Chef Dean Max, a guy who's tough to impress, swears by Jodi and Darrin Swank of Swank Farms and their hydroponic crops. "I've never seen anyone who can get that kind of flavor out of that kind of set-up," he raves. "It's a mom and pop operation all based on an amazing green thumb. And they're such great people to hang out with!"
Max called on the way to his Grand Cayman restaurant, where he's putting together a harvest dinner.
That's essentially what he'll do at Swank Farms in Loxahatchee on the 23rd of this month, when he hosts a luncheon event (always expect eventful when Chef Dean's involved) and a tour of the farm.
The lunch is adults only and costs
$100, but it sounds like a royal feast:
"There'll be a long table, and it'll all be passed plates, communal-style," he says. "We want to support local people, so we're getting local shrimp, local pork, and local tuna."
Expect (naturally) a lot of grilled fish. But the veggie selection, all grown right there on the farm, promises lots of healthy crunch, including a caprese salad with the farm's phenomenal tomatoes; a white bean salad with either red royal or rock shrimp, depending on what's best; pole-bean tempura; plus an assortment of pickled vegetables.
From DeLand, a bunch of grass-fed cows are contributing some tasty little burgers.
Following a sparkling punch welcome at noon, the tour starts at 12:30 p.m. Live music and sit-down family-style five course luncheon with beer and wine begins at 2. Make reservations (via PayPal) here: www.swankspecialtyproduce.com.