Author Archive | Edible Palm Beach


foodThotWin14As our Edible Palm Beach readership knows, locals have been planting madly since August, from farms large and small, to community and home gardens. Preparing the soil, planting the seeds, providing nourishment, and protecting seedlings from pesky critters are all part of the adventure that will yield an edible bounty in a few months. Just in case you’ve been busy and haven’t started your garden, please check out this issue’s Last Bite, where Edible Communities illustrator Bambi Edlund shares her primer for seeding your garden. It’s not too late!

Growing our local food economy is our core mission, and this issue off ers some information and inspiration in that regard from a few perspectives. Approximately 85 percent of Florida’s fruits and vegetables are grown for export, so growing for local consumption is a bit new for us: A local-food movement, while well entrenched in California, the Midwest, and the Northeast, is really just getting started here. Our cover photo showcases Darrin and Jodi Swank, a husband-and-wife team at the vanguard of getting locals to visit their farm to experience local growing in action.

Check out our Edible Notables section for the 2014-2015 Swank Table schedule and sign up to enjoy one or more of these glorious December-April events that share the best in South Florida food and culinary talent right there at the farm. Please note that the cover photo image joining 1930s Palm Beach County cabbage farmers and the Swanks with their 2014 crop was the brainchild of local cookbook author Judith Olney. The 1930s photo is courtesy of The Historical Society of Palm Beach County, and local photographer Francesca Coviello captured the Swanks with the photograph of their forebears. Olney’s documentary, Swank Farm, is scheduled for release in April 2015.

Our work at Edible Palm Beach includes helping farmers, fishers, chefs, and food artisans turn their passions into profitable businesses. To that end, we’re sharing an article in this issue that comes from a sister Edible Communities magazine in Colorado, Edible Front Range. This Slow Money feature is an interview with the visionary Woody Tasch, a venture capitalist and passionate local food champion, in which Tasch shares his knowledge and experience with the multi-level return-oninvestment that comes from people investing in local-food-related businesses.

Here’s to planting some seeds and seeing great things grow — whether in your own personal garden or in our communities through local “economic gardening.”

Eat. Drink. Read. Think. Local.

Irene Revelas
Publisher and Editor

Read More
Continue Reading ·


The sweet, tender meat of the Florida lobster is all found in the tail.

Makes 1 sandwich
2 slices rye bread
2 tbsp. Thousand Island dressing, divided
1/4 lb. cooked Florida lobster
2 thin slices Swiss cheese
2 tbsp. prepared sauerkraut
Butter, for grilling

Butter 1 side of each slice of bread. Place 1 slice, buttered side down, in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spread with 1 tablespoon dressing and top with lobster, Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut. Finish with remaining dressing and top with second slice of bread, buttered side up.

Grill until first side is golden, then flip and cook second side until cheese is melted and sandwich is heated through.

Read More
Continue Reading ·



The Freezer Tiki Bar doesn’t share the recipe for its tasty, super-thick clam chowder, but this is mighty close.

Serves 6 to 8

3 (8 oz.) bottles clam juice
1 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
3 tbsp. butter
2 c. chopped sweet onions
1 and 1/4 c. chopped fresh celery with leaves
1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
6 (6.5 oz.) cans chopped clams, drained, juice reserved
2 c. heavy cream
8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 c. sour cream
Coarse salt and pepper, to taste
Hot sauce, to taste
Oyster crackers for serving

Combine bottled clam juice and potatoes in a large saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to mediumlow, cover pan, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat.

Melt butter in a separate large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, celery, parsley, garlic, and bay leaf and sauté until vegetables soften, about 6 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 2 minutes (do not allow flour to brown). Gradually whisk in reserved juices from clams. Add potato mixture, clams, cream, cream cheese, and sour cream.

Simmer chowder 5 minutes to blend flavors, stirring frequently. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Serve with oyster crackers.

