Co-chairs of the 2014 Taste of the Nation Palm Beach Clay Conley, Zach Bell, Lindsay Autry and Allen Susser cook Wednesday night for the No Child Hungry Campaign of Share Our Strength.
Wednesday night, 35 of the area’s top chefs will again be putting out their best at the annual Taste of the Nation Palm Beach event, all to benefit hungry kids in our area.
Co-chairs of the event are Zach Bell of the Addison Reserve Country Club in Delray Beach; Lindsay Autry, TV’s Top Chef contestant; Clay Conley of buccan and Imoto in Palm Beach; and Allen Susser of Chef Allen’s in Miami.
Among the chefs who are participating are Roy Villacrusis, of Aah Loh Thai and Sushi in Jupiter, and Bruce Feingold of Dada in Delray. Both have a special connection to the No Kid Hungry Campaign that will target hunger relief for kids in Palm Beach County.
Unlike most of the chefs involved, Villacrusis knows what it’s like to go hungry at times. Growing up in the Philippines with a working mom as a head of household meant lean plates on some nights.
“In the Philippines there are only two ways of growing up. Either you have relatives elsewhere sending you money, or you already have money.
“There were moments when we had a lot of money, and times when we had none, and my mom had to figure out where the next meal was coming from.”
He credits her creativity in making meals with sparse pantry items for his artistic flair with his Asiatic cuisine. “She was amazing at making something out of nothing.”
Today, he is puzzled by this rich country that has so many hungry people, and a government that hands out checks for food without supporting it with education on how to best use the money for nutrition.
“I’m involved with Share Our Strength here – I got the desire to make food better and more interesting than what it was watching my mother. So I know there is a way to do it if you show the people,” he said.
More education is needed – and he points to his friend and former partner Feingold, and a program he’s created, Healthy Bellies, that is working toward that goal in Delray Beach.
“We need more programs like his. It’s a personal approach,” Villacrusis said. “Don’t get me wrong – the charity events raise money to help, but we need to reach the people who are getting the money and teach them the best way to use it.”
Healthy Bellies a chef’s approach
Feingold explained the Healthy Bellies program that he created with wife Amanda Garnett. “We were sitting around talking about cooking for charities that send money overseas – we give money to tsnuami and earthquake victims and send money to Africa, while there are kids three blocks from where I live that are going to bed without dinner.”
He and Garnett decided to get involved with the Achievement Center for Families and Children. The organization provides a place for needy kids with working parents or those going back to school to study and play, and family programs help with parenting and life skills that promote achievement.
“We toured the Achievement Center nearby, and honestly, there was a pit in my throat,” Feingold said. “These are kids that get breakfast and lunch and a snack at the center – and that’s all the food available to them.”
He and Garnett sat down with the Achievement Center and worked out a way to get involved under their 501c3 charity certificate. “We started raising money for them by collecting tips at our restaurant and donating the money. We’ve raised $8000 since January,” he said.
Then, in an effort to do more and hands-on work, “It grew into me teaching cooking classes for the parents. We got a really decent response – so this Thursday I’m cooking for 100 families and feeding 575 people a take-home meal.”
Recipe cards are given and along with the demo, that emphasizes slow cooking that can be prepared ahead of time and ready after work during the family rush hour, he gives nutrition and budgeting tips.
“I ask them how much they spend on fast food per person – they say $9. I tell them I just fed them a chuck roll roast with fresh vegetables for $2.50 a person. And it’s healthier.”
He’s now teaching shopping at corner markets for fresh vegetables and ways to further stretch the food dollars. “They ask questions and are really involved. It’s making an impact.”
Chefs for the cause
All 35 chefs and restaurateurs are committed to the cause of childhood hunger relief and have donated their foods to the event. The dishes, sampler portions with wines, showcase the multitude of talents in the area.
