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ISSUE EIGHT | November/December 2016


Eat . Drink . Think . Explore . | Season by Season

No.8 November/December 2016

Member of Edible Communities

9th Annual


JANUARY 2o - 29 Kick-off Dinner

Finale Dinner

Omni Amelia Island Plantation Thursday, January 19

Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island Saturday, January 28

PREPARE YOUR PALATE Amelia Island serves an enticing array of dining options sure to please every palate. This January, try a selection of Amelia Island’s irresistible, award-winning restaurants with special events and prix-fixe menus during the 9th annual Restaurant Week.

For More Information and to Plan your Getaway






EDIBLE TABLE What’s in Season


SEASONAL PLATE Family Dinner Kohlrabi Fennel, Orange and Dill Salad Fennel Gratin Brussels Sprouts Stir-Fry Brussels Sprouts Slaw Golden Cauliflower Creamy Cauliflower Soup Veggie Sliders


BACK OF THE HOUSE The Taste of Tradition

36 EDIBLE GIFT GUIDE Favorite Local Food and Beverage Finds






FROM THE OVEN Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies Mini Chocolate Pecan Tarts Cardamom, Orange, Pecan Cookies


‘TIS THE SEASON Plan Your Holiday Meals with Food from Local Farms


A WORLD OF CELEBRATION In Every Culture, Holidays Call for a Special Feast

Photo by Stefanie Keeler



Food, in the end, in our own tradition, is something holy…It’s about sharing. It’s about honesty. It’s about identity. –Louise Fresco While researching my family tree for a school assignment in fourth grade, my mother taught me to bake shortbread, a food representing my Scottish heritage. She had made this as a holiday gift for years, and I was excited about introducing these cookies to classmates. Little did I know then how many batches of shortbread I would make during subsequent holiday seasons. It has become such a popular tradition among my family and friends that previous recipients return empty cookie tins, hoping to have them replenished during my seasonal baking frenzy. Holidays allow us to take a step back from our daily habits, to celebrate a religious or historical occasion, to reflect on a shared past. As part of our holiday traditions, we gather for a repast or two (or many) and give thanks for what we have on and around the table. We associate the food we prepare year after year with our personal history and collective culture, finding comfort in a return to familiar dishes. The stories in our Traditions issue showcase the variety of ways we gather to celebrate. Because our region is rich in so many cultures, we have the opportunity to experience a world of holidays right here at home. Read how some local families honor their cultural traditions. Start a new tradition by making plans to source your holiday meal from local farmers. You may be surprised and delighted by the results of such a challenge. Looking for ways to bring new flavors to your traditional menu? Try our recipes featuring produce growing right here, right now in our region. Want suggestions for food and drink gifts to satisfy the locavores on your list? We have those too. Whether you observe the traditions of those who came before you, or seek new interpretations of your own, we hope your celebrations this season include a deep appreciation for those who provide the bounty on our tables – the farmers and food makers – whose work enriches our lives and our community.

PUBLISHER Amy Robb EDITOR Lauren Titus COPY EDITOR Doug Adrianson DESIGN Matthew Freeman PHOTOGRAPHY Jenna Alexander, Jesse Brantman, Maria Conover, Dennis Ho, Stefanie Keeler, Lexi Mire, Amy Robb CONTRIBUTORS Rosaria Anderson, Michael Bump, Cheryl Crosley, Mallorie Finnell, Erin Gibson, Jen Hand, Nancy Macri, Forrest Masters, Katie Nail, Sabeen Perwaiz, Cari Sanchez-Potter, Jason Swank SUBSCRIBE Edible Northeast Florida is published 6 times per year by Slidetray Media LLC. Subscriptions are $28 and available at FIND US ONLINE CONTACT US Have a story you'd like to see featured in Edible Northeast Florida? Send us your ideas! Edible Northeast Florida 24 Cathedral Place, Suite 406 St. Augustine, FL 32084 p. 904-494-8281 No part of this publication may be used without written permission by the publisher. Every effort is made to avoid errors, misspellings and omissions. If, however, an error comes to your attention, please accept our sincere apologies and notify us. Thank you. © 2016 Slidetray Media LLC. All rights reserved.

