A day at Penn

Our scheduled hike up Hawk Mountain was rained out so instead the Rebel Gardeners embarked on an adventure through the campus of the University of Pennsylvania.

Our first stop was at the Van Pelt Library.


Next the crew headed over to 1920 Commons to tour the hydroponic garden built by Bon Appetit, the catering company that provides food to the University.

‘On 7-8-2011 us Rebel Gardener kids were given a once-in-a-lifetime chance, not only were we taught the basics of hydroponic gardening by the Bon Appetit Director of Retail Mr. Mike himself, but we were treated to an amazing meal at the Bon Appetit Houston Hall Market. However, the surprises didn’t end there. Prior to opening (which means we were let on site during closing time so we had the whole restaurant to ourselves) the head chef, Chef Chris, gave us an AMAZING tour of the kitchen where all the food is prepared. He took us into the professional kitchen where all the food is prepared and he went name by name to each chef telling us their name and what they are in charge of (panini preparations, salad tossing, etc). He also explained the tools used by the kitchen staff, like the cauldron, a giant pot used to make soups and brisket. The familiarity that Chef Chris had with his colleagues and kitchen environment really gave you a feeling of how long Chef Chris has been working and how professional he is. toward the conclusion of our tour Executive Chef Chris told us something that no other restaurant has ever told us, “I hope you enjoyed the tour, now I know you’re all hungry from the tour (because we passed plenty of food in various stages of preparation) you may eat anything in the restaurant, on us.” I’m sure I speak for all of us Rebel Gardeners that we were speechless at that moment. Right away it became every man for himself. I personally got a chicken burrito that was made right in front of me on the counter top the whole time and the chef was conversing with me like we were long-time friends.

Later, as we all sat down to eat our abundant meals we watched as the last shuttle ever was launched to the International Space Station on a TV provided by Bon Appetit staff which added to the overall friendly feel of the restaurant. But nothing even compared to the food. The food was hands down the best restaurant food I’ve ever tasted. And there was something about knowing that your food came from a very organized, clean, and professional kitchen that just made it all the more delicious. Bon Appetit has definitely made an everlasting impression on us Rebel Gardeners. I highly recommend Bon Appetit to anyone wanting amazing hospitality and even better food.’ – Charles

‘My experience at Penn was magnificent. It was cool to know that they spend over 10 thousand dollars on a garden that was like 28 inches long.’ -Fred

‘What impressed me about the business (Bon Appetit) at Penn was their ability to grow as much as they did with just water and how organized they were. Something I will never forget is how the good the food was.’ -Tim


We were treated to incredible hospitality by Bon Appetit. With full bellies we walked west through campus to Clark Park for a game of football. Before leaving we stopped in small park so Charles could say bye to some ducks.


Jul 12, 2011 | Category: Profesional Development | Comments: none | Tags: , , , , ,