Archive for the ‘chef’ Category

The Tiki Hut at Three Sisters Farm.

The Tiki Hut at Three Sisters Farm.

Farm Meal
Saturdays 5:00 to 8:00 pm, October through March
Reservations required / cancel 24 hours in advance
Adults $85 per person. No children.
Accepts credit cards

This is the second season for Farm Meals, as they are called, elegantly rustic five course dinners prepared with ingredients grown at Three Sisters Farm, which is located across the street from the Fruit and Spice Park. The Meals are owner Chef Jon Gambino’s love song to many different things growing on his farm, expressed with menus that change with the season. (If you attended GrowFest! back in October, you might have sampled Chef Jon’s wood oven pizza, or tasted his sorrel drink or lemongrass tea.)

The Meals are held in the upper level of a large two story Tiki Hut, which stands at the end of a grassy drive. Rachael Middleton, one of the farmers, greeted guests as they arrived. (If they come early, she will give them a tour of the farm.) She served each person a bright red drink called sorrel. It was both tart and sweet, made from the fleshy thick calyxes of the red sorrel or roselle plant.

She directed us to narrow wooden steps leading to the upper floor of the hut. We entered a large open area with a vaulted thatched roof, and railings made of gnarly tree branches. Being in that space felt like riding in an ark over the shadowy seas of treetops. The room held a grouping of different sized tables that can seat 20. A fresh cool breeze made candles flicker. Jazz softly played from a modern record player designed to look like an old fashioned gramophone. A stack of records were nearby, and guests were encouraged to pick something to listen to (or bring their own from home).

Dining upstairs in the Tiki Hut.

Dining upstairs in the Tiki Hut.

On the night I came to visit, two families were dining. A large, lively group sat at a big table, celebrating a family event. This was the second visit for most of them, who drove down from Broward. At a previous meal, they had dined on fresh pizza topped with arugula and papaya, baked in the wood burning oven, accompanied by yuca fries.

I was invited to join the small group, three visitors from New York. They spent their day exploring the area and it was their first dinner at Three Sisters. They brought a bottle of white wine, which was quickly set to chill on ice.

Tostones with chunky guacamole and black bean spread.

Crispy tostones with chunky guacamole and black bean spread.

As we settled in at table, Eddie the server brought thin crispy tostones the size of small tortillas, which were arranged on wooden planks, accompanied by small pots filled with cilantro-laden chunky guacamole and a garlicky, spicy black bean spread. The tostone was as thin as a cracker, and I dabbed it with the different spreads.

Next came tropical sushi rolls that were very vegetarian, without a hint of seafood. I identified jackfruit, cucumber, mamey, and rice but was baffled by something crispy which turned out to be fried yuca. It was accompanied by two dipping sauces — deep sea kelp infused black sapote, and pickled umobeoshi mamey sapote — plus another plate with thin strips of pickled half-ripe papaya, and thin slices of vinegary cucumber pickles. A dab and a slice on a roll made for sweet bumping against sour with two kinds of crunch.

Tropical vegetarian sushi.

Tropical vegetarian sushi.

Service slowed down a bit, but no matter, this is not a meal to rush through but to savor and discuss. Part of the pacing could be due to the small staff. Chef Jon and sous chef Michael Bayramian prepare food in a small kitchen shed nearby, and the different courses are carried up the narrow Tiki Hut steps by Rachael and Eddie.

The third course was strawberry hibiscus coconut soup with chunks of green banana. The pale mauve broth was both sweet and sour, and starchy chunks of banana lurked at the bottom of the bowl. Their taste and texture were more like a root vegetable than the familiar sweet fruit.

The main course was plantain pappardelle with Jamaican style kale, and for those who requested fish, broiled local grouper. The fish was fresh and lightly seasoned. Wide pasta ribbons were made fresh and had a mild sweetness of plantain that was a nice bed for stronger flavored greens seasoned with tomato and lots of garlic. Rachael explained they grow lots of greens on the farm, kale being available now, and callaloo later in the season. The pasta was filling and satisfied even the pickiest eaters at the table.

Pappardelle with Jamaican style kale.

Pappardelle with Jamaican style kale.

Lucky for us, we were regaled with two desserts that night — and there’s always room for dessert! The first was banana sorbet with jaboticaba sauce. Jon has a good hand with sorbets, and the banana came through with a rich, almost earthy, flavor. It was a solid base for tart, grape-like jaboticaba sauce, and the combination sang from the first bite. Jon has a passion for this fruit, and has become familiar with its nuances, such as how many days it needs to ripen before its skin sweetens and mellows.

