Chef in the heirloom tomato (and squash, celery, beets, carrots, onions, broccoli rabe, salad mix) fields with Teena’s Pride owner/farmer Michael Borek.
Friday was a great day, one of those that begin with a specific goal in mind and end netting so many more valuable takeaways. In anticipation of Fi’lia’s LA opening, we’re producing a video to capture Genuine Culture as a tool to educate our teams at The Genuine Hospitality Group on who we are, what we do and the reasons why. Michael and I visited three farms as they began to wrap South Florida’s main growing season to document how we source product, an important component of the genuine way. While footage of strolls through Homestead tomato field tractor lanes and Little Haiti urban farm footpaths materialized in the lens, ideas were generated between Chef and a handful of our farmers as they discovered new opportunities for collaboration and tasted ingredients in the field.
Curiosity scared the crows. We also found a small prop airplane in Borek’s new warehouse facility.
Enjoy the day in photos laced with informative captions below as we digest new opportunities through the genuine chef network. Will Michael Borek identify a great Roma tomato to cultivate at Teena’s Pride for Harry’s Pizzeria®? What about the Upland cress Little Haiti Community Garden’s Gary Feinberg is growing? How could it be expressed on the menu at Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink? Margie Pikarsky’s heirloom peppers are beautiful to behold, as Chef recalls the “seasoning pepper” related to the Scotch Bonnet — all the flavor without the punishing heat — from our days in Grand Cayman. Is she growing something similar, and should we shave it raw on the daily focaccia at Ella? Let us know what you would like to see in our restaurants!
Chef presents a freshly-plucked and potently fresh mustard green.
Papaya, kale, mustard greens, Maringa tree and other understated treasures dot Gary’s garden turned urban farm in the heart of Little Haiti.
Sounds like a no brainer but for this operation to function Gary explains, workers like lead gardner Prevener Julian need to be paid. So many community run gardens fail because they aren’t able to grow enough food with volunteers, who also don’t show up to work consistently.
Michael’s excited about his mustard leaf haul.
As he shares the path to Prevener’s arrival here from Haiti post 2010 earthquake with a critically injured and now recovered son, Gary mentions the saying — every Haitian is a gardener. A pot of beautiful arugula confirms it, taking seed right near the seed hut nursery on property. Green thumbs abound here!
A homemade breakfast roadie stuffed with just enough to give the desired nostril burn!
We discovered Gary is growing absolutely perfect Upland cress.
Flowering tarragon at Borek Farms (Teena’s Pride)
Last of the season CSA boxes come together, including a rainbow of heirloom carrots.
Borek’s bread and butter. Ours too.
Flowering tomato plants.
Almost 100% of Borek’s production is now in the field.
Sweet Sungolds, the perfect tomato according to me! A nice level of salinity in the juice means you don’t even need salt to pop them like candy.
Margie embraces her tropical surroundings in Bee Heaven’s product mix.
Last of the season CSA — here Michael styles the Large box.
Mangoes are coming up nicely. Can’t wait for June!
Chicken tractors are moved every 3 days so the grass can regenerate. This way the rooster in the hen tractor can enjoy the natural ground.
Black sapote, a tropical fruit tree that when ripe tastes (and looks like!) chocolate pudding inside.
Margie and Chef roam the Bee Heaven grounds.
Margie’s new pepper plants.
Surrounded by beauty on property, edible or not. This is Brugmansia, aka Angel’s Trumpet, ofeten confused with Datura (Devil’s Trumpet). Margie explains her variety starts opening as a yellow flower, then changes to pink before withering, over the course of a day or two. It’s very aromatic at night, but not good to inhale much – it contains powerful alkaloids which are dangerous if ingested.
Huge Lancetilla mangoes believe it or not are far from ripe!
Don’t disturb the bees!