Read More
Continue Reading ·


2 cups sea grapes
1 cup water
2 lemons or limes (preferably Key limes)
4. 5 cups of sugar

Wash and then boil the sea grapes in a ratio of 2 cups sea grapes to 1 cup water for 25-30 minutes, crushing occasionally, until they are soft and palatable. Drain the juice through a jelly bag into a container. Please don’t squeeze!

Pour the juice into a pot and stir in the lemon or lime juice with a wooden spoon, and then add the pectin. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil and add the sugar. After it returns to a boil, let it remain boiling for one minute, always stirring.

After removing from heat, skim foam if necessary. Sterilize jars in a 5-minute boil bath. Pour juice into the jars, leaving a quarter-inch of space at the top of the jar.

Chill, and enjoy!

Read More
Continue Reading ·


Publisher’s letter
Bounty of the land and sea
Swank Table season
Food and drink innovators
Our native sea grape
Desiree Dawn weddings
Good catch, good eats
Building the soil of a restorative economy
Krystal Kinney: Cocktails with a twist
Farm to stage: Eat & Greet
with the Zac Brown Band
Chef Mauro Petrini: master gelatiere


Jodi and Darrin Swank photo by
Francesca Coviello.

Circa 1930 historic photo of cabbage
farmers courtesy of The Historical
Society Palm Beach County.


Photo by Carole Topalian
Read More
Continue Reading ·


Preserve the Reserve

Eco Tour at Bedner’s Farm Fresh Market
Photo courtesy of Bedner’s Farm Fresh Market


Editor’s Note: Edible Palm Beach welcomes commentary that furthers the cause of sustainability in our readership area. Jeff Perlman is a former mayor of Delray Beach and the cofounder of Your Delray Boca, an online community ( This piece originally appeared on that site and has been edited for this page.

When I was a young reporter, I did a series of articles about Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach.

It was called “Portraits of Atlantic Avenue” and the series had a theory: If you traveled the length of the avenue east to west, from State Road A1A to State Road 441, you could experience most of what Florida had to offer; from a beach and a traditional downtown, to historic minority neighborhoods and suburban sprawl, to farms and ranches, to alligators west of 441—it was all on one street. But today, one big part of western Atlantic Avenue is fast disappearing: the fields of peppers and tomatoes that once made Palm Beach County the winter vegetable capital of the world.

I spent many days reporting in those fields and evenings at the migrant camps that were hidden north and south of West Atlantic Avenue. It was the 1980s, and migrant farmworkers were everywhere.

These days, development has put enormous pressure on this western farm area known as the Agricultural Reserve (“Ag Reserve”). Despite a $100 million investment made by taxpayers about 15 years ago to preserve this farmland, the Ag Reserve is facing pressure from a group of landowners who are pushing big changes. They want more flexibility in building rules—changes that could potentially open up more of the Ag Reserve to non-agricultural development.

Lining up on the opposite side are neighborhood associations and environmentalists who want to stop sprawl and keep farming viable.

The Palm Beach County Commission has authorized a series of roundtable meetings to discuss the rules. Out of those discussions, county staff could develop options for the commission to consider.

According to county records, 5,412 homes have been built in the reserve, with another 4,913 approved but not yet built. The changes being pushed could add even more homes and possibly 200 additional acres opened for commercial development.

Ironically, the push to open up the Ag Reserve for more development comes at a time when the “farm to table” food movement is sweeping the nation. From coast to coast, consumers are coveting locally sourced fruit, vegetables and meats. The movement has spurred new restaurants, commercial kitchens, markets, food companies, craft manufacturers and even new magazines and tourism opportunities.

Losing our farmland may work for short-term profiteers; but for long-term community viability, it seems wiser to build on our agricultural heritage. Rather than paving paradise to put up yet another 55-and-over development of cookie-cutter homes, encouraging agriculture and sustainable living would be a better strategy.

With our climate, perhaps we should aspire to become the East Coast Napa—but for vegetables and urban farming rather than wine. Just a thought.