The second dessert was pumpkin pie made from calabaza with a chocolate cookie crumb crust. Its flavor was rich and its color was darker than regular pumpkin. It was served with a pot of whipped cream. Coffee arrived, strong and rich, and each guest got their own french press of brew. (Lemongrass tea was available too.)

Chef Jon Gambino

Chef Jon Gambino

The Farm Meal dining experience is unique because the menu changes with the seasons, based on what is available on the farm. Guests have to be adventurous and willing to try anything. From this Meal I could see that Jon likes to take a familiar dish and play with the ingredients, making substitutions or changes, until something new breaks forth. He has a light touch with seasonings, allowing the fresh flavors of the ingredients to shine.

Almost every ingredient (except for coffee, cream, chocolate, beans and rice) was either grown there or procured locally. Jon considers his farm as a large, living pantry, where he can step out and gather what he wants to eat that day. His eyes light up when he talks about what he will plant and cook next. He admits he still has a lot more to learn about farming, but doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty and working hard. He is living his dream.

Three Sisters Farm
18401 SW 248th St

Homestead, FL 33031

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Florida is lucky to have two opportunities to enjoy a farm-to-table dinner with Outstanding in the Field. Closer to home, Paradise Farms Organic is hosting a special OITF dinner next week, Wednesday January 15th.

Farmer Gabriele Marewski will provide a variety of fruits, vegetables, and spices grown at her farm, and guest chef Adrianne Calvo of Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar will use the ingredients to prepare a delicious meal.

The event begins with an opening reception, followed by  Gabrielle’s tour of the farm, and then a four-course meal served family-style. Guests are encouraged to bring a plate from home to dine on, a special tradition for all the Outstanding meals. Another dinner tradition is seating all the guests at a long table, covered with a white tablecloth, set in the middle of the farm fields or groves.

Tickets and more information are available on the Outstanding in the Field website.  Paradise Farm is not handling registration for this event. Tickets are $200 per person.

Read more about the upcoming dinner in Miami New Times.

Outstanding in the Field is a roving culinary adventure that travels around the country setting their long table in fields, farms, gardens, beaches and vineyards. Their mission is to promote local food and agriculture and get people out to the farm to see where their food is coming from and meet the producers.


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Paradise Farms OrganicBrunch in Paradise returns with the Queens of Farm to Table.

Paradise Farms Organic offers a delicious upscale family style meal made with local organic products, sourcing as much as possible directly from the farm. Each brunch features fresh eggs, homemade yogurt, fresh seasonal fruit, mimosas, and much more.

Harvest    November 24, 2013
Julie Frans / Essensia at the Palms Hotel & Spa
Amber Antonelli / The Naked Bite

Easter    April 20, 2014
Amber Antonelli /The Naked Bite

Pre-Mother’s Day    May 10, 2014
Julie Frans / Essensia at the Palms Hotel & Spa

Mother’s Day   May 11, 2014
Mary Siragusa / Fresh First

Guests please arrive at 11:15 am, followed by a farm tour at 11:30 given by Gabriele Marewski, followed by lunch at 12:00 noon.

All brunches require reservations. For more information and to make reservations, please visit Brunch in Paradise. Ingredients on the menu are harvested to order by the farm’s staff, and prepared fresh, based upon the seasonal availability of the farm.

Each brunch is priced at $53.00 for adults, $15 for children under 12, and free for children under 2. Tax and Google fee not included.

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Paradise Farms OrganicThe farm to table tradition continues! Dinner in Paradise at Paradise Farms Organic features the finest chefs in Miami preparing a delicious five course meal made with local organic products and paired with fine wines. The magic and charm of the lush edible landscape coupled with the finest chefs in Miami creates a uniquely intimate dining experience under the stars.

November 17, 2013

Tongue & Cheek: Jamie DeRosa
HaVen: Todd Erickson
Market 17: Lauren DeShields

December 8, 2013

Ocean Reef: Philippe Reynaud
Taster’s Grill: George Patti
Cheeca Lodge: Richard Smith
Pierre’s: Jouvens Jean, Joe Wiktorek

January 12, 2014

Area 31 at Epic: Wolfgang Birk
Bar Lorenzo at The Redbury: Tony Mantuano, James Versfelt
The Forge: Dewey LoSasso

January 26, 2014

The Federal: Cesar Zapata
Buccan / Imoto: Clay Conley
Kris Wessel

February 8, 2014
Valentine’s Day (Saturday)

Johnson & Wales

March 15, 2014
Edible Flower Festival (Saturday)

Richard Sandoval Restaurants: Chef Jose Luis Flores
Intercontinental: Alex Feher
Toro Toro: Eric Do

