Caribbean Gardens Celebrated at Bronx Botanical Garden

You will often hear me say that “Daisy” fans are nothing short of rabid! They will weather rain, snow, wind and scorching temperatures to come and say “hola”. This was the case this past Sunday, September 9th, when I was invited to help celebrate Hispanic Heritage month with the Bronx Botanical Garden (are you listening Brooklyn? the Bronx Botanical Garden!), by doing a cooking demo outside their Caribbean Gardens exhibition (if you get a chance, make a point of going to see it; it’s nothing short of breathtaking!).

The demo was held outdoors and, while we were blessed with dry skies, the temperature was quite high, the humidity rivaled it, and the sun was on steroids! I was a bit concerned that the weather might discourage people from coming out of the air conditioning, and after meeting with Chef Frank (of Abigail Kirsch Catering on the premise) to discuss the mise en place, I quickly retreated to a downstairs classroom, to hydrate myself and cool off a bit.

The demo was scheduled to start at around 2:30 PM and the first 100 guests to arrive would receive a ticket that would entitle them to a tasting prepared by Chef Frank and his kitchen. We would be making a Valenciana Salad and Chicken Diablo, and as much as I know that I can rock a Dutch oven, I was surprised to see a large crowd on the reception area, in spite of the heat. In fact, it was sooo hot, that the Botanical Garden staff brought out tents (to the collective relief of fans that were burning up!) to provide shade for all the spectators. The rest of the fans just moved their chairs off to the side where trees provided shade.

After being introduced by my gorgeous hostess, Gayle Schmidt, the Family Garden there made me a lovely, fragrant bouquet of herbs and flowers they had grown and picked right there on the premises.

…and then were off! I enjoyed a lovely demo, answered questions, and chatted with the audience while we made our Ensalada Valenciana and Chicken Diablo with Spaghetti.

Finally, after what felt like a very cozy visit in my kitchen, I get to my favorite part of these events, when I get one on one time to meet and greet the fans. We laughed, we cried, we shared stories, signed books, and took pictures. I even had a young fan tell me that her father loves me and her mom knows it, lol! She then proceeded to dial her dad so I could say hello. He freaked!

Since the demo, I have received numerous emails from fans who attended telling me how much they enjoyed themselves. One stylishly bald gentleman even wrote to tell me that it was worth the sunburn he suffered on his head! I did mention that “Daisy” fans are rabid, right? Well, to all the “We love you Daisy!”‘s that you all shouted out last Sunday, remember: I love you right back! Thank you for a spectacular Sunday afternoon in the Bronx!


7 Responses to “Caribbean Gardens Celebrated at Bronx Botanical Garden”

  1. 1 Ray Greenan September 19, 2007 at 6:12 pm

    Hi Daisy!
    I was at the event and it was fantastic. You really inspired the crowd and got everyone involved. I really enjoyed being able to taste the final dish. It was really good. I hope that you will be having other events in the area. I also am looking forward to you being back on TV. Cooking is not the same without you. Finally thank you for signing my Daisy cookbook. I have a great photo with you at the event. Let me know how to send you other photos if you would like them for your blog.
    Ray Greenan

  2. 2 daisy September 19, 2007 at 6:58 pm

    Ray it was so great to meet you up in the Gardens, and to spend an afternoon with such avid fans. You can send me e-pic electronically to…thanks for stopping by, and I look forward to your posting soon! oxoDaiz

  3. 3 Lisa from the Bronx September 27, 2007 at 8:47 am

    Hi Daisy,

    I was at your event at the Botanical Garden’s with my 15 year old son. We were delighted with your warm and fun loving manner. It makes me very happy that I can share moments like that with my son and help him learn the necessity of being able to cook food of our culture. We enjoyed every bit of your cooking and signing (you signed p.96, arroz con gandules) for me and I’ve shown it to everyone that will look. I wasn’t suprised to see you still signing and talking it up 2 hours after the demonstration. You are marvelous and we wish you the very best. Can’t wait to see you on TV again. My husband enjoys your show as well; he gave me your book for Mother’s day last year and I have achiote stains all over it.

    Stay as wonderful as you are. You are very blessed.

    Con amor y carino,


  4. 4 daisy September 27, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    Dear Lisa:

    I really LOVED my experience there, and the fans….. WOW!!, I have no words to describe all of you, your passion and loyalty!

    I am just blessed with doing what I love, and to get to know all of you..

    Keep working the book; the more stains the more validation!

    Saludos Hermana,


  5. 5 TITO November 17, 2007 at 4:17 pm



  6. 6 SYL OSTIR April 7, 2008 at 10:25 am

    Daisy ,i was not present at any of these occassions.I wish Iwere though.I just went to your website and happened to come across this very interesting feature.I am new at this.I just wanted to say ,that your family is beautiful,your recipes on T.V.are lovely,in fact you E.Mailed me a recipe.I was so flattered you cant even imagine,Thank you again!you are a beautiful person inside and out…….I voulenteer at a food bank in Clifton N.J. and work with 1 spanish social worker and 1spanish secretary.I try to explain the recipes.My pronounciation is different than theirs especially.the bread fruit.Thank you again.SYLVIA OSTIR,CLIFTON N.J.

  7. 7 daisy April 7, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Dear Sylvia:

    Thank you for your email and continue support! and hello to New Jersey!



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