Cooking with Lavender the Obama Way

Sparta, On –– Chef Jonathan Collins and Suzanne Steed of Lavender Blue Lavender Farm in Sparta, recently joined forces to recreate the lavender dessert served to President Obama during his visit to Canada in February. Collins of Top Chef Culinary School and restaurateur of Shutters on the Beach in Port Bruce, Ontario, and an occasional guest chef who cooks for the Prime Minister and his guests at 24 Sussex Drive, including President Obama, helped to prepare the meal for the Obama visit, a regional feast that ended with a Yogurt Pot de Crème with Lemon and Lavender Syrup.

For those who were interested in learning how to cook with lavender, Collins provided a special culinary treat, demonstrating the Obama dinner menu to an enthusiastic group of 50 people at Suzanne Steed’s picturesque lavender farm Lavender Blue in Sparta, just a few minutes drive from Shutters on the Beach.

In the South of France, lavender has been used in cooking for generations and is as common in cooking as basil. In North America however, lavender is still considered a fragrance for soap. Collins and Steed are hoping to change that. For Jonathan Collins and Suzanne Steed cooking with lavender has been a creative culinary journey. “At Lavender Blue we have developed a specialty food line created with our lavender. Customers are always curiously cautious, but pleasantly surprised once they have tasted the products. This usually leads to a discussion about how they can cook with lavender from their own garden,” says Steed.