March 23, 2014
Palm Sunday

Essensia at The Palms Hotel & Spa: Julie Frans
Eating House: Giorgio Rapicavoli
Azul at Mandarin Oriental: Chef TBA

April 6, 2014

Sugarcane / Bocce Bar: Timon Baloo
Oak Tavern: David Bracha
EDGE Steak and Bar at Four Seasons Hotel: Aaron Brooks

April 13, 2014

Meat Market: Sean Brasel
Lido Restaurant at The Standard: Mark Zeitouni
Pubbelly: Jose Mendin

April  27, 2014

Cecconi’s: Sergio Sigala
Salumeria 104: Angelo Masarin
Bread & Butter: Alberto Cabrera

Each year, Paradise Farms Organic donates proceeds to a local charity or organization philosophically in line with their vision of sustainable, healing, and healthy organic food. This year “Learning in Paradise,” the farm’s outreach program to host children’s educational field trips to the farm, is sponsored.

5:00 pm for cocktail reception
5:30 pm farm tour
6:00 pm dinner
(In March, times move back one hour.)

Each dinner is $165.50 per person + tax and processing. Gift certificates are available.

*Reservations are required.* RESERVATIONS MUST BE MADE BY FRIDAY AT NOON SO THAT THE FARM STAFF MAY HARVEST ACCORDINGLY. For more information and to make reservations, please visit the farm’s web site.

Paradise Farms would like to thank the event’s generous, long-term sponsors including Whole Foods, Schnebly Redland’s Winery, Lucini Italia, Brustman Carrino Public Relations,  Strategic Importers and Hani’s Mediterranean Organics as well as DIP co-founder Michael Schwartz.

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This weekend, come meet farmer Rachael Middleton and chef Jon Gambino of Three Sisters Farm, which is located, quite conveniently, across the street from the Fruit and Spice Park. Rachael and Jon are bringing plants and tastes of their farm to GrowFest!

The farmer and chef couple will have an assortment of edible plants for sale, whatever they are able to haul across the street for the weekend. “We have some interesting different fruit trees, and cool tropical roots, like malanga. We have a good variety of heirloom tomato seedlings and some different peppers,” Rachael told me. Besides vegetable seedlings, they’re also offering larger plants as well.

“We have a lot of big stuff that we can’t bring across the street, but we will have a plant list and give a sampling of what our nursery has right now. Since we are an active farm year round, we are always producing root stocks and pups, and have suckers in abundance at the farm. People are welcome to contact us if they are interested in getting plants anytime throughout the growing season,” Rachael said.

Tastes will come mostly from whatever is in season at their organic and biodynamic farm. “We will offer a variety of drinks, including a sorrel drink (it really tastes like Hawaiian Punch). We’ll also have jaboticaba sorbet (and a limited quantity of fresh jaboticaba fruit!).”

Chef Jon recently acquired a wood fire oven, which he has been using to bake fresh bread for his Farm Meals. “The oven is one of our favorite new things this season,” Rachael said. “It’s amazing, and we have been doing a lot of baking at the farm lately because of it. We are going to bring the oven over to the park and bake fresh bread and make pizzas.” Come find out what kind of tropical toppings will grace goodies hot out of the oven at GrowFest!

Three Sisters Farm

If you would love to visit and dine at Three Sisters Farm, chef Jon Gambino offers a Farm Meal every Saturday by reservation only. “The meal begins with a private tour where you get to see everything we are growing on our active, working, natural farm,” Rachael said.  “At the end of the tour, you are seated on our beautiful tropical tiki deck, where if you time your reservation right, you will be able to catch a beautiful view of the sunset.

“The farm meal uses all of our own ingredients (sometimes supplementing with some of the best of what our neighbors have to offer) to create a multi-course gourmet tasting feast. Our ingredients are a wide variety including tropical fruits, veggies you know and love and some you may not know you love yet, tropical roots, and spices.  What Jon does with all those amazing ingredients is equally varied and exciting. He also makes delicious handmade pastas, fantastic breads and pizzas (baked in our wood fire oven, which you can see from the tiki deck).

“The Farm Meal is $85 a person and we sometimes offer a fish option for an additional $15. Don’t worry about not being full, it’s a multi-course (at least 5) feast. Do dress comfortably for walking around on the farm and outdoor dining.  It’s BYOB, no cork fee.”

The next Farm Meal is scheduled for Oct. 26th. This Saturday, Oct. 19th, there is no Farm Meal because of the festival. “We are pretty much a two man (sometimes three) show,” Rachael explained.

For reservations and more information:
Three Sisters Farm
18401 SW 248th St.
Homestead, FL 33031

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