The Hungry Crowd: Viraj Puri

The newest member of Food & Wine’s food-obsessed community is an eco-pioneer: he’s the co-founder of a solar-powered, hydroponic rooftop farm in Brooklyn.
Gotham Greens co-founder Viraj Puri
Gotham Greens co-founder Viraj Puri.
© Ari Burling/Gotham Greens
Gotham Greens: Rooftop Greenhouse
The Gotham Greens rooftop greenhouse. Photo © Ari Burling/Gotham Greens.

Gotham Greens: A Rooftop Revolution

Says Viraj Puri, “Eric Haley and I founded Gotham Greens in 2008 and began harvesting our first crops last May. Our greenhouses are on the rooftop of a former bowling alley in Brooklyn, and we grow greens and basil using a lightweight hydroponic system. Solar panels help to heat and cool them, so we can harvest 365 days a year. Chef Michael Anthony serves our lettuce at Gramercy Tavern, and our greens are sold at markets like Whole Foods.”

Viraj Puri’s Picks

Gotham Greens
Courtesy of Barrier Brewing Co.

Local Brew

“I always have local beer in my fridge. I love Barrier Brewing, a new craft producer in Oceanside, New York. The Sanity IPA is my favorite.”

Gotham Greens
© Antonis Achilleos

Kitchen Fear

“Cooking an ambitious recipe with lots of pots and pans doesn’t scare me, but the idea of doing the dishes for an hour afterward does.”

Guacamole and Cabbage Slaw
© Matthew Hranek

Quick Dish

Fish tacos are my go-to dish for last-minute guests. I pan-fry tilapia and serve it with a mango-cilantro salsa and pico de gallo. It’s fast and easy to make.”

PUBLISHED February 2012

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