Chef Paul Mattison helps students at Sarasota’s Phillippi Shores Elementary grow and care for a sustainable garden.
As if chef Paul Mattison weren’t busy enough with his eponymous restaurants, he’s embraced the care and feeding of both a sustainable garden at Phillippi Shores Elementary (where his daughter, Gigi, pictured with him above, attends school) and the students who are learning how to grow healthy vegetables. The 5,000-square-foot garden Mattison and the kids tend grows everything from zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, pumpkins and tomatoes to Swiss chard and collard greens, and some of the produce is used in school lunches. They even host dinners for kids and parents where chefs prepare and serve the school-grown food. “It’s made quite an impact on the school,” says Mattison, “and I couldn’t be happier.”