Restaurants participating are:
- 3800 Ocean
- Aah Loi Thai & Sushi
- Addison Reserve Country Club
- Bistro 1001
- Bocce Wine Bar & Tapas
- Brio Tuscan Grille
- Café Boulud
- Casa D’Angelo
- Chops Lobster Bar
- Citrus Grillhouse
- City Fish Market
- Coolinary Café
- Cordon Bleu Catering
- Dada Restaurant
- Del Frisco’s Grille
- Earth & Sugar
- Hollywood Cupcake
- Ian’s Tropical Grill
- Jové Kitchen and Bar
- The Little House
- Patrick Lézé
- PB CATCH Seafood & Raw Bar
- Pistache French Bistro
- The Sugar Monkey
- Talay Thai
- Table 26
- Whole Foods Market
Other Vendors: Nespresso, Nestlé Waters, Oceana Coffee, Onli Beverages, SweetWater Brewing Company, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Wine Watch, Mozzarita, Charles Steadman of Jack’s Grumpy Grouper & United States Bartenders Guild Palm Beach.
Money raised stays in the county to help programs and food banks with relief programs.
Tickets to the event are still available.
Taste of the Nation Palm Beach
- 6:30-10 p.m.,Wednesday, April 23, 2014
- Cohen Pavilion at the Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach
- Tickets: $150, VIP (includes early admission); $100 general admisson
- Information and tickets: ce.strength.org/palmbeach
Tags: Calendar: SoFla Food Events · Food and wine festivals · The Eat Beat: Restaurant News
April 17th, 2014 · 1 Comment
No need to fool with food coloring if you have certain ingredients around the house – the items below work as natural egg dyes and create lovely colors.
To create the dye baths, boil the ingredients in a quart of water in a stainless or glass pot and strain; stir in 2 tablespoons vinegar to the dye bath to set the dyes.
Notes: If you use brown eggs instead of white ones, they’ll produce totally different colors. Don’t add salt or baking soda to the water when you boil the eggs to be dyed – these can cause egg shells to resist the dye.
Go for these ingredients to dye your eggs with these colors:
- Yellow = Chopped green carrot tops
- Purple = Red wine
- Pink = Beet juice (or red beets, cut up)
- Red = Red onion skins. (Yellow onion skins make brown eggs red.) Also, marachino cherry juice.
- Rusty orange = Chili powder
- Dark orange = Turmeric powder
- Green = 1 cup cooked spinach
- Lavender/blue = Crushed blueberries
- Blue = Red cabbage
- Pale lavender = 1 Red Zinger tea bag
As with all dyes, the longer the eggs are in the bath, the deeper the colors.
To marble the eggs, dye them one color first, then add more of the same color, or a different one, to a bowl with warm water and a tablespoon of olive oil to a depth of 1 inch. Swirl with a fork or whisk lightly. Roll the pastel egg into the deeper color and coat completely; pat dry with a paper towel. Set aside to dry completely. (Line an empty egg carton with paper towels as a drying rack.)
To create patterns on the eggs, use rubber bands on the eggs before dyeing, remove and dye a second color if desired. Using tape or stickers on the eggs also will create patterns, or you can write your name with sticker-letters before setting into the dyepot. A pale crayon will become dye-resistant – an easy way for kids to write their names on their eggs or draw on them.
For tips on boiling and peeling hard-boiled eggs, go here.
