Atlanta's Cobb Galleria Center Keeps It Local with Venue's New Herb Garden

August 28, 2012

Across the United States, farm-to-table restaurants with a focus on locally grown produce are all the rage, and now convention centers are getting into the sustainable food movement.

Atlanta’s Cobb Galleria Center enlisted the help of staff volunteers to construct two large raised beds on the campus behind the venue’s kitchen, which have been filled with a variety of herbs.

Altogether, there are 20 different fully developed plants ranging from sage, mint, rosemary and several variations of basil in the garden.

The herbs yield large quantities of ingredients regularly used in the cuisine of the chefs, according to venue officials.

“Every other day we pick a five-gallon bucket full of basil used to make pesto, basil oil and compound butter,” said Executive Chef Nicholas Walker.

He added, “Everywhere we can use basil, we use it. I haven’t bought basil in a month.”

Besides the ease of having an herbal garden right outside the venue’s kitchen, it also has a positive impact on the environment.

Instead of calling in an entire truck for a small quantity of herbs, the garden minimizes pollution and maximizes efficiency since the herbs can be harvested onsite.

Director of Food and Beverage Kirsten Gleaves conceived the idea of having an herb garden at the center.

“The goal of having a garden is twofold: Our dedicated Green Team would like to be more sustainable by reducing our carbon footprint even in a small way,” Gleaves said.

She added, “Secondly, Chef Walker is passionate about using local products and would love to grow his own herbs, edible flowers and some greens. The garden is our way of combining both of those goals and at the same time will be an ongoing employee team-building project.”

The garden’s boxes were built by the venue’s engineering department and members of various departments helped with the planting. The food and beverage department takes care of the maintenance and watering.

Marigold is planted as a natural repellant for bugs, and there are no pesticides used.

The garden has been so popular, there are plans to build on to it even more in the future. Another four raised planters currently are being discussed for installation with more of a variety of herbs and the addition of vegetables.

The seasonal herbs will be replaced in the colder seasons with more weather appropriate substitutes such as kale, lettuce and wheatgrass, and in the spring, other vegetables will be added.

The 320,000 square foot Cobb Galleria Centre is located in the 88-acre Galleria complex in prestigious northwest Atlanta.

Add new comment

Partner Voices
One of the most iconic names on the Las Vegas Strip just got an upgrade. Mandalay Bay has everything that your business needs from a refreshed convention space designed to inspire productivity and creativity, to an impressive selection of world-class restaurants and amenities. If you're looking for a venue that's both inviting and innovative, you have to be here. New Wave Experiences Mandalay Bay continues to invest in a new wave of enhancements both in the convention space and within the resort as a whole. New restaurant openings including Orla by Michael Mina, drawing inspiration from the award-winning chef’s childhood in Egypt and with flavors and décor inspired by the spices found in markets common to coastal Mediterranean towns, as well as Caramá by Wolfgang Puck, bringing the essence of Italy and spirit of Wolfgang into one concept, are recent additions. The Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas also experienced a recent remodel of all 424 rooms. Swingers, a high-end, adults-only golf and entertainment concept will debut in Fall 2024. Enhanced Technology Creating a truly effective conference venue requires careful thought into what a business needs: the right technology, capacity, and inspiration to bring ideas to the next level. As part of the resort’s refresh, Mandalay Bay implemented state-of-the-art technology upgrades, installing cutting-edge Cat6A Ethernet cabling throughout the convention center. This advancement doubles the frequency of data transmission, enabling lightning-fast speeds up to 9400% faster. The convention center now boasts 11 dynamic digital walls, spanning up to 24' x 13', strategically positioned for brand placements, sponsorships and targeted event messaging. Additionally, attendees can benefit from 20 double-sided 55" mobile flexible display units, facilitating effortless navigation to meeting rooms and events. RFID locks were installed on all meeting room doors, and over 200 motion detection cameras have been placed throughout the space. Refreshing New Design & Fine Art The newly remodeled convention space provides a bright and vibrant atmosphere that complements Mandalay Bay's tropical-inspired brand. Featuring white-washed walls and ceilings adorned with bold floral patterns in cerulean and coral tones, the space is complemented by warm walnut accent walls. In addition to the redesign of all pre-function spaces, meeting rooms and ballrooms, Mandalay Bay's 1 million square feet of exhibit space has undergone a rejuvenation, including new paint, covered pillars and relocated strobe lights. Sustainable Spectacles Mandalay Bay is committed to Focused on What Matters and creating more responsible meetings. Refillable water stations all available around the resort, cutting unnecessary plastic usage from single-use bottles. The Mandalay Bay campus’ recent upgrades represent a bold step forward in redefining the Las Vegas experience. With a focus on innovation, sustainability, and unparalleled service, Mandalay Bay sets a new standard for excellence in business hospitality. Whether you're seeking cutting-edge conference facilities, world-class dining options, or simply a luxurious retreat, an unparalleled meeting experience awaits.