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Archive | Winter 2015

GIVING BACK: YOU GOTTA HAVE FAITH

Sprout Mobile Market

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WORDS BY VANESSA CACERES
PHOTOS BY CHAD SPENCER

Getting to a supermarket or local farm for fresh, healthy produce isn’t easy for someone who is struggling to make ends meet.

Supermarkets may be hard to reach, especially if you don’t have a car, and healthier items at local stores may be unaffordable. Sometimes, those who have lower incomes have health conditions that make it difficult to get out and buy healthy food.

That’s where the Sprout Mobile Farm Market steps in. Operated by All Faiths Food Bank, Sprout is a food truck that makes two monthly stops to about 12 locations in Sarasota, Nokomis, North Port, Venice, Englewood, and Arcadia. At each stop, those using Sprout Mobile Farm Market are able to get healthy produce donated by local grocery stores and farms.

The idea behind the Sprout Mobile Market began with the realization that many who are hungry may get canned food, but they do not get enough fresh items, says Michelle Tarullo, director of human resources at Hyatt Regency Sarasota, which partners with All Faith Foods Bank to support the Sprout truck. “Having fresh produce gives families the options to be healthier,” she says.

Leaders vetted areas around Sarasota that would benefit from Sprout, and that’s how they chose where to designate stops or drop-off locations. All Faiths began a pilot program with the truck last January, and it’s been in operation ever since, says Sprout manager Ryan Beaman.

During a pre-Thanksgiving visit by Sprout to The Courts housing community in Newtown, a group of more than 20 residents waited for the truck’s arrival. They were able to choose among items like carrots, lemons, limes, oranges, and cabbages. Other items, such as bags of kale, were given to each person. Beaman and others worked steadily inside or around the truck to keep things moving.

“I got some greens,” one resident told her friends.

“These taste better than collards to me,” another resident commented to someone else about her kale.

Sprout donates about eight to 12 pounds of produce to each person who visits, says Beaman, and the truck serves about 300 people each day it operates.

Hyatt executive chef Kory Foltz set up a small table right outside the truck to offer savory samples of Day After Thanksgiving salad. People could sample the salad and take a recipe card, which was in English and Spanish. Foltz says Sprout tries to offer recipes that are healthy and easy to make.

All Faiths Food Bank and Sprout Mobile Market will continue to flourish with help from Hyatt Regency Sarasota. In December, as part of Hyatt Community Grants, the hotel donated $20,000 to All Faiths Food Bank. All Faiths will use the funds to feed families and children among its 195 partners and programs, including the Sprout Mobile Farm Market. Sprout is always looking for donations and volunteers to help make a difference, says Tarullo. Large-sized produce donations are also welcome, says Beaman.

The Hyatt Regency: 1000 Blvd of the arts, Sarasota; 941-953-1234; sarasota.hyatt.com

All Faiths Food Bank: 8171 Blaikie Ct, Sarasota;941-379-6333; allfaithsfoodbank.org

RECIPE

Turkey Salad

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EDIBLE PROFILE: NIMAN RANCH

The Farmer, the Butcher, and the Chef

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Paul Willis founder of Niman Ranch
Photo courtesy of Christopher Quinn

WORDS BY COOPER LEVEY-BAKER

Indigenous chef and restaurant owner Steve Phelps has visited many farms and seen a lot of food operations, but something about watching Paul Willis handle a baby hog in September felt different.

On most farms, someone trying to snatch a suckling pig away from its mother might piss her off something fierce. When Willis jumped a fence and grabbed a baby hog, though, the mother didn’t even bat an eyelash. “The pig just looked at him,” Phelps remembers, “and it was OK.”

Phelps traveled to Iowa to attend Niman Ranch’s 16th annual Hog Farmer Appreciation Dinner, at which more than 650 family farmers and chefs were honored for their role in Niman’s humanely and sustainably raised pork operation. While the Niman name has become synonymous with high-quality, ethical husbandry, it’s actually not one specific ranch but rather a network of hundreds of farms committed to following the company’s textbook-thick set of animal care rules.

In addition to the dinner, guests were invited to tour a Niman farm, and the experience was nothing less than transformational for Phelps. You would never think of a hog farm as clean, but that’s what Phelps saw. Niman hogs grow up mostly outdoors, soaking up sunshine and grazing on natural vegetation in addition to the feed and water they find in small huts set out around the farm. Nothing like an industrial hog farm, where the animals are confined indoors, where their tails are severed to prevent other hogs from biting them off, where immense liquid manure pits give off a deathly odor. At a Niman farm, Phelps says, the families treat their pigs like pets.

When he returned to Sarasota, Phelps took a hard look at his menu and his practices and immediately swapped pork and beef suppliers. The Iowa trip was more than just a visit to a farm, Phelps says: “It was life-changing.”\

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Steve Phelps of Indigenous, Morton’s Gourmet Market
Butcher Adam Lawerence and Paul Willis in the meat depatment
Photos by Peter Acker

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Indigenous’s braised pork belly lo mein served nightly

OLD-SCHOOL METHODS

For centuries, before the advent of industrial farming, all pigs were raised using the methods Phelps saw in Iowa. Then, in the late 1980s and early ’90s, Willis and hog farmers like him started hearing about another philosophy: “Get bigger or get out.”

In the decades that followed, factory farming completely transformed the pork industry. According to statistics compiled by Food & Water Watch, a D.C. nonprofit that pushes for policies that support healthy and safe food and drinking water, in 1992 fewer than one third of American hogs were raised on farms with more than 2,000 animals. By 2007, 95 percent of pigs were being brought up on farms with more than 2,000 hogs. The average number of animals on a single hog farm increased from 3,612 in 1997 to 5,144 a decade later.

The result? Abusive practices, massive manure spills and the widespread use of antibiotics to combat new diseases spread through the factory system.

“I had no desire to go in that direction,” Willis says. “It wasn’t humane to raise animals like that.” But while the concept of free-range chickens had already spread by then, not so much for free-range pigs. There was no real market for the kind of pork Willis was producing.

Then he met Bill Niman.

Niman founded Niman Ranch as an 11-acre cattle ranch in the early ’70s, eventually establishing the company as an industry leader in humanely raised beef. A friend hooked Willis up with Niman, who simply instructed, “Send me some pork.” Niman loved what Willis shipped to him, and in February 1995 Willis sent 30 pigs to Niman. And guess what: They sold well.

One hallmark of Niman products is the ability for the end recipient to trace the origin of his or her meat back to the family farm that produced it. For Willis, the experience of knowing how his pigs were slaughtered and how and where they were distributed was a marked change from the system he knew, in which he would simply sell his pigs to the highest bidder.

“I’d just take a load of hogs to Cargill or Hormel and that was the last I ever saw of it,” Willis says. “It went to the great grocery store in the sky.”

Willis knew Iowa neighbors who were also raising their pigs the right way, so he started reaching out to them to connect them with Niman. But it was important to create a universal set of standards for how the hogs would be treated, rules based on a pig’s natural habits. The goal is to “allow the animals to be what they are,” Willis says. But even Willis’ farm wasn’t at first living up to that standard. “We used to clip tails just because everybody did,” he says. That practice, along with using feed loaded with antibiotics, ended quickly.

The Niman pork network has now grown to encompass more than 500 farms. While that sounds enormous, Willis puts the company’s output in perspective. There are more than 8,000 confinement operations in Iowa alone, with a daily kill of 400,000 hogs. Niman produces 3,000 each week.

“It’s still a very special thing,” Willis says.

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A selection of different cuts of Nimen Ranch meat at Morton’s

FIND IT LOCALLY

You can see evidence of that in Southwest Florida. Morton’s Gourmet Market has carried a solid selection of Niman beef for seven years, but no other local store stocks Niman products. Morton’s Head Butcher Adam Lawrence says knowing where his meat comes from is vital.

