Pesto Pasta is a Reason to Gather 5

Gather’s Chef Tim Hessenbruch Uses Small Ingredients for Big, Bold Flavor

Gather is one of the most creative new dining hotspots in the Cape. Located at Tarpon Point Marina, it’s an energetic space with a delightful view and delicious food.

A native of San Francisco, chef Tim Hessenbruch moved to Southwest Florida from a culinary position in Colorado just over a year ago—and he’s truly enjoying cooking in the Sunshine State.

“Even as a kid, I had a deep passion for food. Growing up, I was inspired to learn about cooking from eating at the local Chinese restaurants in San Francisco,” Tim says. “I made the decision to move to Cape Coral because of the great opportunities here—and I was really ready to leave the snow behind in Colorado.”

Tim has been with Gather since they opened in October 2017 and he helped develop their breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. He strives to create fun, exciting dishes and he uses the freshest local ingredients from places like Florida MicroGreens (see page 20) and Oakes Farms.

“I’ve worked with microgreens in the past, but the microgreens here in Florida are the best I’ve ever worked with—very bright flavors; very nutritious, ” Tim says. “I’m really excited to continue working with local producers and farms, and I’m really looking forward to continuing to interact with this great community.”

With Tim’s experience and keen eye in the kitchen, a meal at Gather is certain to be one to remember, but here’s one of Tim’s recipes you can try at home.

Chef Tim’s Micro Basil Pesto


  • ½ cup raw pine nuts
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • ½ cup organic olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Florida MicroGreen micro basil or substitute chopped Thai basil
  • Fresh-cooked pasta of your choice


1. Peel and trim garlic (removing the woody end), then rough chop.

2. Add garlic and pine nuts to food processor. Pulse a few times to break them up.

3. Add Parmesan and pulse a few more times to combine.

4. Add olive oil and pulse.

5. Add salt and pepper to taste.

6. Add a few spoonfuls of the mixture to a plate of a fresh-cooked pasta of your choice.

7. Top with a generous helping of Florida MicroGreens micro basil or chopped Thai basil.