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CAN (ON): Chef uses edible flowers from local farm

Tucked away on a narrow road off Kingsville Road 5 East, Floramère Flowers is run by 32-year-old Natasha Chortos. Unhappy with her job as a graphics designer in Toronto, Chortos decided to move to Essex County to start a flower farm, inspired by time spent with her florist grandmother as a child.

Chortos' husband, Nathan, 33, grew up in Essex County and happened to be high school friends with chef Aaron Lynn.

When the chef found out about the floral business, he asked if she would be growing edible flowers. Chortos said she would, and so Lynn decided to incorporate them into his cooking.

"Aaron came out to the farm and was just wandering through the fields and picking and eating everything," she said with a laugh. "And I'm just closely walking behind [saying] 'Don't eat that — that could hurt you!"

"Nothing hurt me, though," Lynn noted, grinning. "[I'm] indestructible."

The use of edible flowers wasn't something Lynn grew up with, or encountered very much in culinary school. "It was something that seemed like it was a lot more 1980s, kind of putting a flower on a plate for no reason," he said.

But after trying Chortos' flowers, he realized flowers don't just add visual appeal — they tasted good, too.

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