Archive for the ‘locavore’ Category

Dinner in Paradise, January 26, 2014. Photo by Kelly Samardak, Shortstackphoto.com

Dinner in Paradise, January 26, 2014. Photo by Kelly Samardak, Shortstackphoto.com

Announcing the 2015 Dinner in Paradise season line up! The New Generation of Chefs in Miami!

This season’s line up was inspired by Gabe Orta (Broken Shaker) who posted on Facebook: “Happy to see so many friends and colleagues opening great restaurants and bars all over town. Exciting to see a new generation of Miami hospitality finally here #letsdothis.”

It is very exciting for Dinner in Paradise to be a venue to give this new generation of chefs greater exposure. Who are these chefs and what are they up to? Let’s find out where their creative expression takes you! You will want to experience the entire season. It’s not just dinner, it’s an experience!

January 11th
* Cesar Zapata: The Federal
* Todd Erickson: Haven South Beach
* Giorgio Rapicavoli: Eating House Miami

January 25th
* Gabriel Orta & Elad Zvi: 27 Restaurant & Bar
* Kris Wessel: Oolite Restaurant & Bar
* Diego Oka: La Mar at Mandarin Oriental

February 1st
* Adrianne Calvo: Chef Adrianne’s
* William Crandall: Azul/Mandarin
* Andrew Gilbert: The Seven Dials

March 1st  Plant Based
* Keith Kalmanowicz: Love & Vegetables
* Enrique Ruiz: Temple Kitchen
* Billy Devlin: Basil Park

March 14th  Edible Flower Festival (Saturday)
* Eric Do & Chef Jose Luis Flores: Toro Toro
* Todd Phillips: mixologist

March 29th
* Aaron Brooks: Edge Steak & Bar
* Mike Pirolo: Macchialina Taverna Rustica
* Gabriela Machado: Contrabando

April 12th
* Sean Brasel: Meat Market
* Timon Balloo: Bocce Bar/Sugarcane
* Dena Marino: MC Kitchen

April 19th
* Najat Kaanache: Piripi Miami
* Danny Grant: 1826 Restaurant & Lounge
* Jacob Anaya: OTC

April 26th.
* Jodrick Ujaque: Chefs on the Run
* Richard Torres: Bread & Butter
* Nicolas Cabrera: Coya Restaurant & Bar

Please arrive at 5 p.m. for a cocktail reception,  followed by a farm tour, dinner and bonfire. (Arrival time changes to 6pm on March 14th).

For reservations, visit paradisefarms.net. Each dinner is $165.50 per person + tax. Reservations are required. Buy a table of 10 and get one seat free. Buy a season of 9 and get one free. GIFT CERTIFICATES ARE AVAILABLE.

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

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Brooklyn Brewery MASH

Join Brooklyn Brewery’s MASH Tour for A Celebration of South Florida Ingredients: Artisans, Growers, Chefs, and Musicians on Sunday, October 26th at 3:00 pm, held at Paradise Farms.

Meet the Makers
Share a Brooklyn Brewery beer and local delicacies with featured artisans from Kombulicious and Bee Heaven Farm.

Farm and Brewery Tour
Get to know your Paradise Farms farmer and learn how your food is grown on a private tour with Gabriele Marewski.

Savor a family style meal created by Chefs Cesar Zapata from The Federal and Andrew Gerson from Brooklyn Brewery.

Family friendly. Smoke free.

$55 for adults, and kids under 10 are free. Please leave pets at home.
Available here: http://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/698015

Dinner on the Farm creates unique local food experiences designed to celebrate farms, chefs, breweries, and food entrepreneurs dedicated to good, sustainable food. Through our roaming culinary events, we work to connect people back to the land and to the farmers and artisans who are making our communities a better place to live. We host year-round events dedicated to good food.

To get an idea of what the farm dinner is like, watch this video of a farm dinner held at a scenic, family owned pig farm. (However, since Paradise Farms is meat free, no animals will be harmed at the Redland dinner!)


Paradise Farms Organic
19801 SW 320th St.
Redland FL 33031

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GrowFest! flyers

Dejah, a customer service cashier, did her part to set out flyers at each cash register at the South Beach store.