“I want to know where it comes from. I want to know who touches it.” Niman’s transparency enables Lawrence to do just that.

That’s also what convinced Phelps he needed to start buying from Niman. He had been ordering pork belly from a local purveyor, but when pressed for details on how the pigs were treated, the company couldn’t satisfy Phelps. It’s a dilemma that conscientious chefs around the world are facing more and more frequently: What’s most important? The ethical treatment of animals? Or limiting the amount of carbon burned up getting your pork to your restaurant? Purchasing the highest-quality product? Or supporting farmers in your area?

Transformed by his trip to Iowa, Phelps sided with Niman, and has begun buying the pork belly, bacon, lamb and ground beef on his menu from the company. Niman products cost more, but Phelps has avoided gouging his diners by presenting less-celebrated cuts.

That’s another hallmark of Niman products—using the whole animal, which fits in squarely with Willis’ philosophy of raising pigs the same way they did 100 years ago. Willis has given up hog farming himself, but when he was in the business, it was never about the meat. It was about the animal.

“I wasn’t raising pork chops,” Willis says. “I was raising pigs.”

nimanranch.com

RECIPES

Braised Pork Belly Lo Mein

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SEASONAL RECIPES: PUCKER UP

It’s Lemon Season!

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WORDS AND RECIPES BY ELIZABETH SNIEGOCKI
PHOTOS BY KATHRYN BRASS-PIPER

Winter in Florida is lemon picking time—a seasonal signpost in the land of sunshine. As with other citrus trees, the branches of local lemon trees are hanging heavy with fruit, ready for harvesting. Many of us are lucky enough to have a flavorful bounty growing right in our backyard. If not, Florida lemons are readily available at the market this time of year.

So what to do with the abundance of these refreshing, zingy fruits? Save lemonade for summertime and instead use them to brighten up your winter cooking. Lemons add acid, heightening other flavors and imparting a bright, tangy zip to many dishes. Plus, they are full of vitamin C, fiber, folate, and potassium.

Try squeezing lemon juice on chicken before roasting, or whisking it into a garlicky vinaigrette. Grate lemon zest onto sautéed winter greens, or add it to baked goods for a fresh, flavorful pop. And at their peak of ripeness, lemons can be preserved in their own juice and salt; the resulting edible rinds will add an exotic, lemony flavor to all types of dishes, year round.

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SELECTING AND STORING LEMONS

When picking or buying lemons, look for small, bright yellow fruits with a glossy finish. They should feel firm and heavy for their size. Avoid purchasing lemons with bruises, cuts, or blemishes.

Lemons can be stored on the counter for up to 10 days, or kept in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator,

RECIPES

Preserved Lemons

Honey Meyer Lemon Curd

Caramelized Sea Scallops in Lemon-Butter Sauce

 

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EDIBLE JACKPOT: A CHEF WITH HEART

Planting it Forward

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WORDS BY ABBY WEINGARTEN
PHOTOS BY JENNY ACHESON

Paul Mattison has the creativity of a master chef and the empathy of a father—a combination that makes him one of the area’s most authentic givers.

He is typically known for being the moniker behind the local Mattison’s culinary brand, but when he is not busy being an executive chef/restaurateur, he is working with organizations like All Faiths Food Bank to help feed the hungry.

“Chef Paul has been a loving friend of the Food Bank and a dedicated board member for years,” says Sandra Frank, the CEO of All Faiths Food Bank in Sarasota and DeSoto counties, which distributed more than six million pounds of food to those in need last year. “His concern about the community is absolutely genuine and he gives from the heart. We deeply appreciate his compassion and kindness.”

All Faiths has been a passion project for Mattison for more than two decades. He is also charitably committed to Any Given Child and Florida Winefest & Auction, and he often hosts cooking demonstrations for the area Boys & Girls Clubs, Girls Incorporated of Sarasota County, and Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

A New Yorker and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Mattison made his mark on Sarasota in the early 1990s as the owner/chef of the Summerhouse Restaurant on Siesta Key. In 2001, he co-created the Mattison’s concept, which now includes Mattison’s Catering Company (an in-house and offsite catering enterprise), Mattison’s City Grille (a downtown Sarasota al fresco eatery), Mattison’s Forty-One (an elegant South Sarasota restaurant), Mattison’s Bayside at the Van Wezel (the official caterer for the performing arts hall), and Mattison’s Culinary Adventure Travel (a venture that offers hands-on cooking experiences).

Even with all this multi-tasking, Mattison never makes philanthropy a back-burner item.

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“Someone once said to me, ‘If you need to get something done, ask a busy person,’” Mattison says with a laugh. Much of Mattison’s humanitarian firepower is channeled into annual events for All Faiths, such as Bowls of Hope (he mans the soup stations), the Greenhouse Gala (he cooks with homegrown ingredients), and several volunteer luncheons (he caters them).

“I really love the BackPack Kids Program at All Faiths and their campaign to end summer hunger. You just realize that so many kids in our community may only have a couple of meals at school [every day] and, during the summertime, they have nothing to eat,” Mattison says. “I love working with kids in general, which is how I got involved in doing gardening at schools with the Chefs Move to Schools program. It’s exciting to be able to teach children about nutrition and where food comes from. They’re more apt to try things and stretch out their palate when they see the food grow.”

Digging his hands in the dirt, educating students about the planet and the food industry, and making a lasting impact on the young gives Mattison a sense of soul fulfillment. Being a parent to two young children (ages 3 and 7), Mattison has a personal connection to the concept.

“Being a chef, I naturally enjoy feeding people. But I think, with anything we do in life, we’ve got to look at the next generation and we’ve got to cultivate the young people to replace us,” Mattison says. “As much as I want young people to be healthy because it’s what I have a passion for, I think I’m even more sensitive to it now that I have my own children.”

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Mattison has even presented speeches on corporate philanthropy and how business owners can further their endeavors through this type of giving.

“I really believe in people and getting the best people you can find around you, rolling up your sleeves, and helping people when they need it. I manage to make the time to do things like that that are important,” Mattison says. “I say to business owners, ‘Do something you care about, but if you do, don’t be afraid to use that to grow your business.’ The more successful your business is, the more opportunities you’ll have to get involved in more and give more. That’s what it’s really all about.”

Mattison’s City Grille: 1 N Lemon Ave, Sarasota, 941-330-0440; mattisons.com Mattison’s Forty-One: 7275 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, 941-921-3400; mattisons-forty-one

All Faiths Food Bank: 8171 Blaikie Court, Sarasota, 941-379-6333; allfaithsfoodbank.org

RECIPE

Sweet Potato Streusel

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FRONT OF THE HOUSE: FRIENDLY FACES IN BUSY PLACES

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Left to right: Jim Pollet, Adam Bolduc, Regina Moreira, Ingi Sigurdsson,
Mike Sanchez, Orasa Pitakserichal, Annie Prault-Stone, Michael Patterson, Thai Branton.

WORDS BY MEGAN GREENBERG • PHOTOS BY JENNY ACHESON

“I just like people.”

Such a simple phrase, but one uttered not nearly often enough. In fact, give most people 10 minutes interacting with humanity, and chances are nine out of 10 of them will start Googling ways to move to an isolated island.

That 10th person is probably in the service industry, where talking faces, crowded spaces and busy places are like catnip to a server eager to take part in a conversation about “Why, yes, Arkansas is the best state in America” or “You’re right, it’s never too late to learn to love Brussels sprouts.”

Not all servers are created equal, but the good ones—sigh, the good ones—are a special breed indeed. Their biggest joy? Your joy. And that, folks, is pretty rare.

