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"Welcome to My Kitchen" with Chef Jonathan

A Farm-fresh Fairytale

Hi! I’m Jonathan Bardzik, a storyteller, cook and author. I am inspired by the fresh, seasonal ingredients I grew up with from my parents’ garden and that I find today at local markets. I love cooking with people, both at those farmers’ markets and in the Washington, DC home I share with my husband Jason, which we fill with friends and family.

From speaking and cooking live with families and business teams, from farm markets to your home, I have seen how cooking and sharing our stories sparks connection and communication bringing us closer together. I believe that life can and should be filled with joy. I find that joy each day by preparing a simple meal, setting a table, and sharing it with the people I love. And I want to share it with you.

One hundred years ago pumpkin was an important food crop in America. It fell out of fashion but around the same time we experience a significant influx of immigrants from Ireland. They brought with them holiday to celebrate at the end of October. You may be familiar with it.

On Halloween in Ireland, they carved lanterns from large turnips and beets. We didn’t have a lot of large turnips and beets here in America but we did have all those pumpkins no one was eating anymore. As often happens in the US, the holiday spread beyond the Irish community and, as carving jack-o’-lanterns on Halloween became more popular, pumpkins were bred for easy carving and a great appearance out on the front porch. You know what they didn’t think of? How they tasted.

So enjoy those big round orange pumpkins out on your front porch this season. But, when you head to the kitchen, grab some of those fun and funky-looking heirlooms you will find at a farm stand or farm market. These rich and delicious pumpkins from the Hubbard squash and round, red-orange Cinderella to the deeply-lobed Fairytale will fill every dish from pie and bread to pizza full of flavor.


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