Top Green Chef

by Editorial

Barton Seaver

Barton Seaver

Executive chef, Blue Ridge

Most exciting person you’ve ever cooked for?
Quincy Jones

Favorite meal from childhood
Dad’s mac and cheese.

Is there a rule of kitchen conduct that you enforce above all others?
Cleanliness! I understand a pan will get dirty when cooking, but I don’t tolerate unnecessary messes.

Why eat organic?
Eating organic is one step toward a better dialogue between the consumer and food sources.

Carla Hall

Carla Hall

Chef and owner, Alchemy Caterers

What are two spices every chef needs?
Cinnamon and thyme.

Most unusual food you’ve ever tried?
Chicken feet.

Favorite meal from childhood?
Sounds strange, but oranges. I used to eat them by the pound when I was a child. Also, what kid doesn’t like mac and cheese?

Favorite drink?
Cranberry juice, ginger syrup, and lime spritzer.

Christian Holmes

Christian Holmes

General manager, Founding Farmers

If you could cook dinner for one person, who would it be?
My wife. Opening a restaurant has made life so busy that I haven’t been able to cook for her in about seven months!

Favorite kitchen gadget?
The blast chiller – it’s like a microwave in reverse. We use one at Founding Farmers to make ice cream.

What food items are most worth the price of buying them organic?
Free-range chicken, for ethical reasons, and heirloom tomatoes, because they taste so much better!

Todd Gray

Todd Gray

Executive chef and co-owner, Equinox Restaurant the culinary director of Salamander Hospitality

Most unusual food you’ve ever tried?
Water Buffalo brains at a Cantonese meal in Hong Kong. It was good!

If you weren’t a chef, you would be…
I would either be a musician, or playing on the PGA tour.

Favorite music to play while cooking?
At risk of being labeled a “Deadhead”: The Grateful Dead.

Best hangover remedy?
Another vodka!

Robert Weland

Robert Weland

Executive chef, Poste Moderne Brasserie

What would you be doing If you weren’t a chef?
I’d be a farmer in northern California.

Favorite comfort food?
Eggplant parmesan.

Why eat organic?
In a nutshell: preservation. Preserving one’s health, the environment, … the list goes on and on.

Favorite music to play while cooking?
Glen Burtnik

Favorite cocktail?
Poste’s Bloody Mary.

Cathal Armstrong

Cathal Armstrong

Executive chef, Restaurant Eve

If you could cook for one person, alive or dead, who would it be?
John F. Kennedy.

Most unusual food you’ve ever tried?
Lamb’s brains cooked and served right out of the head. It wasn’t bad, but I won’t be having it again anytime soon.

Favorite childhood meal?
My father’s paella.

Music you play in the kitchen?
Star Wars theme and Mission Impossible soundtrack to get pumped up, and classical music.

Our chefs were shot on location at the U.S. National Arboretum, 446 acres of elegant gardens, open meadows, and peaceful woodlands. A place to roam on quiet paths, to explore the world’s first bonsai museum and to wonder at the explosion of spring blooms in the region’s largest azalea collection, the Arboretum grounds are open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Dec. 25. Admission is free. For information about upcoming events including Azalea Collection tours in April and May, the annual Friends of the National Arboretum plant sale (April 24-25), and the Bonsai Festival (May 1-3) visit or call (202) 245-2726.

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