Read More
Continue Reading ·


A young gun woos the old guard



Two lively restaurants—Buccan and Imoto—sit side-by-side in the heart of Palm Beach. Both are owned and run by 39-year-old chef Clay Conley, a Maine native with international culinary experience. Conley is the former executive chef at Azul, the critically acclaimed restaurant at the Miami Mandarin Oriental hotel. Before that he worked with celebrity chef Todd English as culinary director for English’s Olives Group, overseeing 18 restaurants around the world.

Both Buccan (Caribbean for a type of wooden grill) and Imoto (Japanese for “little sister”) feature small plates with big flavors. Conley’s success in Palm Beach is evidenced by James Beard Award nominations, in 2012 and 2013, for Best Chef: South. With a cooking style described as “progressive American,” Conley loves to contrast tastes, textures, and temperatures with an emphasis on local and/or sustainably produced foods, as we discovered in this recent interview.

Edible Palm Beach: You grew up in rural Maine, tending your family’s orchard and livestock. How did that experience shape you into the chef you are today?

Chef Conley: It gave me a respect for ingredients—where they come from, how they’re produced—and also a respect for the seasons. You know, trying to use food that’s in season and available to you. That’s challenging sometimes in Florida, especially in summer.

We do use scallops and crab and lobster from Maine. I’m snobby about that kind of stuff.

I love the gold crabs from the Florida Keys, but you can only buy them whole—not ready to use. We go through 40 to 50 pounds of crabmeat a week, so using the gold crabs would be too labor intensive. But instead of using that lump crab from Indonesia like other restaurants do, I find the Maine crab. It’s got different names: Peekytoe, rock crab, or Jonah crab. We use it in our California rolls at the sushi bar, for crab cakes, and to stuff fish with.

EPB: You lived and worked in Tokyo for a time. What knowledge did you gain in Asia that you are now applying at Buccan and Imoto?

CC: Yes, I was there in 2003 working for Todd English. He asked me to open up an Olives restaurant in Roppongi Hills, a huge mixed-use development in Tokyo that has 60 restaurants and 200 stores.

It goes back to ingredients, always. The Japanese just have such respect for every ingredient. They don’t eat anything that’s not in season—and there’s actually a word in Japanese that means eating something at its prime. That’s what impressed me most about this culture: the average guy knows when he should be eating this or that.

I learned a lot in the restaurant watching the locals make “family meal” every day. They made nikujaga, a meat and potatoes dish, using all the scraps from the beef. We also used Japanese cooking techniques with Mediterranean ingredients, and vice-versa (since Olives is a Mediterranean restaurant). So I learned how to change things up, which I do a lot these days.

EPB: Tell us about your personal commitment to using local foods.

CC: We use as much as we can—and when we can’t get something locally, we’ll look for a sustainable supplier. Right now on the menu we have strip steak from Meyer Natural Angus Beef and chicken from Murray’s Family Farmed, Naturally Raised Chicken. I just think it tastes better. I’m a firm believer that you can tell if an animal was happy when you eat it.

EPB: What native South Florida foods do you like to work with?

CC: We like the local fish—in fact, we’re getting ready to put on the menu a Florida bouillabaisse made with pink shrimp, Venus clams, and some kind of local squid. We buy our tupelo honey at the West Palm Beach GreenMarket. We buy all kinds of local produce, including Heirloom tomatoes and kale from Swank Farms and Green Cay Farms. And, with the help of our new chef de cuisine, we just made a huge batch of green strawberry chowchow. That’s a sweet-sour relish made with green strawberries from Florida. We’ll serve it with a pork belly dish.

Read More
Continue Reading ·


For maximum enjoyment, choosing the right glass
is just as important as choosing the wine



Most wine drinkers know the “basic rules” when pairing wine with food: Red with steak, white with fish/chicken. However, not many have enough wine knowledge to feel confident about choosing specific wines that would truly enhance the flavor of their meal.

