Founder/Owner, Verdura Garden Design., Verdura Garden Design
Chair, Chicago Green City Market
2732 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60614
A native of Chicago's north suburbs, Sara Gasbarra, is the founder/owner and “lead garden girl” for Verdura, a full service garden design company, that cultivates edible gardens for Chicago area restaurants, bars and hotels. Gasbarra designs, installs and tends on-site kitchen production plots for some of the city’s top chefs and restaurants, including Floriole Café and Bakery, Hilton Chicago, Nellcôte, Acadia, Farmhouse, The Savoy and CJK Foods. Her work has been featured in print withChicago Sun Times, Chicago Magazine, CS Magazine, TimeOut Chicago and Chicago Parent and online with Tasting Table, Zagat, Chicagoist, Eater, Grub Street, Gardenista,Seedstock, CitySearch, Examiner and ChicagoNow. In 2012, Gasbarra partnered with Chicago-based 4240 Architecture firm on an edible vertical garden/aquaponics installation for the 2012 DIFFA “Dining By Design” gala at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart.
Prior to launching Verdura, Gasbarra served as Project Manager of Green City Market’s The Edible Gardens, a 5,000 sq. ft. educational, organic vegetable garden run in partnership with Lincoln Park Zoo.
Additionally, she is a founding member and Chair of Green City Market’s Junior Board and an active volunteer. She has previously served as the Market’s Sprouts Program Chair, Volunteer Committee Co-Chair and as a member of the Education, Membership and Marketing committees.
Gasbarra’s inspiration for cultivating edible green spaces for her chef clientele is drawn directly from childhood memories of summers spent gardening and cooking with her Italian-born father. Her favorite edibles to grow for her restaurant clients include sylvetta arugula, garnet mustard, sungold tomatoes, chiles, lavender, red ribbon sorrel, anise hyssop, borage flowers and unique varieties of basil.