Perhaps the best tip exchange isn’t the one from our pockets to theirs. Maybe it’s that little reminder-by-example for us to smile at a stranger and enjoy their story as though it was your own.

Let’s meet a few of the folks in our area who “just like people” and aren’t afraid to let it show..

Ingi Sigurdsson
The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota | Lead Bartender

It’s not often you hear an Icelandic man and former Trump Hotel bartender tell you his favorite drink is a daiquiri. “Yeah, but our daiquiri is different. It’s not cloying, sweet or frozen. It’s super simple: white rum, fresh lime juice and simple syrup. And it is so well balanced,” Ingi Sigurdsson declares. Ingi will tell you the daiquiri changed his life and now he’s committed to changing others’ lives through the power of the cocktail. “I get so much pleasure from teaching folks and inspiring them to be as interested as I am,” he says. “I am genuinely interested in creating flavors,” says the former brains behind the bar menu at the Trump Hotel. “There’s no better place than Sarasota and I’d love to bring big city cocktail culture here.”

Michael Patterson
Sardinia | Server

Michael Patterson has been in the restaurant industry since he was 16 years old. In February, he turns 50. That is 34 years of asking folks if they’d like dessert. So, what keeps him coming back? “Everyone is a bit different. You talk about life, where people are from, you learn about other cultures, you learn so much just from talking to people.” More importantly, people want to talk to Michael because he always has a smile on his face. “I have a good time. I’m always in a good mood,” he says. It means the world to Michael that the whole restaurant shares the sentiment. “We want you to feel like you are coming into our home. When people walk in the door, we want them to know we care about what we do. They should leave with a smile and want to come back and see us again.”

Orasa Pitakserichal
Drunken Poet Café | Server

Orasa Pitakserichal is one happy woman. She takes joy in her job and delights in the interactions with her customers. “I love talking to people,” Orasa says in a heavy accent, having moved here only a few years ago from her home in Thailand. “It’s like family here. The owners, the staff, the customers—everybody is so nice. It makes it a very happy place to be.” And who doesn’t want to be in a happy place? Orasa continues that it’s more than the smiles that keep patrons coming back, “Everybody is so pleased when they try the food, and it gives me so much pride. It’s nice to talk with customers and make them feel good. I like to see the customers come and enjoy themselves.”

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Adam Bolduc
Indigenous | Manager

“I love that you never know what’s coming to the door, it’s always different,” says Adam Bolduc, one of this writer’s favorite waiters in town. “You’re constantly surrounded by characters, both coworkers and customers, which keeps it interesting and never dull.” And Adam knows characters: His first job was being a popcorn salesman on Disney’s Main Street in the Magic Kingdom when he was a kid. Nowadays, Adam looks to learning to keep things exciting. “Knowledge means a lot in our industry. Knowing and loving food and beverages is important and allows you to teach the customers. Educating someone gives me the most pride. Take the Brussels sprouts salad, for example. Educating a 60-year-old man on why this dish is different than what his mom used to make, a man who refused to eat them his whole life, and watching him have a new love and appreciation for this vegetable… It makes my day.”

Thai Branton
Tommy Bahama | General Manager

“My mom had a restaurant when I was growing up and I just kind of fell in love with the whole industry,” says Thai Branton. Just like the others in this article, for him making people happy is what it’s all about. “That’s the number one rule here: Make sure the guests leave happy. If you do that, you’ll always have pride in what you do.” Turns out, happiness and pride seem to be the main ingredients in a delicious meal. But, for Branton, it goes beyond pride. “At Tommy Bahama we give service that cares. It’s not just service with a smile, we truly, genuinely care. We find out what our guests’ needs are and we make the effort to accommodate them.”

Jim Pollet
Polo Grill and Bar | Bartender

Jim Pollet has a theory: “When you go out for dinner or drinks,” he hypothesizes, “it’s not about either of those things. Otherwise you’d sit at home with takeout. It’s about an experience. As a bartender, I like reading people and understanding what that experience means to them. You can tell a lot of things about people sitting at a bar, like if they want to be left alone on their first date or if they are snowbirds looking to be entertained. Not everybody is looking for the same experience.” Jim is a master at tailoring an experience. Before Sarasota, Jim learned how to connect with a crowd, big or small, in the nightclubs of Detroit. Although Polo Grill doesn’t need him perfecting his Fireball bottle flipping routine any time soon, it sure doesn’t hurt to have a man who knows his drinks (and knows his drinkers) standing ready behind the bar.

Mike Sanchez
Cafe L’Europe | Waiter Assistant

Mike Sanchez—or Mr. Sanchez, as everybody calls him—came down for the season 40 years ago, picked up a couple of shifts at Cafe L’Europe and never left. He’s a mainstay at the restaurant and guests regularly call to request to be seated in his section. “I take pride in my work and hold myself to high standards,” he explains. “It’s important to remember the customers, to know what they like, how they take their coffee,” he says, adding, “I like to be very in tune to the clientele and their needs.” That kind of attention should be standard operating procedure for every server, but let’s face … Read More

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EDIBLE ENTERTAINING: A ONE PAN PLAN

Kicked Up Casseroles

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WORDS AND RECIPES BY CHARLOTTE ABRAMS
PHOTOS BY KATHRYN BRASS-PIPER

What we know about health and nutrition is always changing. America’s love affair with the casserole, however, is as stable as ever. Casseroles are the busy mom’s secret weapon, the workaholic’s savior from greasy take-out, and the loving grandma’s comfort food. They cheer us up, warm us up, and fill us up. But outdated recipes don’t always keep up with the progress of nutrition, frequently lacking in the vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats we need to feel our best.

I modernized some classic recipes that kick up the time-honored casserole to meet today’s nutrition standards. Comforting, all-in-one meals that don’t require a lot of hands-on cooking and take nutrition into consideration? I’ll take seconds of that!

RECIPES

Thai Tofu and Rice

Caprese Quinoa Bake

Bean & Kale Enchilada Casserole

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EDIBLE CATCH: GULF TO PLATE

The Deadliest Catch in Cortez

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WORDS BY KATHY PRUCNELL • PHOTOS BY PETER ACKER
EDITED BY ABBY WEINGARTEN

On a pelican-filled inlet in Cortez in late November, Travis Lofland is contemplating his next crab season hunt.

A fisherman, chef, TV personality and star of the Discovery Channel’s Emmy Award–winning “Deadliest Catch” reality show, Lofland has spent more than a decade working the world’s most dangerous waters. He is also the co-author of the cookbook Catch! Dangerous Tales and Manly Recipes from the Bering Sea (HarperCollins Christian Publishing, 2012), which he co-wrote with his chef brother, Jason.

But today, Lofland is not in front of a film crew or on a book tour. He is simply in his home city, planning a quest for the area’s freshest crustaceans—the kind with the meatiest claws that he can serve up to his friends.

“For me, it’s all about the adventure,” Lofland says. “I love crab fishing. At the end of the day, it’s a good day to be out there, pull in the crabs, face the adversities and go on to the next.”

Originally from the Bellingham, Wash., area, Lofland attended college in Austin, Texas, hoping to become a pilot. While bartending and looking for ways to earn more money, he stumbled on commercial fishing at a friend’s suggestion. He worked on salmon and squid boats, and then joined the crew of The Wizard in 2002. That ship later appeared in the third-season lineup of “Deadliest Catch.”

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For those unfamiliar with the show, which is now filming its 11th season, it documents a fleet of ships and crewmembers who brave the backbreaking work and bone-chilling waters of the Bering Sea. The ships depart Dutch Harbor, Alaska, in October, to pull in 1,000-pound steel crates with hundreds
of pounds of king crab. They sail again in January for snow crab season. Episodes air in April and June.