Dejah, a customer service cashier, did her part to set out flyers at each cash register at the South Beach store.

Want to have the GrowFest! schedule of events handy?

Grab a GrowFest! flyer at any Whole Foods Market in South Florida, from Palm Beach stores south to Pinecrest. They’ve been in stores all week. (There might be some left…)

Whole Foods is a festival sponsor for three years running. Thanks to all at the company who helped support GrowFest!

Grab a flyer at a checkout lane.

Grab a flyer at a checkout lane.

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Got mangoes? Photo by Serge Penton.

Got mangoes? Photo by Serge Penton.

This time of year mangoes are everywhere. There’s plenty to be had from Art’s tree, and the fruit is on sale right now at his Upper Eastside and Southwest Farmers Markets. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to chance upon a roadside stand with people selling off their backyard excess. And sometimes friends bring me mangoes. Last week, my co-worker Serge had his car stuffed with sacks and buckets of mangoes, picked from his tree. “Take as many as you like,” he told me. I scurried off with a bag full of Zills — then came to my senses — I can’t eat all these!

So every summer, the challenge remains, what to do with all those mangoes?

This summer (mostly because it’s been so hot) I decided to make mango ice cream. Non-dairy, vegan ice cream. Don’t worry, I’m still am omnivore, more or less, but lately dairy has dwindled from my diet. Coconut everything is all the rage, so how about… mango-coconut sherbet?

A quick search online came up with a very simple recipe: mango, coconut milk, sugar, lime juice. Serge suggested adding cinnamon, and I also added some ginger. The online recipe called for toasted flaked coconut, used as a topping, but I didn’t have any.

Mango-Coconut Sherbet


3 cups peeled, seeded, cut up mangoes
1 12 oz. can coconut milk
sugar, lime juice, ginger, cinnamon


In a blender, puree mangoes together with coconut milk. Add lime juice, cinnamon, ginger and sugar to taste. When you like the flavors, pour the mix into the ice cream maker, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Makes one quart.

Donvier ice cream maker, from the 1980s. Still works!

Donvier ice cream maker, from the 1980s. Still works!

My trusty, 20 year old Donvier ice cream maker was pulled out of the pantry and put into back into service. It is super simple to use. Freeze the large cylinder overnight, and chill all the ingredients. Then pour the mix into the cylinder, insert the paddle, put the lid on, and attach the turn handle. This is an all-manual operation.

Almost done.

Almost done.

The liquid will freeze in contact with the cold cylinder. Every three minutes, turn the handle, which turns the paddle, which scrapes the frozen mix off the inside wall of the cylinder. Make one turn, then wait three more minutes, then do it again. If you wander off and come back 10 minutes later, you’ll discover it’s impossible to turn the handle. That’s where a butter knife comes in handy, to break up the frozen mix. Don’t break the paddle! Keep turning every three minutes until everything is frozen. The ice cream (or sherbet) will be of soft serve consistency. Pack it into containers and freeze it for at least an hour to firm up.

If you can’t find a Donvier, take a look at the Cuisinart ice cream maker which goes for about $70-80 on sale. Like my all manual Donvier, it has a cylinder that needs to be frozen overnight. For the added price, you get a motor that turns the paddle for you. How easy can it get! Now, to mix up another batch of mango sherbet…

Mango-Coconut sherbet

Mango-Coconut sherbet

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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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outstanding worden 1

Worden Farm is looking forward to hosting Outstanding in the Field again this season on Sunday, January 19, 2014. The farm-to-table dinner promises to be a magical evening of rustic elegance, dining out in the field among the beautiful organic vegetables.

Chef Steve Iadevaia of River City Grill will create five amazing courses, with wine pairings, served on white tablecloths at sunset.

The evening’s program will also feature a walking tour with farm owners Chris and Eva Worden.

A portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to support the work of Florida Organic Growers and Consumers (FOG). Executive Director Marty Mesh is the special guest, and he will discuss the organization’s education, outreach, research, and policy activities.

Tickets and more information are available on the Outstanding in the Field website.  Worden Farm is not handling registration for this event.

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.

outstanding worden 2

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