Jay Strohan is the chef/owner of St Tropez Bistro, one of Saskatoon’s longest running restaurants. St Tropez is in the CUTEST blue building on 2nd avenue in Downtown Saskatoon. On the roof of this adorable blue building is a luscious roof top garden. Jay tends to this garden, one in his yard in the city, and one just outside of Saskatoon.  He grows so many of the ingredients used year-round at St Tropez Bistro, and it’s prohibition style cocktail bar, Parlor. 

I caught up with him to learn about three ways that he makes the most of his garden bounty! 

One: Infuse Vodka 

Infused vodka

Raspberries are a-plenty in Jay Strohan’s life. One of his favourite things to do with them is infuse them in Lucky Bastard Vodka! He said that it only takes a couple of weeks to get the vodka infused and it will last indefinitely in the fridge! It is also the perfect way to up your at-home-bar-game! House infused vodka? You fancy. 

Two: Save Seeds 

Every year Jay plants heirloom tomatoes and saves the seeds.  

Saving seeds - St Tropez

He saves the seeds of the tomatoes that ripen the earliest and are the prettiest in hopes that the plants they produce will have fruit with these characteristics. There are two ways to save the seeds of tomatoes. 

Tomato seeds

One way is just to scoop the seeds out onto some parchment paper. The other is to scoop the seeds out and soak them in water for three to four days and then let them dry on parchment paper. The second way just creates a store-bought looking product.  Once the seeds dry completely on the parchment paper Jay puts them in mason jars or paper envelopes until the next spring.  

Three: Dehydrating 

Jay loves dehydrating garden bounty because it takes less room to store through the winter! In the restaurant game storage is everything! We dehydrated tomatoes, that he uses in soups throughout the winter and raspberries that he uses in tea!  

Dehydrating tomatoes

How are you making the most of your garden bounty? Will you try any of these techniques?!