A Tale of Two Falls: Adventures in Seasonal Foraging from MIA to NYC

This time of year is an exciting one as a chef and a diner no matter where you live in the country. Farm to Kitchen’s Chris Padin just stopped by The Genuine Hospitality Group office here in Miami’s Design District to pick up his budget for today’s Homestead farm run. At 4:00 p.m. he’ll return with a van full of produce, stopping first at The Cypress Room, then to Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, and finally Harry’s Pizzeria. 1,276 miles away in New York City’s Union Square, where the farm comes to the restaurant, Mo of Gramercy Tavern is visiting vendors and collecting orders on his morning market run. Same strokes for different folks. And thanks to Instagram, we get to follow along.

So what’s being harvested and what is growing in these parallel universes?

Here in Miami, we are still squeezing the last of this particularly drawn out summer season which means okra, calabaza and even mangoes are still coming in – like the third wave of them – and this time it’s the gorgeous specimens that are the huge Kents and vibrantly colored Keitts. Passion fruit and avocado, sporadic year-round crops, are currently plentiful. And all the while our typical fall crops are kicking in and hitting menus like beans of all kinds, squash, chard, kale, carrot and eggplant. Check out Chris’ full local product availability list for this week, here. Winter’s seeds are still incubating, from cucumber and peppers to oodles of our favorite crop, local heirloom tomatoes. This year we’ve got a new one we haven’t tried, but native to South Florida for ages, the Everglades tomato. Teena’s Pride has offered to grow this tiny treat for Slow Food Miami’s Ark of Taste event on January 28, and we’ll be serving it in every course!

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Meanwhile up in New York City, tomatoes are at their peak. There are beans, beans, beans… even strawberries… We have the best of both worlds here at Genuine HQ. Not only do we enjoy diverse year-long growing season with staples and tropicals, but we are heading to the Big Apple all next week to enjoy its bounty before it’s gone! Our berries are in the ground and will fruit when the north is blanketed in snow.

The main event is Lemon: NYC for Alex’s Lemonade stand on Tuesday, October 8, but there will be extracurricular activities sprinkled throughout our stay, including yummy meals of fresh product cooked close to the source by the best in the business. Joining Michael to represent The Cypress Room up in NYC for the first time is chef de cuisine Roel Alcudia. His menu is looking killer, and we can’t wait to see what local product will grace it. There will be bottles of our brand new 12 ounce Michael’s Genuine Home Brew and other Back Forty Beer Company brews for our table of 10 should bottling get completed in time (fingers are crossed!) We can remember last year’s event, the second hosted by the one and only chef Jonathan Waxman and produced by one of our favorite pint-sized juggernauts, Barbuto GM Jennifer Davidson. Roel, then still living and working in NYC, had chaperoned Michael and Bradley’s ridiculous Striped Bass to perfection. What a difference a year makes.

Happy Friday from all of us at The Genuine Hospitality Group, and see you soon New York City!

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