In recent years, customers have pushed for restaurants to offer healthier options. One way the foodservice industry has complied is to begin ordering fresh produce and microgreens from surrounding farms.

Carter-Hoffmann recognized this was an insufficient use of time and funds for chefs and restaurant managers. They put their team to the task, and they crafted the GardenChef. This unique, durable machine allows chefs and kitchen staff to plant and grow a variety of seeds right within their business! No more paying delivery fees or outside companies for labor and supplies.

The GardenChef is an herb garden, available in five sizes. Each unit has multiple sections for operators to place trays of dirt and seed. The machine then does the rest.

Three GardenChef Sizes

Its lights have been exceptionally designed to imitate the sun’s rays. Its automatic irrigation system automatically provides water and nutrients to the plants. This simplifies the process so chefs and restaurant staff can do what they need to without thinking about watering, heating, or maintaining produce in traditional ways. Where the growing cabinet is a closed environment, operators won’t have to worry about weeds, worms, or outside factors harming produce.

As mentioned above, fresh vegetables, microgreens, and more can be grown in the GardenChef. Microgreens are essentially baby versions of kale, arugula, lettuce, beet greens, and other varieties of greens. These micro versions pack more flavor and are traditionally considered healthier thanks to a high concentration of nutrients. They are excellent for salads and sandwiches or use as toppings and garnishes.

Additionally, some customers have chosen to use Carter-Hoffmann’s growing cabinets to grow legal cannabis to serve at their restaurant and cook within their dishes. We advise that each establishment checks with their local state laws before choosing to pursue that path.

The benefits of growing these products in-house are tremendous. Saving labor, time, and product costs are self-evident. But it also provides easy access to ingredients and can be placed in customer sightlines. This reinforces to guests that ingredients are fresh, healthy, and of the highest quality.

To accommodate front-of-the-house applications, Carter-Hoffmann has designed the GardenChef from attractive stainless steel. The lights, while meant to help produce grow, have the added benefit of illuminating the interior. This gives customers a clear view of products inside, enticing them to order menu items that contain these home-grown ingredients.

Because this method is not limited by outside elements, produce can be planted, grown, and stored year-round. This means customers can enjoy 100% organic microgreens, vegetables, and more instantly, even in winter. It also means chefs and kitchen staff have control over their own menus – all year round. No need to wait for microgreens to come in season when they’re grown in-house.


Carter-Hoffmann growing cabinets monitor their own pH and TDS levels, making it foolproof. Their touchscreen controls are easy to use, permitting quick training time and improved efficiency. The cabinets are mobile with four casters, two with brakes to keep the cabinet in place. It is no wider than a reach-in refrigerator so doesn't require an unreasonable amount of floor space. The cabinets are NSF, cULus, and CE certified, solidifying the quality that went into the engineering and design. That’s why we recommend the GardenChef above other growing cabinets.

If you have any questions, please let us know.

Call: 888.778.4815