Kickstart South Florida is a new feature highlighting local food-related crowd-funded projects on Kickstarter.
You may have met Robyn Almovodar on the streets of Miami, serving food from her food truck dubbed The Palate Party Fresh Mobile Cafe, where she serves up her famous soft-shell crab sandwiches, or meatball sliders smothered in a secret Sunday gravy.
Or perhaps you've seen her taking the heat during the 10th season of Fox's Hell's Kitchen, where she competed with her signature dish of seared striped sea bass.
Now, the Hollywood, Florida resident is starting up a new project -- one that will bring her cooking straight to your kitchen -- with an idea known as Incredible Creations that she launched on Kickstarter earlier this month.
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Growing up with an Italian family in Brooklyn, New York, Almodovar said she began cooking when she wasn't even old enough to reach the counter. There are memories of standing on a stool to roll meatballs with her grandmother.
"As I got older, it also became a chore. It was my job to feed everyone when I got home from school," said Almodovar. "But I loved it."
Today, Almodovar's cooking can be sampled right here in South Florida from her food truck, which serves a number of creative, fusion-style dishes that cover a variety of cuisine. Everything she prepares is "like a party in your mouth," she says -- which is also the slogan for the line of pre-made sauce, condiments and food that make up Incredible Creations.
Right now, Almodovar has three products in pre-production, including her mushroom risotto balls, fiery fairy hot sauce, and a tomato jam.
Unlike other hot sauce, Almodovar's has what she calls a balanced palate. It's not too sweet, not too spicy, and has just enough bite. "When I have hot sauce I want to be able to taste all the flavor, not just the heat. This is a hot sauce everyone can enjoy."
Next up, her tomato jam -- perfect for spreading on crackers with a bit of cheese. Like the hot sauce, it's a condiment that can be used to flavor and enhance a number of dishes or home-cooked meals.
Last, but certainly not least: Almodovar's mushroom risotto balls, hands down her truck's most popular menu item that comes from a recipe that began almost by accident. Not wanting some leftover risotto to go to waste, she tossed it together with some porcini mushrooms, spices and a dash of parmesan cheese, and the rest is history.
However, they're also the inspiration behind her Kickstarter project. According to Almodovar, the idea for starting Incredible Creations began when a customer asked how she could order more mushroom risotto balls -- like, a whole lot more.
"A lightbulb went off and I thought, 'Why not make these available to everyone?'" she said.
To get the project off the ground Almodovar has established a goal of $5,000, which she hopes to reach by Wednesday, February 6. Funds pledged for this project will help with the manufacturing, label design and marketing needed to get Incredible Creations products into stores like Publix and Whole Foods.
There are plans for more products, of course, including her meatballs, based off a family recipe. One thing every Incredible Creation will have in common, however:
"Everything is going to be like a party in your mouth!"&
For more information visit Almodovar's Kickstarter page, and "like" her on Facebook.