And most wine drinkers are also aware that different wines should be poured into different glasses (e.g., reds should be served in a glass with a broad mouth). But, just like with food pairings, wine lovers do not realize how much of an impact the shape of a glass has on the taste of a wine—and there are many shapes to choose from. If you want to truly experience all a wine has to offer, using the right glass is a must!

So, Edible Palm Beach talked with Maximilian Riedel, CEO of Riedel glassware, and Wine Master Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan to get the lowdown on choosing both the wine and its container.

Edible Palm Beach: When drinking wine, how much does glass shape really matter?

Maximilian: Glassware’s shape matters immensely. Without the correct glass shape, a wine’s message can get muddled or lost. In a larger bowl, the wine has more space to “open up” in the glass, permitting greater interaction with the air—which allows for both greater release of a wine’s many aromas and also a built-in area for the nose to smell these aromas in a semi-enclosed environment, directing the aromas in a more focused way to the olfactory receptors.

Glassware shape likewise “focuses” the way wine is delivered to the palate. Wines with higher sugar, for example, or more tannins, are best perceived by different areas in the mouth. Varietal-specific stemware factors in a grape varietal’s inherent properties, ensuring that they are delivered to the part of the mouth with the appropriate receptors for sugar content, tannins and alcohol levels.

EPB: So not all white wines should be served in a smaller mouth glass, and not all reds in a larger mouth glass?

M: Exactly! The bowl shape really depends on the grape variety. Not all whites are best out of a small bowl. For example, our oaked chardonnay glass is quite a large bowl; this proved to be the best shape for this full-bodied grape, and offered the best surface space to allow this grape to open up and display the best characteristics. On the other hand, some reds are best served out of smaller bowls—for example Zinfandel.

EPB: When designing a glass, which comes first, a shape to enhance taste or the look? Is there a principle to this?

M: In developing our glassware, we follow the principle of functionality to determine the shape that best works. Working with leading winemakers and experts with knowledge of a given varietal, we conduct comparative wine tastings in many different glass shapes and sizes, until we achieve group consensus about which glass best enhances the beverage’s flavors and aromas.

EPB: What’s the most common misconception you hear about wine and the glassware that’s used?

Jennifer: That what glass you use doesn’t matter. It matters a great deal! The shape, thinness, and height determine when, how and which aromas get to your nose, and also the perception of how the wine falls on the palate as you tilt your head back to take a sip. This in turn impacts how you perceive the wine. However, sometimes you just want a glass that says PARTY!—and nothing says that better than a coupe or flute, particularly a trumpet-shaped flute. It won’t be as aromatic in a flute, and Champagne bubbles dissipate faster in a coupe; but if you don’t care about that, party away!

M: That flutes are the best glass shape to enjoy Champagne. I, along with many experts around the world, recommend using the proper varietal-specific glass to best enjoy Champagne’s flavors and aromas. Though Champagne flutes are elegant and sexy, they can often stifle aromas and affect where the wine hits the palate; whereas using the proper grape varietal-specific glass will ensure we smell the Champagne’s rich aromas and taste the best of the fruit.

EPB: If you were told you could only use one type of glass from now on, which line/glass would it be, and why?

M: My favorite single glass is the Riedel Sommeliers Burgundy Grand Cru glass, and I most often drink pinot noir. Riedel’s extensive research has proven that “bigger is better” when it comes to glassware size, and this glass allows the complexities of pinot noir to open up and perfectly show themselves.

J: The Riedel Vinnum Chardonnay glass is one of my favorites to use for both personal use and for trade tastings. It has a great all-purpose shape, and I find I get the most consistency across many different grape varieties and styles. Plus, I passed the MW exam with it!

EPB: Has the change in food culture/ dining in the last few years— with people eating healthier and chefs more daring in combinations of ingredients—affected the wine industry or the way people are buying/ drinking wine?

