Chef Takeover

An orchard in Downtown Las Vegas

Doug Taylor’s Downtown Vegas home orchard and vegetable garden.
Photo: Christopher DeVargas

Doug Taylor, Executive pastry chef, Mario Batali Las Vegas (B&B Ristorante and Otto/Venetian & Carnevino Italian Steakhouse/Palazzo)

“My other job is with the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension; I’m an instructor there. I live in Downtown Vegas, and we did a test site in my front yard—a high-density experimental garden orchard. We planted 70 fruit trees, and we’ve got four very large vegetable beds. This winter we’re going to take over my backyard. I bought all these oversized flowerpots, and we’re going to grow vegetables in the back to demonstrate that even if you don’t have a backyard you can grow food for yourself in different ways. We’re going to plant asparagus and artichokes in the back. Melons are still growing off my fence right now. I never really thought I had a green thumb, so every time my wife and I have a harvest, it’s like, 'Wow, that’s so cool!' We let things go to full blossom just to see the journey of it. Broccoli as a flower is so beautiful. You wouldn’t think of it as being a beautiful plant in that sense, but it really is. You start looking at food in a completely different way.”

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