Life, for “Deadliest Catch” fishermen like Lofland, is usually tinged with adrenaline. On this particular “hunting” day, though, it’s a bit more laid back. Lofland’s friend, John Banyas, a Cortez captain and the owner of Cortez Bait & Seafood as well as Swordfish Grill, welcomes him aboard his boat, The Boss Lady. This ship is responsible for hauling seafood from area waters to Banyas’ market and restaurant. Banyas and Lofland set out together, navigating the changing tides to find the perfect place to crab.

“It’s going to be a ‘Deadliest Catch’ kind of day,” Banyas says.

Lofland and The Boss Lady’s first mate, 21-year-old Chris Mattes, begin their pursuit of dinner with “Deadliest Catch” intensity, not missing a pot or a pull in Tampa Bay near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Lofland separates out crabs with claws of legal size (at least 2¾ inches in length). He then refills the pots with a cut mullet and a pig’s foot as bait. From the separated crabs, Lofland breaks off the legal-sized claws and returns the crabs where they were caught, to regenerate their claws (a sustainable practice).

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“That is the most pissed off crab I’ve ever met in my life,” says Lofland, pointing at one not-so-friendly crustacean in the catch.

Asked to compare his first stone-crabbing experience to crabbing on the high seas, he says, “Everything’s pretty much the same. It’s just on a smaller scale. They’ve got the same pinch.”

After two hours in the bay, The Boss Lady turns back with 20 pounds of crab claws from 200 pots. Back at the dock, the catch is poured into a crab cooker behind the fish house, where it steams for 15 minutes, is removed and immediately iced.

The Swordfish Grill staff readies the other ingredients, most of which come from Sunfresh Produce of Englewood, for Lofland’s recipes.

Manager Tara Meyer sets the patio tables with wildflowers. At sunset, an unusual fog rolls in and Lofland stations himself at the grill. The menu is a feast from his cookbook.

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To start, Lofland loads the grill with crab poppers. Guests marvel at the first sweet taste of the crab, the cheeses that melt evenly around it and the surprisingly mild jalapeños.

Lofland then prepares a chilled crab club with vanilla aioli. Next off the grill are colorful veggie kabobs and shimmering asparagus stalks with lime vinaigrette.

Lofland’s last dish is fresh, local grouper, which substitutes seamlessly into Catch!’s reckless red salmon recipe. A coconut and lime slaw offers a slightly sweet tang with a grilled-to-perfection fillet. For dessert, Lofland serves strawberries and balsamic tar—perfectly bold, with fresh Florida strawberries.

In Catch!, Lofland describes the pairing of the strawberries and salmon, when first serving it to his Tampa friends, as “unbelievable.”

Much like Lofland’s adventurous Cortez life, it is.

Catch! Dangerous Tales and Manly Recipes from the Bering Sea is available at Island Fresh Market: 5604 Marina Dr, Holmes Beach; 941-567-6130. Anna Maria Accommodations: 315 Pine Ave, Anna Maria; 941-779-0733; and online at amazon.com.

FISHING GUIDE

RECIPE

Crab Poppers

 

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EDIBLE TRAVELS: FARMERS’ MARKET FINDS

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WORDS BY KATE WIGHT
PHOTOS BY JENNY ACHESON

NATURE’S PARTNER

Vendors come and go at farmers’ markets, but Nature’s Partner has been providing organic produce, homegrown herbs, local honey, and much more since the inception of the downtown Sarasota Farmers’ Market in 1979. Peter Burkard knows everything there is to know about his products. You’ll be amazed by his knowledge and level of experience as well as his delicious, fresh produce.

sarasotafarmersmarket.org

TANYA’S TOASTED OATS

Who says healthy food has to be boring? Tanya Brown and DeLisa Drake believe that granola can be as decadent and luxurious as any other tasty treat. They use organic coconut and sunflower oil and eschew flour, white sugar, and other healthy fillers in crafting tasty flavors like Maple Crunch, Cocoa Banana Crunch, German Chocolate Sin, and more.

tanyastoastedoatsgranola.com

GREEN GARDEN CHEF

When you complete a transaction at a grocery store, your relationship there is complete. When you shop at Green Garden Chef’s stand at the Bradenton Farmers’ Market, your relationship has just begun. Camille Van Sant has been growing her own organic produce and cooking it for over three decades. Now, she shares not just her produce, but her expertise.

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MAGNI’S MUNCHIES

You shop organic and local in order to make sure you and your children eat as well as possible. Why not do the same for your pets? Pick up some Magni’s Munchies at the downtown Sarasota Farmers’ Market? Your furry, four-legged family members will adore 100% all-natural USDA-approved treats made from human-grade ingredients. The wheat-free sugar-free treats come in delectable flavors like pumpkin, ginger snap, and peanut butter oat. You may be tempted to eat them yourself, but remember: Dogs deserve good food, too.

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LOU’S BONSAI

Planting can be intimidating to the novice gardener. But for fans of foliage from the Far East, Lou’s Bonsai Nursery offers a full-time, all-inclusive support system. They’ll find the perfect plant for you and be on call to talk you through the fertilizing and growing process whenever you need them. They also offer group bonsai lessons through the downtown Sarasota Farmers’ Market. Whether you need a whole bonsai garden or a single plant for workplace Zen, Lou’s Bonsai Nursery can help you out.

lousbonsai.biz

POSITIVELY ALOE

If you’ve spent any time in the Florida sun, you’ve probably learned that aloe vera can soothe a sunburn. But research has shown aloe can also have a positive effect on everything from the digestive tract to the immune system to your blood sugar. Julie Nickerson of Positively Aloe believes so firmly in its healing properties, she’s developed a skin care line to harness its restorative properties. Visit her at the Bradenton Farmers’ Market to learn more.

positivelyaloe.com

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FARMERS’ MARKETS

Let’s plant our dreams in this garden and
entwine ourselves like vines.
—Unknown

BOCA GRANDE

Boca Grande Farmers’ Market
305 Wheeler Rd
Friday 9:30am- 1:30pm
October-April
Bocagrandefarmersmarket.com

BRADENTON

Bradenton Farmers’ Market
Old Main St (12th St W)
Saturday 9am–2pm
October–May
bradentonfarmersmarket.com

Bridge Street Market
Historic Bridge St
Sunday 10am–3pm
November–April
bridgestreetmerchants.com

ELLENTON

Ellenton Farmers’ Market
6750 US 301(Rocky Bluff Library)
Saturday 9am–2pm
Year Round

Ellenton Sunday Market
5309 29th St E (Ice & Sports Complex)
Sunday 8am-2pm

ENGLEWOOD

Dearborn Street Market
348 W Dearborn St
Thursday 9am-2pm
October- April

Englewood Farmers’ Market
Historic Dearborn St
Thursday 9am–2pm
October–May
englewoodfarmersmarket.org

NORTH PORT

North Port Farmers’/Craft Market
14942 Tamiami Tr
Saturday 8am–2pm
Year Round
northportfarmerscraftmarket.com

PUNTA GORDA

Punta Gorda Farmers’ Market
Taylor St
Saturday 8am–1pm
Year Round

SARASOTA

Central Sarasota Farmers’ Market
4748 S Beneva Rd
Saturday 8am- 1pm
Year Round
centralsarasotafarmersmarket.com

Old Miakka Farmers’ Market
Old Miakka United Methodist Church
1620 Myakka Rd, Sarasota
Saturday 10am–2pm
Year Round

Phillippi Farmhouse Market
Phillippi Estate Park
Wednesday 9am–2pm
October–April
farmhousemarket.org

Sarasota Farmers’ Market
Main St & Lemon Ave
Saturday 7am–1pm
Year Round
sarasotafarmersmarket.org

Siesta Key Farmers’ Market
5124 Ocean Blvd
Sunday 8am–2pm
Year Round
siestafarmersmarket.com

The Market at Five Points
First St & N Pineapple Ave
( Five Points Park)
Wednesday 10am-2pm
November-April
sarasotafarmersmarket.org

VENICE

Venice Farmers’ Market
Nokomis & Tampa Ave.
Saturday 8am–12pm
Year Round
thevenicefarmersmarket.com

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FROM THE GOOD EARTH: DITCHIN’ THE DIRT

Sweetgrass Farms

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Seasonal strawberries ready for the pickin’

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Owners Jim and Kathy Demler

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Seedlings ready to be planted

WORDS BY RANDI DONAHUE
PHOTOS BY JENNY ACHESON

At the end of a dirt road, just north of University Parkway and east of Washington Boulevard, nestled between urban sprawl and dilapidated housing, lies an oasis where beautiful, vegetables, herbs, and seasonal fruits grow year-round.