J: The U.S. is the top nation in the world consuming wine. Wine consumption has solidly increased in this country over the last two decades. We are a wine culture with room to grow! So it is not a surprise that there is an increasing popularity of pairing wines with food in restaurants and at home. There is the additional benefit that drinking wine—and more specifically red wine—with a meal is by far healthier than drinking it on its own like a cocktail.

EPB: Do you find that with the change in seasons, you tend to change the wines you drink? If so, how?

J: Absolutely. Winter in New York City has been very cold, so rich, full-bodied reds that warm me up are what I prefer. They go with the beef stews and comfort foods we tend to have at that time. When it gets to the spring, I want refreshing and delicate wines with crisp acidity to go with the salads and light dishes of the season.

EPB: Jennifer, can you recommend some affordable spring wines to our readers, and Maximilian, can you recommend what type of glasses to pair with them?

J: These three wines are delicious and under $20! While they may sound similar in certain respects, they are quite different: three different countries, three different varietals.

2011 Chateau Ducasse Bordeaux Blanc, 60% sémillon, 35% sauvignon blanc and 5% muscadelle: Medium white with elements that are the essence of spring—floral aromas with hints of fresh cut grass and crisp, minerals, and bright lemony acidity. ($17 on

Maximilian’s glass recommendation: Vinum Chardonnay/Viognier

2012 Gobelsburger Kamptal Grüner Veltliner, 100% grüner veltliner: Moderately light-bodied white wine with notes of lemon, lime, white peach, grapefruit, floral notes, minerals and white pepper spice. This is one of my favorites; it has excellent flavor concentration for such a light white and definitely has some finesse. ($15 on

Maximilian’s glass recommendation: Vinum Riesling

2011 Antonopoulos Moscophilero, 100% moscophilero: A fairly light-bodied white wine with citrus, pear and peach fruits with notes of jasmine, minerals and crisp acidity.… Read More

Continue Reading ·


Elevating Taste

Photo by Ben Rusnak

Onli’s founder and CEO Nadav Haimberg Photo courtesy of Onli Beverages


In a crowded marketplace of consumer beverage choices, how do you create a new non-alcoholic drink that stands apart from the rest?

Start by creating a new beverage category emphasizing taste. Draw inspiration from top chefs to develop up-andcoming flavor combinations.

Package the drink in sexy glass bottles and give it a name that asserts exclusivity. Finally, insist that your product is given a special place on supermarket shelves—away from the ordinary offerings of soda, energy drinks, spring waters, and Gatorade.

That’s the winning formula behind West Palm Beach-based Onli Beverages, a line of all-natural, sparkling drinks launched in 2012. Onli is pronounced “only” and bears the tag line “Elevating Taste.”

“When we took a look at the beverage landscape, we noticed that almost all of the drinks are functionality-centric,” says Onli’s 33-year-old founder and CEO Nadav Haimberg.

“They revolve around hydration, weight loss, energy or nutraceuticals. We wanted to do something different. So we came up with something that’s taste-centric. None of the competitors on the shelf really hang their hat on taste,” he says.

At Onli, taste is everything. Consider the lineup of flavors: Hibiscus Pomegranate, the No. 1 best-seller. The second is Hibiscus Strawberry—fruity, floral and unsweetened. There’s also Huckleberry Pomegranate, Lemon Watermelon, Lemon Mango Passion Fruit Mint, Espresso Swiss Hazelnut, and Green Tea Lemongrass Mango.

The newest flavor—developed in partnership with chef Clay Conley of Buccan Restaurant in Palm Beach and officially launched in March—is Black Tea Tangerine Ginger. Zing!

Interestingly, there’s a common ingredient in every Onli formulation: ginseng.

“We think it complements the other flavor profiles. And it’s healthy for you,” Haimberg says.

In keeping with the healthy trend, Onli beverages are lightly sweetened, only using cane sugar (a product of South Florida), stevia, erythritol (a non-glycemic sugar alcohol that occurs naturally in plants), or monk fruit, which has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine and has a low glycemic index.

