January 15, 2013
Swank Farms Event :Pico De Garden Gala, Jan 06, 2013 - Swank Table
Where it is all about the farm, the food and bringing together the most talented Chefs here in South Florida. At Swank Specialty Produce, they do that ... A lot. Swank Farms is a hydroponic, all-natural farm, offering the highest quality and best-tasting produce in Florida!
But don't take my word for it, take the countless restaurants, the countless chefs and the foodies. Tthe images show you why Swank Foods is the best and that is why Whole Foods works with them.
I had the opportunity to work with the owners of the farm, Jodi and Darrin Swank, and the host of this past weekend's Pico de Garden Gala at Swank Farm. This was first event in 2013. The day was perfect: The line up is below. Walking on to the soft grass following the embedded tractor marks in the ground we were lead to the Potions in Motions / Swank Farm Drink cart and waiting for the 100 plus guests and I were ice cold hand-crafted Strawberry and Blueberry Mojitos that cooled us down on a perfect sunny 75 degree day.
I thought I was in heaven: The little breeze brought in the scent of a BBQs cooking up what seemed to be meat and fish. Following my nose with camera in hand I was lead to the promise land of 3 huge BBQs that were built just for this occasion. Behind the tables, under the back of the tent, 15 chefs and sous chefs and other food preppers hurried casually around like it was nothing. They cut, sliced, split, conjoined, mixed, battered and merged all the fresh veggies, meats and fish into this symphony, this orchestrated movement, where everything was on this rhythm that you could see. I watched it all come together on the plates in front of me.
The chefs were lead by Chef Lindsay K. Autry, whose soft voice and southern accent just slowly flowed out. In almost a whisper I heard her say "I'm ready to plate". For the next 20 minutes all I heard was "right here please" and "thank you". It just rolled off her tongue as other chefs like Executive Chef Chris Miracolo, Executive Chef Sean McDonald, Chef Chrissy Benoit, Chef Darlene Moree and others continued to pass, pick up and drop off trays of food that were to be a 5 course meal for over 100 guest all within this perfect harmony.
Here, surrounded by this amazing farm, our food was being prepared by some of the best, brightest chefs who believe in fresh foods, organic foods, and are supporters of a grow-local, buy-local philosophy. Here we are waiting for our Farm-to-Fork foods....
Chef Lindsay K. Autry, Resident Chef for Swank Table and Top Chef at the Sundy House in Delray
Executive Chef Sean McDonald, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort Fort Lauderdale
Executive Chef Chris Miracolo, Max's Harvest Delray Beach
Pastry Chef Darlene Moree, Parisorbet West Palm Beach
Thank you to everyone for making this one spectacular day~