Owners Jim and Kathy Demler call their hydroponic oasis “the farm of the future.” Sweetgrass Farms could be better described as a mouthwatering boutique.

Anyone stepping foot on the six-acre hydroponic farm has the opportunity to gain something from their experience, starting with the encouragement to customers to go beyond the farm stand.

“A customer can come in, look around and see what we have on display [at the stand], but we’ll also walk them around and educate them,” says Farm Manager Jose Torres.

Sweetgrass debunks common preconceived notions about hydroponic edibles. On the open-air farm, bees and dragonflies abound, chickens (and a lone turkey) are right at home, and the produce is as flavorful as can be.

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Ripe eggplant

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Veggies grown in Verti-Gro hydroponic nursery

“We are doing this because we are
passionate about it and we believe in it, and
we felt like this was given to us to do”

While some struggle with the idea of produce grown without being rooted in earth, hydroponics are gaining traction as a solution to soil depletion caused by conventional farming. As a nod to that notion, the Demlers chose an abstract bird for their logo, representing that methods of farming should be seen from a different points of view.

“The hydroponic movement was focused on saving ground, saving water, and growing things even healthier than organic,” says Jim, a practicing physician.

Sweetgrass broke ground last January, planted its first crops in May, and plan to host its’ official grand opening this January. The yield has already been plentiful, consistently offering a large variety of nutritious goodies, including various herbs, lettuces, beets, radishes, tomatoes, kale, beans, eggplant, herbs, onion, squash, and strawberries. Thousands of other non–genetically modified and organic seedlings are at various stages on deck to be planted, and they constantly experiment with new varieties (currently heirloom cherry tomatoes).

The Demlers say Sweetgrass’ quick success is thanks to the dedication of the team, which includes Jose Torres, Project Manager Sarah Morgan, and a team of five farmhands.

“Our passion is your produce,” says Sarah, who is invested in every aspect of the farm’s success.

Sweetgrass uses the Verti-Gro hydroponic system created in the ’70s by friend and Sweetgrass design consultant Tim Carpenter. Thanks to a timer-controlled drip system, the hydroponic nursery uses 90 percent less water than a conventional farm, and its vertical design offers six-to-eight times more yield in 80 percent less space. The plants are fed and watered three to four times a day, using filtered water from an on-site well. Before it reaches the plants, the water is injected with a scientifically formulated food solution containing all the nutrients the plant needs to thrive.

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Top: Jose Torres tasting some of the herbs; Bottom: A zucchini ready to blossom

“We feed [each] plant what it needs so the plant does what it is designed to do,” says Jim.

Because the plants don’t have to seek nutrients from the ground, their root systems stay compact, allowing each to thrive in a small insulated space and keep its energy focused on production.

Sweetgrass is not certified organic (such certification does not yet exist for hydroponics), but the use of ground coconut coir instead of soil eliminates the need for harsh chemicals for pest management and keeps the produce very clean.

“If you don’t have soil, you don’t have soil pathogens,” says Jim. “If you don’t have the pathogens, you don’t need dangerous pesticides.

If you don’t have dirt, you don’t have weeds. If you don’t have weeds you don’t need herbicides.”

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Project manager Sarah Morgan and Kathy Demler in the chicken coop

When the plants do face airborne predators and pathogens, Sweetgrass applies a limited amount of safe, organic pesticides, such as orange oil and copper spray.

Sweetgrass plans to grow year-round, even when most local farms have shut down in the summer. They’ve proven they can survive the heat, with a successful corn harvest despite last summer’s record highs.

Sweetgrass has already formed some strong partnerships with local restaurants, including Maison Blanche, Cafe L’Europe, and Mattison’s, hosting events, but intend to maintain focus and close connection with the end-user through sale of harvest boxes filled with a variety of the fresh selections from the week.

The farm stand, open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, also offers a la carte items priced by the pound. But even though there are set hours, Jose says as long as the gates are open and staff is available, they’ll cater to customers.

In December, Sweetgrass started offering U-pick strawberries each Saturday, set to continue through May. They’ll also keep hosting handcrafted events, most notably a first-come-first-served nomadic plate—or pop-up restaurant—in partnership with the USF Culinary Lab. These meals, which are popular in Europe, offer limited seating and are announced and promoted through the website and social media.

“Each [nomadic plate event] will be hosted in an interesting location, with our produce and their chefs,” says Kathy, who seeks every opportunity to use her background as a teacher to educate both children and adults.

Although the Demlers never planned to own a farm, the produce that is thriving and the vibe they’ve created at Sweetgrass Farms is a clear representation of how they are “following their bliss.”

“We are doing this because we are passionate about it and we believe in it, and we felt like this was given to us to do,” says Kathy.

sweetgrassfarms.com

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IN THE KITCHEN: ON THE GRID

Beyond the Basic Waffle

waffleDonuts

WORDS AND RECIPES BY ELIZABETH SNIEGOCKI
PHOTOS BY KATHRYN BRASS-PIPER

A few years ago, I got a waffle iron for Mother’s Day. And I do love it. Many a slow weekend morning has been graced with fresh-from-the-griddle waffles. Buttermilk, blueberry, sourdough,
and pumpkin are favorites.

Recently, however, a slow weekend morning spent surfing Pinterest revealed that this nifty little appliance can cook oh-so-much more. As it turns out, I have been severely limiting my waffle iron’s culinary potential! From hash browns, to macaroni and cheese, to cookies—the foods you can griddle up on a waffle maker may only be limited by the imagination.

So as of late, my waffle maker has been in regular rotation in the kitchen, cooking up a variety of sweet treats and savory dishes. I’ve learned the magic of this machine lies in its ability to simultaneously cook both sides of whatever you put on the grid, creating a crispy outside and a moist and airy inside that no longer belongs to waffles alone!

RECIPES

Waffle Doughnuts

Crab Cake Waffles

Spinach & Mushroom Waffle Quesadillas

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WORTH THE TRIP: TAKE A PEEK

Village of the Arts

worthTripTakePeek
A view into Bonnie Bakes

WORDS BY COOPER LEVEY-BAKER
PHOTOS BY KATHRYN BRASS-PIPER

You know you’ve arrived at Village of the Arts when the houses turn into rainbows. In sharp contrast to the muted Med-Rev tones common in so many other Suncoast neighborhoods, the homes in this Bradenton community are brazenly colored. Fuchsia, magenta, turquoise, malachite, chartreuse … they’re all well-represented on the Village’s walls and trim.

What’s inside those aggressively hued cottages?

Like the name says, the arts. The Village is home to any number of galleries and knick-knack shops, music stores, and clothing boutiques. All that browsing is bound to make you thirsty, and hungry.

To cure the former, sip a brew at Motorworks Brewing on the eastern edge of the neighborhood. For the latter, visit any—or all—of the spots listed here.