ON THE COVER: The Traditions Issue: Becky Cardenas of the Wilding Collective with her holiday wreath. Photo by Stefanie Keeler


November/December 2016


Edible Communities Publications of the Year 2011

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Jesse Brantman Jesse is an editorial and lifestyle photographer based in Jacksonville. He is also one half of the wedding photography duo, Jesse and Lexi Wedding Co. Michael Bump Michael, Executive Pastry Chef for Forking Amazing Restaurants, is a graduate of the Western Culinary Institute (now the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts) in Portland, Ore. He has more than 15 years of pastry chef experience, including eight years as the pastry chef at Restaurant Orsay. Maria Conover Maria is a professional photographer and baker with a deep passion to share it all with a community. Growing up in the Midwest has given Maria a strong love for carbs and hearty wheats; living in the South, she has come to appreciate a good ole’ southern happy hour.

Jen Hand Jen is a freelance writer based in St. Augustine. Her work has appeared in the St. Augustine Record and Folio Weekly and currently blogs for RoadBikeOutlet. com. A former short order cook, caterer, bartender and baker, she loves her CSA and farmers’ markets, and may have a slight cookbook problem. Dennis Ho As a freelance commercial photographer Dennis has spent the last two decades shooting for food, fashion and music industry brands in the United


November/December 2016

Lexi Mire Lexi is a fine art photographer and one half of Jesse and Lex Wedding Co. Originally from Cape Canaveral, she’s now digging her roots into Murray Hill. Her passion for photography started with creating self-portraits in secluded spots with her camera as company, and is now all about spending time with others. Katie Nail Katie put her writing career on hold in 2008, when she moved to Scotland, and pursued her dream of becoming a professional chef. Katie spends her days working as a copywriter and social media manager and her nights dreaming up delicious recipes. Follow her on Instagram @mygloriouskitchen. Sabeen Perwaiz As an advocate for the nonprofit sector, Sabeen is passionate about ideas worth spreading. She has a Master’s in International Development and a Bachelor’s in Psychology. An avid traveler, she has lived on three continents, visited 35 countries and hopes to visit at least 100 countries in her lifetime. Cari Sanchez-Potter Cari is the Jacksonville-based owner of an event production and marketing consulting company, trained gastronomist, award-winning cookbook author and food writer. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Boston College and a Master of Arts in Gastronomy from the University of Adelaide in South Australia. Jason Swank A Jacksonville native, Jason graduated from Johnson and Wales and currently serves as the Culinary director for the Blind Rabbit. He is a beard enthusiast and music listener who found his home in the kitchen and is influenced heavily by “soul” and southern styles of cooking.




Erin Gibson Erin has been bartending for a decade and has enjoyed making it a career. She is in love with the art of hospitality and the way food and beverage has not only shaped the way she makes a living, but how it has made her live a more thoughtful life.

Forrest Masters Forrest is a plant-based chef with a passion to make healthy food easy and accessible. Her company, Sprout Kitchen, is a nutritionally designed meal delivery service providing food that is 100% plantbased, non-GMO, gluten free, organic and locally sourced when possible.


Mallorie Finnell A Florida native, Mallorie graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Orlando in 2008 with a degree in Baking and Pastry. After graduating she pursued her pastry career and landed as the Pastry Chef for Biscottis and BB’s in Jacksonville Florida. Recently, she has been published in The Chef’s Canvas cookook.

Nancy Macri Nancy’s love of baking began by watching her grandmother and mother create amazing cakes, pies, and breads. Her kitchen has become completely plant-based and her baked goods can be found at the Old City Farmer’s Market at Bluebird Cookie Co.


Cheryl Crosley After attending Johnson and Wales culinary program Cheryl worked at Walt Disney World and in French restaurants in Orlando and St. Augustine. As owner of Manatee Café, she is applying all her expertise and experience to create vegetarian dishes for her customers.

Stefanie Keeler Born and raised in Miami Beach, Florida, Stefanie is now a senior at Jacksonville University, working on her BFA (with a concentration in photography). In between shooting weddings and eating locally, she is a self-taught fiber artist and loves exploring Jacksonville.


Rosaria Anderson After a career spanning over a few decades, Rosaria, a classically trained chef, uses locally sourced ingredients as her tools and creates Farm Fresh Feasts, little pop up culinary adventures throughout the First Coast.