Tags: Holiday cooking · Kids' Cooking
A 42-ounce chocolate bunny ($36.95) is one of many available from Hoffman’s Chocolates, Lake Worth, FL
Easter brings out the brunchers – and they have a lot of options this year in Palm Beach County. Below is our list, gleaned from information provided by the restaurants or hotels. Call first – most require reservations, though you may get lucky as a walk-in if you go later in the time frame. Many spots not on the list are offering a few Easter specials along with their regular ala carte menus, so if you get rebuffed at one, try your favorite restaurant to see if they have specials. For those looking for places in Broward County and Miami, visit Christine Najac’s website, SouthFloridaFoodandWine.com
2014 Easter Sunday brunches in Palm Beach County
Note: Information has been provided by individual venues, and we have strived to be accurate, but call to confirm prices and get menus. Reservations strongly suggested. Prices shown do not include tax and tip The Addison Boca Raton, Two East Camino Real, Boca Raton
The Addison will be serving a buffet brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. $80 adults, $40 children. Reservations: 561-372-0568; theaddisonofbocaraton.com
Tanzy in the iPic Theater, 301 Plaza Real, Boca Raton
Tanzy will serve an Easter brunch prix fixe menu from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. $22. Regular brunch menu available ala carte. Reservations: 561-922-6699; tanzyrestaurant.com/Boca
50 Ocean, 50 S. Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach
Easter Sunday Brunch with special ala carte items will be served from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; dinner from 5 p.m. Reservations: 561-278-3364; 50ocean.com
Vic & Angelo’s, 290 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach
Vic & Angelo’s will serve an Easter brunch buffet from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. $39.95, per adult, and $19.95 children 6-10. Up to two children under 5 free with adult meal purchase. Reservations: 561-278-9570; vicandangelos.com
The Office, 201 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach
The Office will add Easter brunch items to its regular ala carte menu available from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Reservations: 888-507-7463; theofficedelray.com
The Atlantic Grille in the Seagate Hotel, 1000 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach
The Atlantic Grille will serve an Easter brunch buffet from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. $29 adults; $12 children 12 and under. Reservations: 561-655-4900; theatlanticgrille.com
The Breakers, 1 S. County Road, Palm Beach
The Breakers Easter Sunday Brunch buffet will be served in the Ponce de Leon ballroom from 10: 30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. $115 adults, $40 children. Reservations: 561-655-6611; thebreakers.com
Temple Orange in Eau Palm Beach Resort, 100 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan
Eau Palm Beach, Easter Sunday Brunch buffet will be served in Temple Orange, 11:30-2:30 Adults $75; children ages 5-10, $35. Reservations: 561-533-6000; eaupalmbeach.com
Malcolm’s in The Omphoy Ocean Resort, 2482 S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach
Malcolm’s will be serving Easter Sunday Brunch 12-3pm. $65 adults and $24 for children. Reservations: 561-540-6440; omphoy.com
Four Seasons Palm Beach, Palm Beach, 2800 S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach
Four Seasons Palm Beach Easter breakfast buffet will be served in Graze from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. $75 adults, $30 children. Reservations: 561-582-2800; fourseasons.com
Café Boulud at the Brazilian Court Hotel, 301 Australian Ave., Palm Beach
Cafe Boulud Easter Sunday Brunch buffet will be served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. $80 adults and $36 for children. Reservations: 561-655-6060; cafeboulud.com
Pistache French Bistro, 101 N. Clematis St., West Palm Beach
Pistache will serve an Easter brunch supplement to the regular ala carte menu. Served 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Reservations: 561-833-5090; pistachewpb.com
The Elks Lodge of West Palm Beach, 6188 Belvedere Road, West Palm Beach
The Elks will sponsor an Easter brunch buffet from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. $21.95 adults; children 4-12, $15.95; 3 and under free. Easter egg hunt with Easter bunny at 2 p.m. Reservations through X-Cel Catering, (814) 270-3120; westpalmbeachelks.com
