Terri and Chef/Manager Chelsea Holmes picking herbs

Oracle’s Victory Garden Debuts with California Winery Book Event

There’s a funny thing about gardens: thriving ones tend to multiply. The Bon Appétit team at Oracle – Redwood Shores was thrilled to welcome the Victory Garden at Oracle Plaza to the growing family of Oracle gardens (now numbering four). With this newest addition, the team estimates the gardens’ collective yield will increase from 2,500 pounds to more than 6,500 pounds in 2019.

Baby beet and strawberry salad

Baby beet and strawberry salad with ume vinaigrette paired with 2016 La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

To mark the occasion, the Bon Appétit team hosted a special event for guests with Jackson Family Wines. Fifty Oracle employees, who each paid just $10 to attend the event, were treated to a copy of the wineries’ newly published cookbook, Season: A Year of Wine Country Food, Farming, Family & Friends, along with wine and food pairings from the book prepared by the Bon Appétit team’s Culinary Director Tim Hilt and Café 500’s Executive Chef Thomas Pierucci.

Their dishes, all featuring produce picked fresh from the new garden, included olive oil–poached tuna with garden vegetable escabeche, paired with 2016 Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay; baby beet and strawberry salad with ume (Japanese pickled plum) vinaigrette, paired with the 2016 La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir; and zucchini with feta, preserved lemon butter, and crispy bread, complemented by the 2015 Stonestreet Estate Sauvignon Blanc. On the sweeter side, Executive Pastry Chef Terri Wu from Oracle’s 300 Bakery created dark chocolate budino with blueberries and basil, paired with Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Red dessert wine.

The Jackson Family Wines culinary team also contributed dishes. Executive Pastry Chef Robert “Buttercup” Nieto served canelés with Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Late Harvest Chardonnay, as well as peanut butter and jelly chocolate truffles. And Culinary Gardener Tucker Taylor brought several unusual items grown in the four-acre gardens in Sonoma, including Mertensia maritima, also called oyster plant or oysterleaf, which aptly tastes just like an oyster.

Lara Hermanson and Sara Gilligan from Farmscape, the company that tends the new garden for Bon Appétit, shared their own gardening know-how, speaking knowledgeably about specialty items grown on the Oracle campus.

Attendees were thrilled, with many expressing their gratitude immediately and clamoring for additional events like this one again soon. “I didn’t even know about the garden,” one guest admitted. “I can’t wait to tell everyone about this cool space.”

Submitted by Cara Brechler, Enterprise Marketing Director

Oracle - Redwood Shores Jackson Family Wine group photo

Left to right: Farmscape Principal Lara Hermanson; Bon Appétit at Oracle Culinary Director Tim Hilt, Director of Catering Chana Richey, and Director of Operations Heather Lee; Jackson Family Wines Culinary Gardner Tucker Taylor, Chef de Cuisine Tracey Shepos Cenami, and Pastry Chef Robert “Buttercup” Nieto; Bon Appétit at Oracle Enterprise Marketing Director Cara Brechler; and Jackson Family Wines Executive Chef Justin Wangler