SUGAR CUBED

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Pastries made fresh at Sugar Cubed

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Fresh- made buns at Sugar Cubed

This is where Villagers start their day. The combination bakery and coffee shop opened up last July, the culmination of 15 years of baking work put in by owner and chef Dana Johnson. Before Sugar Cubed, Johnson owned a catering company and taught at Manatee Technical Institute. But when a small cottage property opened up in the Village, Johnson couldn’t resist the idea of opening his own storefront.

“If you’re going to work, you might as well work for yourself,” he says.

Sugar Cubed offers eight kinds of bread, plus a bevy of pastries and desserts, drip coffee and espresso concoctions. Having his own space means Johnson is free to experiment, and the fruits of all that trial-and-error is evident in his exceptional sweets. A “Mexican hot chocolate” brownie delivers a zesty dose of cayenne, while a s’mores cake is topped with a crust of burnt marshmallow. Marvelous.

Another thing Johnson is excited about: collaboration. He’s worked with the Bradenton pickling operation Sunshine Canning to pair local mustard with his bread, and has used grains from the nearby Darwin Brewing Co. to bake. Bradenton, and the Village of the Arts in particular, is a community he’s happy to be a part of: “I see this area as the next big thing.”

Sugar Cubed: 1506 13th St W, Bradenton; 941-807-4390; savoryscenes.com

ORTYGIA

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Torta di Carciofi prepared daily at Ortygia

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Chef & owner Gaetano Cannata

What separates Gaetano Cannata from most other chefs is his exquisite knowledge of history and its impact on food. A 15-minute conversation quickly slides into a primer on the cuisine of the “monsù,” the title given to French-trained Sicilian chefs who for centuries blended Gallic techniques with the delectable ingredients of their native island. “Monsù” is in fact a corruption of the French title “monsieur.”

But France wasn’t the only outside nation to deeply affect the cooking of Sicily. The Greeks ruled the island, as did North Africans, and you can taste notes of their reign even today. Sicilian dishes are just as likely to contain raisins or cocoa powder as garlic, and there’s a peppery zip to the island’s food that you don’t find at higher latitudes.

Cannata says that nine years after opening he’s still fighting stereotypes about Italian cuisine.

You won’t find veal parm or clam sauce on his menu. You will find an artichoke torta, roasted fennel, and even the incredible timballo, a huge dome of pasta cut into wedges. Cannata takes pleasure in defying diners’ expectations.

“I always try to get people to eat stuff they’ve never had before,” he says.

As long as it tastes good, which is pretty much always, nobody will complain. Cannata says business just gets better year after year, in part a reflection of Americans’ more adventurous habits. When he moved to Bradenton 25 years ago, Olive Garden was considered the best Italian food around.

“If I tried to do this 15 years ago,” Cannata says, “I probably would have failed.”

Ortygia: 1418 13th St W, Bradenton; 941-741-8646; ortygiarestaurant.com

BONNI BAKES

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Chocolate cookies from Bonnie Bakes

Don’t just stroll up to Bonni Bakes expecting to pick up some sweets. Bonni Brown’s kitchen isn’t just where she sells her magnificent cookies, knishes, breadsticks and more—it’s also where she lives.

For 12 years, Brown ran a combination bakery and café along 12th Street, but she eventually decided to scale back. Now she advertises online and sells her goods to a select clientele weekly.

The system works like this: Every Monday night, Brown posts on her blog with photos and descriptions of what she’s been whipping up. Then the emails start to roll in. “It’s amazing how many people are up in the middle of the night,” she says.

By end of day Wednesday, her customers have placed their orders, and Brown starts baking en masse. On Friday, between 1 and 5, those who have ordered can snatch their items. The system allows Brown to control the amount she bakes each week. Knowing ahead of time exactly how many bialys she’s sold, she won’t waste any by overestimating demand.

That personal connection to her customers also feeds her imagination. One contact asked her if she knew how to make “Chicago bacon buns,” a Lithuanian treat. Brown had never heard of them, but gave it a go. The customer loved them, and Brown enjoyed doing the research: “I do like playing in flour.”

Bonni Bakes: 932 12th St W, Bradenton; 941-746-6647; bonnibakesbrooklyn.blogspot.com

ARTS & EATS

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Black & white sesame crusted grouper with bok choy, rice, hoisin, and sesame sauces at Arts and Eats

Chef Jim Copening had worked in a number of well-regarded New York City restaurants like Mario Batali’s Esca and Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain, but he always dreamed of becoming a chef. When he and partner Donna Slawsky discovered the Village of the Arts in 2009, they fell in love with the neighborhood, and realized they could afford to buy a standalone cottage to open a restaurant.

After months of renovations, the space was ready, and Arts & Eats opened in September 2012.

In New York, Copening and Slawsky tasted a huge sampling of the world’s cuisine, eating in Asian enclaves like Little India in Jackson Heights and Koreatown in Flushing, and those influences are what shape today’s Arts & Eats menu. Like a lamb shank served with couscous, yogurt, harissa, pomegranate, rose, and mint in a tagine made by a neighborhood crafter.

Or what Slawsky calls Copening’s “signature dish”: the “Asian sampler,” loaded with mushroom spring rolls, bok choy, lotus root chips, sesame noodles, and sweet potato dumplings. It’s a buffet of flavor that doubles as a perfect introduction to what Arts & Eats is all about.

Copening and Slawsky both worked as musicians in New York, too, and the restaurant includes a small space for soft live music. You might even catch Copening on bass.

“Jim and I had a dream and our dream took years to come to fruition,” Slawsky says. “When people come in, they’re sharing that dream with us.”

Arts & Eats: 1114 12th St W, Bradenton; 941-201-6647; artsandeatsfl.com

RETROBAKED

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Gluten-free cupcakes at Retrobaked

The front room at Retrobaked hardly looks like a bakery—more like a midcentury display room, which in fact it is. Retrobaked owner Rachel Sokolewicz collects and … Read More

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SMALL BITES WINTER 2015

ANGERS DELI

smallBitesAngers

WORDS BY VANESSA CACERES • PHOTO BY CHAD SPENCER

Talk about purpose-driven eating.

Angers Deli in Sarasota—a longtime landmark with famous “two-handed sandwiches”—doesn’t just fill your belly when you visit. It also gives you the chance to support those less fortunate around the world.

The small, square building on North Lime Avenue that houses Angers Deli was once a grocery store and a pharmacy. In the late 1970s, two brothers with the last name Anger opened a sandwich shop there. After several changes of ownership in the late 2000s, the deli was purchased by Pastor Jim Minor of Harvest Tabernacle, located right beside the Angers Deli building.

Harvest Tabernacle has a special focus on serving the underserved. They also operate Harvest House, which provides housing for the homeless as well as drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

“We said if we were going to buy it, it would have to be for a purpose,” says Jonathan Minor, Pastor Minor’s son, who manages Angers Deli and helps to operate Harvest House.

The Minor family decided to use the profits from Angers Deli to support Restoration Ranch, which offers once-abandoned or orphaned children in the Dominican Republic a place to call home. Restoration Ranch is operated by the Minors’ longtime friends Danny and Denise Stone. Restoration Ranch is located on a 20-acre mango farm in Peravia, Dominican Republic. Restaurant profits also support Iris Global, a Mozambique-based charitable group that feeds the hungry.

When you eat at Angers Deli, you can get a concrete sense of how your next meal helps those who are less fortunate. There are beautiful photos on the wall taken by Tabernacle Harvest Associate Pastor Dan Minor (another of Pastor Minor’s sons) that showcase Restoration Ranch and the work of Iris Global. Under each sign, there are statements such as “Digging a well = 5 catered events this year” and “Furnish a room = 5 sandwiches a week.”

