If you’re on the hunt for a milestone with a nice ring to it, look no further. Swank Specialty Produce is celebrating its 20th year in 2020.
Beloved by seekers of rare produce a go-to for chefs seeking a bedazzling ingredient — be it microgreens, a killer Asian spring mix, or edible flowers — the Loxahatchee-based operation, which spans 20 acres and boasts more than 350 varieties of produce, has made quite a name for itself.
Owners Jodi and Darrin Swank staged their first dinner event in 2011 when their friend and celebrated local chef Dean Max cooked a meal at their farm. It turned into an annual series that finds devotees willing to make the hourlong drive to attend.
“We asked Dean if he’d be up for it, and sure enough he came out with his staff and protégés,” Jodi Swank tells New Times. “It was so well done and the meal he prepared was amazing. When it was over, everyone said, ‘We have to do this again.’ Since then, it has evolved into a dinner series that sees some more of the area’s top chefs as well as brewers and mixologists serving up unique dinner experiences that each benefit charity.”
The Swanks recently announced eight dinners and two brunches for 2021.
Things will kick off on January 3 with the seventh annual white party, with chefs John Sergi (Planta), Andre Sattler (the Ben), and Joe Bonavita and Anna Ross (Anna Bakes) sharing kitchen duties. Veza Sur brewery will provide beer pairings and Mitch Herrick & The Homegrown Sinners will play live tunes. The evening will benefit Palm Beach-based nonprofit Hands Together for Haitians.
Looking ahead, additional dinners — with equally impressive guest chefs — include a “vegetable love” event (January 10), a bourbon dinner (January 31), and a Mardi Gras affair (February 21).
On February 28, the Swanks will celebrate with a Swank Farm 20th-anniversary shindig.
The new season will bring a few noticeable differences. Events will be limited to 120 tickets (versus 200-plus in years past), dinners will be plated (versus family-style), and masks will be required when not eating or drinking. But many of the charming components of the dinner series will remain, including hydroponic-grow-house tours with Darrin Swank and a massive dinner (socially distanced this year, of course) in the farm’s custom-designed, 8,500-square-foot pole barn.
“Let’s just hope we don’t have a COVID-19 surge here and relapse, because that could be detrimental to the state and the farm,” Jodi Swank says. “But bringing back the dinners has been very exciting to us and we know that many people are very excited that we are coming back, too.
"Now we just need to keep our fingers crossed for a good rest of the year.”
Swank Table 2021 Series. Select dates January 3 through May 9, 2021, at Swank Specialty Produce, 14311 North Rd., Loxahatchee; 561-202-5648; swankspecialtyproduce.com. Tickets cost $160.
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