Bistro Ten One in the West Palm Beach Marriott, 1001 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach Easter brunch at Bistro Ten Zero One will be served from noon to 5 p.m. $45 adults, $22 children 10 and under. Reservations: 561-209-3353; bistro1001.com The Backyard Bar at the Palm Beach Hibiscus House, 213 S. Rosemary Ave., West Palm Beach
The Backyard Bar will serve Easter brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. $29.95 adults, $15.95 children under 12. Reservations: 561-339-2444; cordonbleucatering.com
Spoto’s Oyster Bar, 4560 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens
Easter brunch menu items served from noon-3 p.m. with the Easter bunny handing out candy and posing for photos. Ala carte pricing; regular menu also served. Reservations: (561) 776-9448; spotosoysterbar.com
Vic & Angelo’s, 4520 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens
Vic & Angelo’s will serve an Easter brunch buffet from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. $39.95, per adult, and $19.95 children 6-10. Up to two children under 5 free with adult meal purchase. Reservations: 561-630-9899; vicandangelos.com
3800 Ocean Ocean in the Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island, 3800 N Ocean Dr, Riviera Beach
Easter Brunch buffet at 3800 Ocean will be served from 8-11 a.m. $22 adults and $12 children ages 12 and under. Reservations: 561-340-1795; Marriott.com
Jupiter Beach Resort, Five N. A1A, Jupiter
Jupiter Beach Resort will serve Easter brunch buffet in the Grand Ballroom from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. $45 adults; $20 children under 12. Reservations: 561-746-2511; jupiterbeachresort.com/dining/
Other Easter brunches or special menus
Delray Marketplace, 14851 Lyons Road, Delray Beach
Easter brunch and Easter Bunny appearance at Delray Marketplace with games and entertainment for kids; drawings for adults. $6 brunch buffet sponsored by Bella Amici Pizzeria. More information: DelrayMarket.com
Tags: Brunch and Breakfast · The Eat Beat: Restaurant News · Where to Eat in Palm Beach County
April 11th, 2014 · 1 Comment
Rendering of Menin Developers’ plans for PGA Plaza includes the Trader Joe’s set to open by end of 2014. /courtesy photo
Contractors are ahead of schedule, they say, at the PGA Plaza where Trader Joe’s will open by the end of the year.
“We started in October 2013, and it’s expected to be complete by the end of July,” said Bob Hoffman, project manager for Anderson Moore Construction. They won the bid for the project that will include rebuilding the façade, parking areas and constructing the shell for the much anticipated Trader Joe’s market.
“We’ve gone back and forth about 15 times on the project plans,” Mr. Hoffman said. “But it’s going good. We’re ahead of schedule in most areas.”
Read the rest of my story in this week’s Florida Weekly newspaper, here. See what Trader Joe’s fans have to say.
Tags: The Eat Beat: Restaurant News
Miguelito’s Cancun Grille had a soft opening last month in Royal Palm Beach.
The new Tex-Mex, in a former On the Border restaurant, is the new place from one-half of the brother-sister team that was Aleyda’s in West Palm Beach. That landmark Mexican restaurant closed in 2013. Miguel Lopez is primary owner; Aleyda Cardona is not involved.
He explains the solo venture. “My sister and I were working on a new Aleyda’s, but she had family obligations to take care of,” he said. “A conflict over the use of the name came up, and so I renamed it Miguelito’s. The Cancun Grille represents our food – authentic Mexican – different than Aleyda’s menu.”
Originally, Aleyda’s was set to reopen in Northwood Village in West Palm Beach; that deal fell through.
He decided to proceed with his own restaurant with recipes from his past, and some from a brother who owned the former Pancho Villa Tex-Mex in Lake Worth. It was in Meadowlake Plaza on Lake Worth Road for 23 years.
“The menu is different from Aleyda’s,” he said. “It will be more like Pancho Villa’s. He has a more coastal Mexican style – fish and seafood and steaks. There are seafood dishes on this menu – scallops and mussels.
“Right now, we’re still working with a limited menu and working out the kinks. But everyone here is excited we’re here. It’s a really good area, I think.”
A private room will host parties, he said, but it won’t be open for another month or two while the main dining room is settled.
“This is exciting for me – it’s what I’ve wanted to do for a while. I think the diners will like it once we get it going and get the final menu in place – we’re still tinkering with it.”
Miguelita’s Cancun Grille
- 11121 Southern Blvd., Royal Palm Beach, FL
- 561-688-9033; facebook.com/miguelitoscancun.grille
- Open daily for lunch and dinner.