A Festival of Foraging

Our forager Chris Padin, packing up the van this morning with some our #SoBeWFF brunch product.

Tune into 91.3 FM today at :35 past the hour during drive times and you may catch a WLRN Miami Herald News segment on how events celebrating product from local farmers, like our South Beach Wine & Food Festival Farm-to-Table Brunch, affect their businesses.  Produced by Trina Sargalski and Anais Alexander, the story offers a perspective not many attending these events may think about, sharing interviews with Teena Borek of Borek Farms/Teena’s Pride and Margie Pikarsky of Bee Heaven Farm, both in Homestead.  We weren’t able to include Margie in the brunch, but today were able to connect her with visiting chef Gabrielle Hamilton who was in last minute need of short grain brown rice for an event. She turned to Michael for help sourcing, and the best solution was locally-grown.  Try calling Whole Foods or Publix for 40 pounds of short grain brown rice, and see what you turn up. Margie sells Sem-Chi rice, not short grain but a good alternative.  It’s the rotation crop Florida Crystals uses to turn its sugarcane fields.

Sous Chef Todd Webster on the phone with a vendor, while lunch preshift occurs inside and Chris and Michael go to locate our event product from SWANK Farms in the walk-in.

Trina and Anais are working on a second segment focusing on what Michael refers to as a forager, someone we contract to pick up product from small farms that don’t have the resources to deliver, and their role as ambassador between farmers and restaurants.  Listen in as they take you along for the ride with Chris, making one of his biweekly runs to The Redland agricultural district in Homestead to get produce for Michael’s Genuine and Harry’s Pizzeria.

Chris is currently en-route to Homestead for Farm-to-Table Brunch guest chef Tony Maws’ strawberries from Knaus Berry Farm and chef Andrea Reusing’s tomatoes and cucumbers from Borek.  Then he’ll rendezvous with coordinating chef Andrew Lyman at our prep facility in the Miami Beach Convention Center to make the first drop, followed by the Fontainebleau to hand off the rice to Gabrielle.

We hope to see you on Saturday at Miami Beach Botanical Garden! The event is sold out, but I have two tickets I’m trying to sell ($175/face value,) so if you are interested, please email thegenuinekitchen@michaelsgenuine.com.

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