States and Canada. At home in Jacksonville, Dennis balances an active travel and freelance schedule while serving as full time photo editor at his local alt weekly.


Jenna Alexander Telling a story through pictures, no matter the medium, has always been Jenna’s thing. She is a photographer, illustrator and painter, currently working out of her studio in St. Augustine. She is drawn to natural light and airy images, and white is her favorite color.

Book your holiday party with us today! SEATING AVAILABLE IN BOTH THE PRIVATE AND MAIN DINING ROOMS. CALL 904.396.2344 FOR DETAILS.


Kitchen on San Marco supports Culinard, the Culinary Institute of Virginia College.

KOREAN BEEF SHORTRIBS with bulgogi marinade

Napa Cabbage Kimchi made in-house at Black Sheep

Benne Seeds from Anson Mills, Columbia, SC Grits from Logan Turnpike, Blairsville, GA Eggs from Black Hog Farm, East Palatka, FL

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Plan Your Holiday Meals with Food from Local Farms WORDS JEN HAND PHOTOS JESSE BRANTMAN


November/December 2016




What would happen if, say, all the readers of this magazine went to their local farmers’ market the week before Thanksgiving to purchase their vegetables and turkeys for the holiday table? Would local growers be able to meet the demand? It is not likely. Florida has about 47,000 commercial farms and ranks second to California in the total value of fresh market vegetable production. Eighty percent of the fresh vegetables consumed in the U.S. from January through March each year come from Florida. With so much being grown in Florida, one would think eating local would be an easy goal to achieve. Yet the 2016 Locavore Index, a survey that indicates a commitment to local food production and consumption in homes, restaurants, schools and institutions, ranked Florida 50th out of 52 (including Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.). Since the index was first measured in 2012, we have actually dropped – from 41 to 48 in 2015 to 50th. (Our neighbor to the north, Georgia, demonstrates a slightly higher level of commitment, ranking 43rd on the list.) Direct sales per capita (farmers selling directly to consumers) in Florida was $1.01. So where is all the local produce for our holiday meals? November and December are ideal months to find lots of seasonal produce in Northeast Florida given the variety of vegetables harvested in the fall. However, you will need to be flexible if you hope to serve locally grown meats and vegetables at the holidays. It may be harder than you think, especially if you are trying to track down a locally raised turkey. (We’ll tackle that later.) To begin, become an informed shopper and learn what is in season. Chat up the men and women with the dirty hands during your visit to the market, ask questions at each vendor and find out where the food is grown. Keep in mind, however, that not all area farmers’ markets are producer-only; some markets allow vendors who bring in products that originate well beyond Florida – so buyer beware, if you are striving to support Northeast Florida farms. On most Saturdays from October through May, Ryan Lee is one of a handful of growers who can be found in the shadow of the Fuller Warren Bridge at the Riverside Arts Market selling the vegetables, herbs and cut flowers he harvests. Some of the offerings he has are

He would challenge us not to pull out our favorite holiday standby recipes, make a list and then go shopping. Instead he’ d rather we “go to the farms and see what looks the best, the freshest.” He added, “Talk to them, ask what they’ve been growing and what looks good. Purchase that. Then find a recipe to suit it.” beets, spinach, lettuces and assorted other greens, many radish varieties, broccoli and carrots (his two favorite veggies to grow). Why does he do it? He wants to know where his food comes from. “I know that I’m not feeding my kids a bunch of pesticide and fungicide laden food,” Lee said. By using organic growing practices, he added “I manage my soils in a responsible way that is constantly improving the biology to make it better than I found it.”


Lee has honorably served in the Navy for 19 years, achieving the rank of Senior Chief Petty Officer. Planting and harvest season are hectic for this urban farmer as he balances his family, the demands of Lee’s Edible Acres and his full time day job with the Navy. The farm is mostly a one-man operation, with the occasional help of a neighbor and a few volunteers during the busy season. Holiday meals for Lee’s family are a little different. Lee acknowledged “a great group of friends that are all Florida transplants that get together to make their own family here.” The potluck rotates between houses every year and features a typical holiday meal; turkey, green bean casserole, stuffing, gravy, mac and cheese, rolls and desserts. Lee said he did such a good job smoking the turkey the first year of the gathering, he’s been stuck doing it ever since. But tracking down a locally raised turkey requires more effort than finding local beef and pork here. Pasture Prime Family Farm, Laughing Chicken Farm and Pastured Life Farm are all within a couple of hours of the Jacksonville/St. Augustine corridor. Each has free-range turkeys available for the holidays. A produce delivery service, Local Fare South works with area farmers to source their meats including