Amongst the charitable focus, there’s also the appeal of the food at Angers Deli. Jonathan Minor said some of their most famous sandwiches include the meatball sub, the hot pastrami, the Italian sausage, and the reuben. Pastor Minor makes homemade meatballs, and there’s also homemade cheese, pasta salad or a potato salad. You can get some sandwiches in regular size or “two-handed.” There are wraps, salad bowls, and fresh-squeezed lemonade.

ABC 7’s culinary director Judi Gallagher provides baked goods like brownies to sell at Angers and has provided a wealth of helpful advice to keep the operation running smoothly, says Jonathan Minor.

Many of the customers at Angers Deli are regulars. In fact, some visited Angers as children with family and now continue the tradition, says Jonathan Minor.

“Customers love it here. Some people have literally been coming here for 30 years,” he says.

Angers Garden Deli: 243 N Lime Ave; 941-365-2696

EASTER SEALS

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WORDS BY ABBY WEINGARTEN • PHOTOS BY DANIEL PERALES

Inside a dilapidated shade house, staff members at Easter Seals Southwest Florida began cultivating their own flowers and vegetables five years ago. This humble gardening practice evolved into the flourishing program that is now the VIP Academy and Academy Farms—a horticultural resource for students as well as a bona fide produce supplier for area restaurants.

Exceptional people grow the crops at the Easter Seals facility on Braden Avenue in Sarasota. Locales like Soma Creekside Restaurant, Arts & Eats Restaurant and Gallery, and Ortygia Italian Restaurant in Bradenton use them in their menus. It epitomizes the concept of green, local synergy.

“The creation of Academy Farms has allowed us to involve our students in an enterprise that allows them to learn—in a hands-on way—how to start something, nurture it and see it through to completion,” says Don Herndon Jr., the program’s founder and director. “The skills that they learn by doing this are transferrable to just about any life situation or job.”

As a nonprofit organization, Easter Seals provides empowering initiatives for people with disabilities and their families. When Herndon created Academy Farms, he envisioned a sustainable, certified-organic farm that would generate additional revenue for the typically all-donation-funded organization.

The physical, fresh-air activity of gardening is also therapeutic for students with special needs. Adults in Easter Seals’ Life Skills Program and children from Sarasota’s Lily School for Child Development can learn about nutrition, biology, ecology, and the economics of food production in the Academy’s curriculum.

“I am grateful for and humbled by this opportunity to work with our students and consumers on such a worthy project as Academy Farms. The students love working outdoors and learning about all the different aspects of farming,” says teacher assistant Pam Luersen. “They have had unforgettable experiences with nature and have especially relished dining at the fine establishments that are using our organic herbs.”

Academy Farms has undergone several renovations since its inception, including the addition of four 4- by 28-foot raised garden beds with wheelchair-accessible spaces between them. Today, the facilities hold two 14- by 45-foot greenhouses and two hoop houses. Students grow 22 varieties of fruits and vegetables, including corn, tomato, celery, onions, collards, cantaloupe, berries and several organic herbs.

“I like delivering the herbs to the chefs and making sure that we only bag up good herbs,” says one of the Academy Farms students, Amanda. “I like meeting new people and being out in the environment.” Herndon, every day, is literally watching seedlings turn into blossoms.

Easter Seals Southwest Florida: 350 Braden Ave, Sarasota, 941-355-7637; easterseals-swfl.org

CROP JUICE

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WORDS BY ABBY WEINGARTEN • PHOTOS BY DANIEL PERALES

With a nursing degree and decades of health-based teaching experience under her belt, Karen Odierna has been—by most standards—a nutrition expert for most of her life. But she didn’t fully feel like one until a couple of years ago, when she bought a Norwalk cold-press juicer—a tool that would turn everything she thought she knew about wellness upside-down.

This shift began in the spring of 2013, after one of Odierna’s friends (a breast cancer survivor) introduced her to raw, organic juicing,

and suggested she invest in a $2,500 hydraulic machine. Odierna was mind-blown by how the new dietary method upped her energy and decreased her sugar cravings. She became a juicing zealot. She was compelled to share her epiphany with the world.

Thus began her business, CROPJuice (an acronym for Cold, Raw, Organic, Pressed Juice), which now boasts a 1-year-old storefront in Sarasota’s Gulf Gate neighborhood.

“I’ve always been into health and fitness, but since I used to spend so much time at the gym, I didn’t really give my diet much thought,” Odierna says. “I now know that feeling good is not just about exercising.

We feel the best and function at optimal levels when we complement an already healthy lifestyle with the consumption of raw juice.”

Odierna also feels best when she juices with produce from area sources such as Sweetgrass Farms, Aloe Organics, and Jessica’s Organic Farmstand.

“We either purchase directly from the farm and pick it up, or they deliver to our store on a weekly or bi-weekly basis,” Odierna says. “We are also blessed when Rhona from the Yellow Submarine Co-Op brings us leafy greens from Jessica’s every Wednesday to set up produce baskets.”

Sarasota’s Global Organic Specialty … Read More

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT WINTER 2015

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Five years have passed since I sat down to write the first editor’s letter for the inaugural issue of Edible Sarasota magazine. I felt a mix of excitement and anxiety as I embarked on this new publishing journey—a lifelong dream of mine and one of the biggest leaps I have ever taken.

At the time, the country was in the middle of an economic recession, and many people said it was the wrong time to invest in a print magazine. But something inside me didn’t want to heed the warnings. I followed my instincts, took the plunge, and the next five years became some of the best of my life. They changed me. The Edible community changed me.

We have now shared 16 seasons together and I am absolutely certain that Edible Sarasota was the best investment I could ever have made. Our community was ready for an Edible magazine of its own, and the interest in us caught on faster than we had imagined. Farmers, food producers, chefs, educators and farmers’ markets quickly took notice. Readers began contacting us. We were so warmly welcomed.

I remember when the first magazine shipment of 20,000 copies (maybe a little too ambitious) was delivered to my garage. Watching that big truck pull into our small subdivision has since become a family ritual. The members of the Freeman family (four of us who happen to be neighbors) collectively publish Edible Sarasota, and the entire Edible community affectionately refers to us as “Team Freeman.” Our dynamic is pretty special, I think, and working together has brought us closer as a family.

Since the early days of Edible Sarasota, the magazine—and the community it has reached—has grown and changed in so many ways. There is more awareness about why we should care about where our food comes from, and how it directly affects our health and the future of our planet. There is more sustainably and locally produced food at our farmers’ markets, grocery stores and restaurants. The magazine has become a tool that food producers have used for connecting with each other, whether it is to source an ingredient or to find kitchen space to share.

This experience has been a stimulating, challenging and rewarding ride—always delicious and, thanks to our incredible team, a lot of fun. The people who deliver the content for each issue are dedicated, talented and fueled by true passion and integrity. My admiration and respect for them is limitless, and it has been an honor and privilege to work beside them.

A heartfelt thank you also goes out to our advertising partners, whose commitment to our work helps us produce the stories that define our local food shed. We are looking forward to more partnerships and events together in the future. And speaking of collaborations, be sure to look in this issue for our first-ever local fishing guide! Presented by Visit Sarasota County and Charlotte County, this guide clues you in on the top fishing spots, what to catch, and where to launch a kayak and charter boats on the Suncoast. I must say, having grown up in Canada, it’s nice to be able to fish in winter without having to drill a hole in a sheet of ice.

I’m so blessed to be here in Florida, to be an Edible publisher, to help showcase this magnificent community and its delicious food, and to say, five years later … we did it!

From our family to yours, thank you and Happy New Year!

Tracy Freeman (one-fourth of the amazing Team Freeman)

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ADVERTISER INDEX WINTER 2015

Our hearty thanks to all of our advertisers for their continued support in helping to grow and sustain Edible Sarasota. Please make a point of supporting these businesses and organizations.

