There’s a new direction for eating healthier, and locally-sourced farm-fresh foods and with it, restaurant goers are starting to put pressure on restaurateurs and chefs to adapt. Specifically, to offer healthy locally grown food choices. In many states, like Colorado, demand for “locally grown” far exceeds supply as 97% of leafy greens, consumed annually, are imported from out of state. (California, Arizona). This demand – especially in densely populated cities – creates its own dilemmas as many downtown, overcrowded areas are miles from any local producer. So the new direction for providing healthier, farm fresh food for purveyors… going UP!

Chef John Mooney of Bell, Book & Candle in New York has taken his quest for fresh locally-sourced ingredients to new heights.


One of the first rooftop-to-restaurant farms in the U.S., Bell Book & Candle fuels its seasonal fare with 65 tower gardens in only 2,500 sq. Ft.

Restaurant patrons enjoy a variety of fresh herbs, vegetables, and fruits just six flights of stairs below where it was grown and harvested by chef John Mooney and his team.

Their Philosophy?

The food program at BB&C revolves around local, organic, sustainable and overall responsible procurement. The menu cycles are seasonal and heavily influenced on production from the aeroponic roof-top tower garden.

Finding inspiration in the regions of America and focusing on the contemporary aspect and eclecticism of the melting pot, BB&C’s food strives for an element of originality and individualism.

Some items produced throughout the year from their aeroponic rooftop garden for their patrons include:
Sage, chive, chervil, cilantro, dill, Genovese basil, opal basil, Italian and flat leaf parsley, spearmint, rosemary, 4 varieties of nasturtium, cheddar cauliflower, purple tomatillo, tomatillo, Japanese and Kermit eggplant, 2 varieties of arugula, 4 varieties of cherry tomato, great white tomato, bibb lettuce, red oak leaf, red romaine, green romaine, lola rosa, frisee, green crisp, poblano pepper, and fennel.

Read more about the future of urban farms, gardens, and urban planning in the Food Travel issue of Destinations Travel & Lifestyles – HERE!