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Weekend at the Gardens

This October, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens celebrates Antiques at the Gardens. Whether you go to buy or be inspired, you won’t want to miss out on the fun.

At this year’s event-filled weekend, you’ll meet some of the city’s most inspiring Tastemakers along with some of the region’s most respected antiques dealers. Featured lecturer Alex Hitz will share his flair for Southern cooking and entertaining. Whether you go to buy or be inspired, you won’t want to miss out on the fun.

Chef Alex Hitz, creator of The Beverly Hills Kitchen, credits his Southern roots for his love of cooking. While growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, Alex’s family cook, Dorothy, introduced him to cooking. After earning a BA in English, Alex returned to his first love and earned degrees in the culinary arts from Peter Kump’s Cooking School in New York City and Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Apprenticing with some of the finest chefs in the world paved the way for Chef Hitz’s success in the food industry. He returned to his native Atlanta after completing his culinary training and partnered in the restaurant, The Patio by The River. He sold the restaurant and moved to L.A. where he began development of his new food line, The Beverly Hills Kitchen. He debuts his book at Antiques at the Gardens.  Be sure to meet Alex at his book signing and lecture on October 5 at 10:30am. Until then, try out a couple of his favorite recipes. Enjoy!

My Smoked Salmon Tartare on Cucumber Rounds

1 to 2 fresh unpeeled cucumbers, depending on size
8oz best quality smoked salmon, diced
2 ½ to 3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon minced shallots
2 Tablespoons chopped roasted pecans
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill, extra for garnish
Coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Use a kitchen fork to score the cucumbers lengthwise (for decoration) all the way around. Slice them into ½ inch thick discs.

Using a rubber spatula, combine salmon, mayonnaise, shallots, pecans, dill, pepper, and lemon juice in a medium mixing bowl.

Mix thoroughly.

Using a 1-teaspoon measuring spoon place a dollop of salmon mixture on each cucumber round.

Garnish with a small sprig of fresh dill.

Dorothy’s Cheese Straws

1 lb. shredded extra-sharp Cheddar Cheese
2 sticks (16 Tablespoons) salted butter, at room temperature
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans
2 teaspoons dried dill

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together on medium speed until light and fluffy, approx. 3 minutes.

Mix together flour, cayenne pepper, salt, pecans, and dill.

With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients slowly. The whole process should take only a couple of minutes. Dough will be coarse and dense.

Remove bowl from mixer.

Place into refrigerator for half an hour.

Remove from refrigerator and pour dough onto a floured surface, cut into 3 equal portions.

Roll each portion with your hands to make 3 balls.

Make each ball into a log, about 2 inches thick, Make sure dough is condensed so there are no air holes.

Roll logs with wax paper, refrigerate for 1 hour.

Slice logs into ½ inch thick slices, place onto parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake approx. 10 minutes until golden but not brown in color.

Cool 15 minutes. Freeze or serve right away.

*Will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.


Chestnut Galleries
Spartenburg, SC
Early 19th-century English and American furniture, art, and decorative accents

John Dennison Fine Art
North Myrtle Beach, SC
19th- and Early 20th-century American and European paintings

Dana Kelly Oriental Rugs
Lexington, KY
An outstanding collection of antique and semi-antique Oriental carpets

Davis-O’Reilly Antiques
Northport, AL
Fine clocks, Black Forest Carvings, American and English tall case clocks, decorative accessories

Evy McPherson’s Gracia Home
Nashville, TN
Jewelry tree with one-of-a-kind pieces using antique pendants as well as antiques and lamps

Thomas M. Fortner Antiques
Memphis, TN
18th- and 19th-century English and continental furniture and porcelain, Asian ceramics, American cut glass, antique lamps, estate finds

Joseph M. Hayes Antiques
Columbus, OH
Fine 18th- and 19th-century English and continental furnishings and accessories

McDonough Fine Art
Atlanta, GA
Antique maps and prints specializing in natural history, architectural and American Indian lithographs

Poverty Hollow
Newtown, CT
An eclectic mix of early 19th- and mid 20th-century English and American antiques for the home and garden

Edwin C. Skinner Antiques
Fairhope, AL
18th- and 19th-century furniture, art, and silver

Whitehall Antiques
Chapel Hill, NC
18th- and early 19th-century formal English and country French furniture, period art and accessories


Where: Birmingham Botanical Gardens

When: Public Show Hours:
Friday, October 5 • 10-5pm
Saturday, October 6 • 10-5pm
Sunday, October 7 • 1-5pm

General Admission: $10 / Free Parking


Black Tie Preview Party
Thursday, October 4 • 7pm-midnight
Admission: $150 per person


Alex Hitz, The Beverly Hills Kitchen
Lecture: Friday, October 5 • 10:30am
Admission: $30 per person
Luncheon with Alex:
Friday, October 5 • 12:30pm • Admission: $125 per person (includes morning lecture)

All proceeds from Antiques at the Gardens support educational programs at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

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