AUTOMOBILES SALES/SERVICE

Suncoast Motorsports
5005 S Tamiami Trl
Sarasota
941-923-1700
sunsetautogroup.com

BAKERIES

C’est la Vie
1553 Main St
Sarasota
941-906-9575
cestlaviesarasota.com

Heavenly Cupcakes
6538 Gateway Ave
Sarasota
941-922-0024
myheavenlycupcakes.com

EVENTS

Forks and Corks
dineoriginal.com/forksandcorks

HospitaBull Evening
usfsm.edu/hospitabull

Tour De Cure
tour.diabetes.org

FARMS/ FARM BUREAU

White Oak Pastures
Po Box 98
22775 Highway 27
Bluffton GA
229-641-2081
whiteoakpastures.com

FARMERS’ MARKETS

Central Sarasota Farmers’ Market
4748 S Beneva Rd
Sarasota
centralsarasotafarmersmarket.com

Phillippi Farmhouse Market
5500 S Tamiami Trl
Sarasota
941-316-1309
farmhousemarket.org

Sarasota Farmers’ Market
Main St & Lemon Ave
Sarasota
941-225-9256
sarasotafarmersmarket.org

FITNESS

Studio South Fitness
711 S Osprey Ave #1
Sarasota
941-365-4584
studiosouthfitness.com

HAIR SALONS AND SPAS

Cutting Loose Salon
8429 Honore Ave
Sarasota
941-358-6000
cuttingloose.net

Cutting Loose Salon
1950 Main St
Sarasota
941-365-5586
cuttingloose.net

Cutting Loose Salon
5820 Ranch Lake Blvd #112
Lakewood Ranch
941-404-7100
cuttingloose.net

HOTELS

The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota
1111 Ritz Carlton Dr
Sarasota
941-309-2000
ritzcarlton.com/Sarasota

MEDIA

ABC7
1477 10th St
Sarasota
941-552-0777
mysuncoast.com

NON PROFIT

The Sarasota Manatee Originals
freshoriginals.com

RESTAURANTS

Beach Bistro
6600 Gulf Dr
Holmes Beach
941-778-6444
beachbistro.com

Beachhouse Restaurant
200 Gulf Dr
Bradenton Beach
941-779-2222
beachhouse.groupersandwich.com

Bijou Cafe
1287 1st St
Sarasota
941-366-8111
bijoucafe.net

Blue Marlin
121 Bridge St
Anna Maria Island
941-896-9737
bluemarlinami.com

Big Water Fish Market
6641 Midnight Pass Rd
Sarasota
941-554-8101
bigwaterfishmarket.com

Chutney’s
1944 Hillview St
Sarasota
941-954-4444
chutneysetc.com

Drunken Poet Café
1572 Main St
Sarasota
941-955-8404
drunkenpoetsarasota.com

Eat Here Anna Maria Island
5315 Gulf Dr
Anna Maria Island
941-778-0411
eathere-ami.com

Eat Here Siesta Key
240 Avenida Madera
Sarasota
941-346-7800
eatheresiestakey.com

Fins at Sharky’s
1600 Harbor Dr S
Venice
941-999-3467
finsatsharkys.com

Indigenous
239 S Links Ave
Sarasota
941-706-4740
indigenoussarasota.com

Jack Dusty
1111 Ritz Carlton Dr
Sarasota
941-309-2000
jackdusty.com

Javier’s Restaurant
6621 Midnight Pass Rd
Sarasota
941-349-1792
javiersrestaurant.com

Louies Modern
1289 N Palm Ave
Sarasota
941-552-9688
louiesmodern.com

Lolita Tartine
1419 5th St
Sarasota
941-952-3172
lolitatartine.com

Madfish Grill
4059 Cattleman Rd
Sarasota
941-377-3474
madfishgrill.com

Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant
760 Broadway St N
Longboat Key
941-383-2391
marvista.groupersandwich.com

Marker 4
509 N Tamiami Trl
Venice
941-786-3291
marker4.com

Mattison’s Bayside
777 N Tamiami Trl
Sarasota
941-921-3400
mattisons.com

Mattison’s City Grille
1 N Lemon Ave
Sarasota
941-330-0440
mattisons.com

Mattison’s Forty One
7275 S Tamiami Trl
Sarasota
941-921-3400
mattisons.com

Michael’s on East
1212 East Ave
Sarasota
941-366-0007
michaelsoneast.com

Painters Palate
2801 N Tamiami Trl
Sarasota
941-355-4620
facebook.com/pages/painterspalate

Polo Grill & Bar
10670 Boardwalk Lp
Lakewood Ranch
941-782-0899
pologrillandbar.com

Polpo Pizza Co
6200 Clark Center Ave
Sarasota
facebook.com/polpopizzaco

Sam Sneads
1830 S Osprey Ave
Sarasota
941-906-7771
samsneadssarasota.com

Sandbar Waterfront Restaurant
100 Spring Ave
Anna Maria Island
941-778-0444
sandbar.groupersandwich.com

Siesta Key Oyster Bar
5238 Ocean Blvd
Sarasota
941-346-5443
skob.com

Station 400
400 N Lamon Ave
Sarasota
941-906-1400
station400.com

Station 400 Lakewood Ranch
8215 Lakewood Ranch Main St #P103
Lakewood Ranch
941-907-0648
station400.com

Square 1 Burgers & Bar
1737 S Tamiami Trl
Sarasota
941-870-8111
square1burgers.com

Square 1 Burgers & Bar
5239 University Pkwy
Sarasota
941-359-0001
square1burgers.com

Tin Fish
935 N Beneva Rd #601
Sarasota
941-953-6356
tinfishsarasota.com

SKIN CARE

PH Botanical
537 S Pineapple Ave
Sarasota
941-444-7180
phbotanical.com

Renata’s Face & Body
4067 S Tamiami Trl
Sarasota
941-586-6325

SCHOOLS & INSTRUCTION

Keiser University
888-635-3516
kuculinaryarts.com

SPECIALTY GROCERS

Artisan Cheese Company
1310 Main St
Sarasota
941-951-7860
artisancheesecompany.com

Detwiler’s Farm Market
6000 Palmer Blvd
Sarasota
941-378-2727
detwilermarket.com

The Butcher’s Block
3242 17th St
Sarasota
941-955-2822
thebutchersblocksite.com

Whole Foods Market
1451 1st St
Sarasota
941-955-8500
wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/sarasota

SPECIALTY FOOD PRODUCTS

Beagle Bay Organics
4501 Manatee Ave W #105
Bradenton
beaglebayorganics.com

Sapore Della Vita
941-914-4256
saporedellavita.com

The Spice & Tea Exchange
345 St Armands Cir
Sarasota
941-301-7629
spiceandtea.com

VerTerra
320 W 37th St, 5th Fl
New York, NY
verterra.com

Vino Loco Wine & Gourmet Bottle Shop
420 W Dearborn St
Englewood
941-473-8466
vinolocowine.com

TOURISM

Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands
18500 Murdock Cir
Port Charlotte
941-743-1900
charlotteharbortravel.com

Visit Sarasota County
1777 Main St #302
Sarasota
941-955-0991
visitsarasota.org

WHOLESALE FOOD SOURCE

Global Organic Specialty Source
6284 McIntosh Rd
Sarasota
941-358-6555
globalorganics.ws

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Turkey Salad

Serves 4

¼ cup sugar
¼ cup white vinegar
¼ cup cooking oil
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 cups diced turkey
4 cups shredded lettuce (or cabbage)
½ cup cranberries (or cranberry sauce)
½ cup celery, diced
½ cup toasted nuts, chopped

Mix first 4 ingredients together in a large bowl until combined thoroughly.

Then add the remaining ingredients and toss until mixed well.

Recipe courtesy of Hyatt Executive Chef Kory Foltz

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