Palm Beach and farming have about as much in common as left-wing hippies and blue blood one percenters. Have you ever seen someone in Lilly Pulitzer working with dirt?
Unless it has something to do with keeping up with those perfectly manicured hedges, we didn't think so. Well, this weekend brought the two together at the Palm Beach Food and Wine Festival's
Food4Thought farm-to-table lunch at Swank Farms
. And quite frankly, it was a rather swanky event.
Clean Plate Charlie got the chance to chat with 2009 James Beard award winner, Mike Lata of FIG
and the soon to open the Ordinary
in Charleston, South Carolina about Palm Beach and the event.
Lata, who is opening his second restaurant--the Ordinary--next week, flew down from Charleston specifically for the event. He jumped on board for multiple reasons, but was excited by the chefs involved with the festival. "The line-up is impressive," he says "there are a lot of great chefs: cooking with Marc Vetri, he's a legend of our time."
Along with Lata and Vetri, the line-up included Top Chef winner Kevin Sbraga, Robert Irvine of Restaurant Impossible, and local darlings Linsey Autry, Zach Bell, Darryl Moiles, Jeff Hyatt, Tim Lippman, Sarah Ortiz, and Dean Max. Charles Steadman of Lantana Jacks was on cocktails.
Even aside from the big name chefs, the overall event was impressive. Guests pulled up to valet service--in a town with valet parking at Publix, that's not surprise. At sign-in, butlers stood holding glasses of champagne. Servers passed hors d'oeuvres. Hand-crafted cocktails were being mixed to order. All followed by a four-course lunch. Not too shabby for 200 bucks.
"We do turn down a lot of these events, frankly. It's difficult to leave, but something about Palm Beach in December appealed to me," says Lata. With the eighty degree weather and sun, we kind of get where he was coming from on that one.