We are here with Chef Jordan Stein from Pond House, at the Glastonbury location. Jordan actually mentioned that this is the second location and the Pond House started up in West Hartford. Could you tell us a little more about that?
Sure, we took over the concession stand at Elizabeth Park in 1999. We wanted to be in the gardens and next to the garden. The Rose Garden in Elizabeth Park is a very famous rose garden. Our logo is the view of a rose looking downward.
For me, I certainly think about flowers when I think about the Pond House, which is probably not an accident. Could you tell us about flowers, which are edible and which are not?
Sure, we grow some of them, and sometimes we can’t keep up so we buy them: nasturtiums, pansies, different types of edible orchids, and flowers off herbs which we crystallize and dehydrate. There’s something mystical about flowers and herbs … when a plant is flowering, it means it’s going to seed, to fruit. And that’s really important. We love flowers, and also, they’re beautiful. They kind of go hand in hand, food in flowers.
Could you give us an example of a dish on the menu that has flowers in it?
Sure, we recently put nasturtiums into our garden salad. They have a bit of a peppery texture. We also garnish drinks with edible orchids and pansies.
One of the things I think about with your park location is the brunch. Can you tell us about it?
One thing I would recommend for the park location is – make a reservation so you won’t be disappointed. We also have brunch in Glastonbury, and we are growing that. We have been working on and evolving brunch for many many years. We enjoy it – it’s wonderful
Do you have a favorite dish on the brunch menu?
I do! My favorite dish is oatmeal brulée. It’s steel cut oats which is hit with the flame torch and caramelized.
Can you give me some examples of charities that you work with?
Sure, of course. I’m the Resident Chef at the Wind Hill Farms, which is the community farm in Glastonbury. The Glastonbury Farmer’s Market is another one we work with. We also have done Playing with Food with the Hartford Symphony. We know it makes a difference, and we feel good too about giving back.
Chef Stein explains the difference between Pond House's Glastonbury and West Hartford locations
How Stein became a chef in Connecticut and why he loves New England
Stein talks about catering events