Onli drinks are made in Pennsylvania, with fresh water taken from the Pocono Mountains region. Beverage research and development is conducted at specially equipped flavor houses. Design, packaging, and shipping is handled at the company’s West Palm Beach headquarters.

Haimberg says Onli strives to source local food in producing the beverages, but many times it’s not possible. “For example, we have a hibiscus flavor that’s formulated especially for us. As you can imagine, a lot of plants are not water-soluble. And to get hibiscus to a point where it is water-soluble, we need certain types of hibiscus that are not available locally,” he explains.

The drink itself is available locally, though, in Publix and Whole Foods Markets throughout Florida. It’s also available in Boston, Atlanta (where competition is fierce with native son Coca-Cola), and parts of Texas. Haimberg says the company plans to further expand during the next year into Texas, the Northeast and the Southeast.

As his business grows, Haimberg is enjoying every tasty, bubbly moment. Prior to starting Onli, he had helped launch five successful companies, including high-tech, automotive, and merger acquisition firms. He’s excited to now lead a company with a tangible product.

“When you’re in high-tech, it’s all source code,” he says. “When you’re in finance, it’s all numbers and contracts. So this was the first time I was able to make something that people can see and touch and taste. And it’s great watching people enjoying it.”

Read More
Continue Reading ·


Couple’s experiment in sustainability
forging ahead in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District


Nando Jaramillo and Blair Butterfield, above, and Colony1 volunteers, below, participate in the Colony1 design charrette, May 2-3, 2014



Editor’s note: Because Edible Palm Beach aims to keep our readers informed about the people, movements and trends that are contributing to a sustainable South Florida, we will occasionally provide updates on significant developments in topics previously covered.

Upon a vacant lot in the Wynwood Arts District of Miami—where a dumpster sits filled with construction trash and a few scraggly trees provide scant shade—will rise a unique development that may lead the way forward in this age of rising seas and climate change.

Colony1, the brainchild of environmental activists Nando Jaramillo and Blair Butterfield, has received the support of the community and the blessing of county leaders. This facility is designed as an ecological think tank combined with a working laboratory that fosters collaboration between art and environmental research. The site will comprise a green building constructed from shipping containers, as well as public spaces that include a cooperative organic garden. On April 8, 2014, the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners granted a 50-year land lease to the couple’s nonprofit organization, Art of Cultural Evolution (ACE), to build Colony1 on the 14,000-square-foot lot on Northwest 22nd Street.

Jaramillo and Butterfield wasted no time pushing ahead with their vision. They organized and held a design charrette May 3-4 at the Miami Center for Architectural Design downtown. More than 60 participants—including artists, architects, designers, scientists, environmentalists, professors, students and community members—watched a series of topical presentations before splitting into smaller groups to create design concepts for Colony1. These designs were then shared and discussed.

The event was supported by a grant from Awesome Foundation Miami. Meals were prepared by local chef Sebastian Schwam and his family. The food was all local, organic, raw and vegan—which, Butterfield says, helped create a symbolic connection between the charrette and Colony1’s mission: “people, ecology, connectivity and sustainability.”

Next up will be to create an exhibition of the participants’ design ideas, continue with committee activities, and plan more community events to keep the momentum going.

“Things are unfolding and moving forward with such high-caliber volunteers,” Jaramillo marvels. While dozens have signed on to donate their time and talents, help is still needed in the areas of administrative assistance, grant writing, graphic and Web design and social media, he says.

But volunteers alone will not make Colony1 happen. Although the lease comes with no rent, ACE still will be responsible for property costs such as taxes, service fees, etc. And that’s on top of the money necessary to build and operate the facility. “We need to raise funds ASAP,” Jaramillo notes.

“We know that this is a true community project that people want,” Butterfield says. “People are receptive to learning and adapting to new ways to live. Sealevel rise might be inevitable; but with the right path, we believe Miami can be resilient and vibrant. It just takes a little innovation.”

550 NW 22 St., Miami, FL 33127
For more information:; and

Read More
Continue Reading ·