley always insists on the best when it comes to the ingredients on his menu, and with the newly installed rooftop garden at the restaurant, his kitchen will be leading the way when it comes to earth-to-table freshness.

On Wednesday, July 23, Carloftis will be at Proof to celebrate the fruits (and vegetables) of his labor! At 5:30 p.m., he will give a free talk and book signing in the atrium of the 21c Museum Hotel. Afterward, those who reserve a seat at the exclusive dinner prepared by chef Michael Paley will be treated to a 7 p.m. private tour of the garden on the penthouse level. At 8 p.m., Chef Paley will serve up a three course summer feast using ingredients grown in the garden, and the meal price includes wine, tax and gratuity. The cost is $75 per person, and a portion of the proceeds benefit Brightside, a local organization that unites people in clean and green activities to beautify the city and foster community pride. Seats for this intimate evening are extremely limited, so please make reservations today by calling 502.217.6374 or via email to bbomba@proofonmain.com. Due to the limited seating at this dinner, a credit card will be required to make a reservation.

The rooftop garden at Proof on Main sets an example for urban gardeners. In this day and age of rising gas prices and food quality issues, there is increasing interest in local eating, and the United States is experiencing a resurgence of the home garden similar to that of the Victory Gardens of World War II. Carloftis and Paley are showing how anyone can supplement their diet with home grown ingredients, even if their home does not include a yard.

“A lot can be harvested in a small space” says Carlofitis. “Have fun and share the bounty.”

True to Carloftis’ philosophy, the rooftop garden at Proof reflects the culture of its location-recycled whiskey barrels and pig water troughs anchor the design and pay tribute to the agricultural heritage of Kentucky. Produce to be grown in the garden includes heirloom tomatoes, chard, Chinese spinach, a variety of chilies and several herbs. Chef Paley expects to use items from the garden in several dishes throughout the season, beginning with currently available herbs like lovage, rosemary, opal basil, sage and thyme. He looks forward to using the garden’s bounty to enhance the many locally-harvested ingredients on Proof’s menu.

Jon Carloftis’ other clients include the Lauder family of Estee Lauder cosmetics, Sotheby’s auction house, and actor Edward Norton. Carloftis’ work has been featured in several publications including House Beautiful, Country Home, and The New York Times. He has also made television appearances on the Style Channel, Home and Garden channel and ABC’s Good Morning America. Carloftis is an author as well, having published two books, Beyond the Windowsill and First a Garden.

For more information or to make reservations for dinner, call Proof on Main at (502) 217-6360. Proof on Main is located at 702 West Main Street. For more information visit www.proofonmain.com.

Lunch: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday

Dinner: 5:30 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday
5:30 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Bar Menu: 2 p.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday
2 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday
5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday
5 p.m. to midnight Sunday

Bar: 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday
11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday
5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday
5 p.m. to midnight Sunday

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