I love that we’re going back to basics, learning where our produce comes from and then sit down to share a meal! It’s a lovely way to meet like-minded folks, support local farmers and enjoy a meal cooked by chefs who use produce harvested from the farms! I highly recommend you search for one of these events where you live, you’ll be surprised at what you’ll learn and the experience is so worth it.
Recently, I got a chance to attend such an event, this one at Paradise Farm Mother’s Brunch was a farm tour with Gabriele Marewski followed by a delightful brunch cooked by my new chef friend, Sabrina Dora Lopez of Vesta Foods. I’ll be posting about some exciting projects Sabrina is working on, she’ll even come to your home and cook for you and your family! Yes, I bet that made your heart pump. I’m so happy to write about Gabriele and Sabrina collaborating on this brunch because I really admire what they’re doing. I videotaped Sabrina’s little talk before we all chowed down to eat.
After a superb homemade pineapple granola with fresh fruit, we started our tour with Gabriele explaining why she is vegetarian and her mission for her farm. Because it’s organic, she doesn’t allow meat or cigarettes on her property. It’s amazing what she has accomplished since 1999, from a 5 acre avocado farm to designing a circular bed according to the ancient art of feng shui, I love that. More about Gabriele’s farm later.
We sat down to brunch after the farm tour but I snuck off during the last part of the tour to visit with Sabrina because I enjoy watching chefs prep and cook ‘behind the scenes’! I was thrilled she used all produce harvested from the farm and her specialty is using lots of herbs and spices in her cooking, woohoo! I was so impressed she was so calm cooking for over 70 people! The thought of it would make me run and hide, ha, ha.
Paradise Farm started out with just lettuce and now boasts 52 varieties of edible flowers along with a whole line of micro greens, herbs, root vegetables and tropical fruits. Gabriele only sells to high end restaurants in South Florida and I cannot blame her, consumers don’t buy enough to make it worth her while. She kept taking on more and more to grow her farm including buying a very expensive dehydrator so she could preserve vegetables and fruits and avoid chemicals usually added to commercially dried ones. She also started growing oyster mushrooms from scratch.
What I love best about Paradise Farm is an outdoor gazebo built for holding farm to table events, mostly in the winter months, so check their schedule. It’s so idyllic and a beautiful setting for weddings, private events, learning lunch, group tours, birding or a B & B farm stay in one of her adorable bungalows, endless possibilities.
The best part of that day was seeing so many families out together to celebrate Mother’s Day, I got to sit next to my two “adopted moms”, Gabriele and my foodie photographer, Wok Star, blogger friend, Brenda Benoit. Go check Brenda’s version. I could feel my mom’s presence and happy I finally made it to Paradise Farms Organic. It’s the first year I’ve been able to actually enjoy an event and not get emotional when I see other people with their moms! It was super Sabrina’s mom got to experience her daughter’s cooking!
I’ll be posting about Sabrina’s exciting projects soon.