Take time to stop and eat the roses

Fine Art and Flowers

Floral Interpretation 19:
Anne Vanderwarker, Ada Harvey
The Dolley Madison Garden Club, Orange
Art:Milton Avery, Greenwich Villagers, 1946, Oil on canvas
Photo: Travis Fullerton © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Take time to stop and eat the roses.

While you may have heard of dandelion wine and maybe even sprinkling flower petals on a salad, the closest you probably get to having blossoms on your dinner table is as the centerpiece. But on Thursday afternoon, at the Edible Flowers event (part of the special exhibition Fine Arts & Flowers), Amuse Restaurant’s talented chef Greg Haley convinced a packed room of eager women (probably 100+) that flowers aren’t just a treat for the eyes and nose. They’re also pretty easy on the palate.

Working the room like a seasoned Food Network chef—with equal parts tips and quips—Hale demonstrated how to make yummy dishes like squash blossoms stuffed with goat cheese, crab, and chives and chocolate rose truffles. When asked how to dry hibiscus flowers, he responded, without skipping a beat, “Go to the store and ask for dried hibiscus flowers.” Buh dum bum!

Haley kept diners entertained, while wait staff, buzzing around the room like bees amidst the blooms, kept diners’ plates filled with a garden of floral delicacies. Pea shoots nestled with violets, while hibiscus syrup glistened sweetly on scallops. A flower-accented dessert tray of berries and truffles, paired with an aromatic jasmine tea, brought the afternoon of flowers-turned-fare to a cultivated close. We just hope none of the attendees get hungry while touring the exhibition!

Terri Jones, VMFA Web Editor