Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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EatBeat: Hot Week Ahead for Food Lovers – Palm Beach Food and Wine Fest, and Sunday Brunch at Swank Farms

December 6th, 2011 · No Comments

Clay Conley and his new daughter. /photo courtesy Averill Mackin Conley

The Palm Beach Food and Wine Festival planners are on warp speed this week – and one of them just delivered a baby. Averill Mackin Conley is helping out on the festival’s media and communications, but the arrival this past weekend of her firstborn with spouse Clay Conley of Buccan has changed sidelined her plans – a bit.

It won’t prevent the chef from his big Beard Down South dinner this weekend at Buccan in Palm Beach. It’s a sold-out event, starring a number of Beard award winning chefs and others, cooking to help put the fest on the map.

David Sabin is the ringleader for the island’s festival, set for Dec. 9-13, which grew from a one-night dine-around to numerous dinners and events spread over five days. Having a partner in the James Beard Foundation has helped boost the fest caché. A cast of star chefs from the Food Network, and Beard award winners will descend on the island for the fest.

The schedule is here. It includes the chef’s throwdown, with reigning star Roy Villacrusis of Kapow! Noodle Bar in Boca Raton back to defend his title. That takes place Tuesday night at the Grand Tasting with a number of star chefs presenting foods in a dine-around at the Esplanade.

Esquire’s food writer John Mariani is the host of a dinner at The Breakers Saturday -the theme is How Italian Food Conquered the World – the title of his new book, given to each dinner guest. Cooking the multicourse will be David Burke (David Burke Kitchen, David Burke Townhouse, NYC), Scott Conant (Scarpetta, Miami), Michael Schwartz (Michael’s Genuine, Miami), John DeLucie (executive chef of The Lion, NYC) and The Breakers’ Jeff Simms.

A beach bash Friday night with Michael Schwartz, Cocktail Culture, an event with Daniel Boulud  at Cafe Boulud complete the roundup.

For more info, and any tickets still available, go to www.pbfwf.com.

Brunch Sunday at Swank Farms

The Ritz Carlton Palm Beach didn’t have enough time to get in on the festival (Chef Ryan Artim took off to get married), so they are participating as Friends of the Festival hosts at an adults-only brunch Sunday, Dec. 11, from noon to 4 p.m. at Swank Farms in Loxahatchee.

Jodi and Darryl Swank produce organic vegetables and herbs at their farm, long a favorite of local chefs. The farm will be the rustic setting for the brunch, a station set-up, with each station representing a journey through Swank Farms and a restaurant at The Ritz.

The menu features all local ingredients

Swank Farm

The menu starts with a Temple Orange Screwdriver with a carrot walnut muffin and ginger butter, plus a pickled and raw cruidite with tomato, eggplant and basil dip.

From the newly reopened Angle restaurant at The Ritz, Chef Matt McGhee will prepare herbs and sprouts with a beet and passionfruit salad, Loxahatchee goat cheese, baby fennel, anda grilled pork belly slider with mustard greens, pickle radishes and a beef short rib – with bacon corn grits, local eggs and upland cress.

Temple Orange chef Matthew Stephens will offer tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, purple basil with a lamb saddle, broccoli turnip slaw, and red wine thyme jus, along with a wood-grilled local red snapper, cauliflower tomato couscous and dandelion greens.

Breeze chef Jen Braglin has a salad of baby lettuces, arugula, spinach, radishes and a Lantana honey mustard vinaigrette, along with a Royal Red shrimp mojo, Everglades corn pancake, mango papaya slsa and pea shoots.

Money from the tickets, which are $134 per adult and all inclusive, benefit local charities along with the James Beard Foundation.

For tickets and information, go to the Swank web site: www.swankspecialtyproduce.com

 Swank Farms

  • 14311 North Road, Loxahatchee
  • www.swankspecialtyproduce.com

Tags: Food and wine festivals · What's Happening Here

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