November/December 2016


Lake Meadow Naturals, an Ocoee-based farm that has heritage turkeys. This may cause you to re-think your holiday meal. Certified executive chef and television personality Justin Timineri has a few thoughts on this. The international culinary ambassador for the state is a Florida native. He and his family eat a lot of fish, and admittedly his “holiday meals are seafood-centric.” He revels in picking up whatever is freshest at his local fish market and then building the meal around it. Timineri dishes advice on holiday preparations, acknowledging that we all have certain favorites we like to look for and prepare. He would challenge us not to pull out our favorite holiday standby recipes, make a list and then go shopping. Instead he’d rather we “go to the farms and see what looks the best, the freshest.” He added, “Talk to them, ask what they’ve been growing and what looks good. Purchase that. Then find a recipe to suit it.” So much of the food we eat travels thousands of miles to get to our plates. Produce and meat distribution in our country is dominated by large corporations that buy/sell in huge volume and then truck these goods over state (and international) lines. Big box and grocery stores tend to excessively package and then they (and we!) waste tons of this far flung food (up to 40% goes to waste). As consumers, we need to take responsibility for our role supporting a local food economy. Eating seasonal food grown locally bucks that overwhelming feeling you get when walking through aisles of produce at the supermarket. There is a sense of empowerment when you buy directly from the farmer who grows the food. By supporting Northeast Florida farms and encouraging our local farmers to grow a diverse mix of food for us to purchase, we are helping to build a more resilient and sustainable food system. What else can we do to demonstrate our support for area farmers? How about we demand that our local grocers source and sell more locally grown produce? Both Winn Dixie and Publix, for example, have made a few inroads with this, highlighting Florida produce in their ad circulars and in-store signage. But there is so much more they can do. Grocery and big box stores need to evolve to keep up with shifts in consumer demand. Call them out. Get the ear of the store’s produce or general manager, and insist upon Northeast Florida veggies when possible. ‘Tis the season to be grateful for what we have, and that includes the food on our plates. We give thanks, and we give presents. Why don’t we give back to those who grow our food and do all we can to support them?

LUNCH Tuesday - Thursday 11am-3pm BRUNCH Sunday 10am-3pm SUPPER Tuesday - Friday 4pm-10pm Saturday 4pm-11pm & Sunday 4pm-9pm

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Muddled. Shaken. Stirred.

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The Sunshine Plate Sharing the story of food and drink in our region.


Episodes available online:

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What’s in Season?

Here’s a list of the produce and seafood you can expect to find at your local farmers’ market in the coming months. Growing methods such as hydroponics can extend seasons, so you may also see other types of produce on occasion. Don’t hesitate to ask where your food is grown. Seasonal closures and catch limits may affect availability of fish and seafood. PRODUCE Arugula Beans Beets Bok choy Braising mix Broccoli Brussels sprouts Butternut squash Cabbage Carrots Cauliflower Chard Chestnuts Cilantro Chinese spinach Chives Collards Cucumbers Endive/escarole English peas Fennel Grapefruits Green onions Hot peppers Kale Kohlrabi Kumquats Lemons Lettuce Limes

November/December 2016

FISH AND SEAFOOD Alligator Bass Clams Cobia Drum (Red) Flounder Grouper Mullet Oysters Pompano Snapper Shrimp Spanish Mackerel Spiny Lobster Stone Crab Claws Swordfish Tilapia Wahoo

Recipe for Creamy Cauliflower Soup on page 19.

Photo by Jenna Alexander


Mizuna Mustard greens Napa cabbage Okra Onions Oranges Pecans Persimmons Pomegranates Pommelos Pumpkins Radicchio Radishes Rutabagas Salad mix Satsumas Scallions Sorrel Spinach Sunchokes Sweet peppers Sweet potatoes Swiss chard Tangelos Tangerines Tomatoes Turnips Vermicelli squash Winter squash


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November/December 2016

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Family Dinner Kohlr abi

This dish is a favorite from Rosaria’s childhood. Though her mother’s version was more Sicilian, Rosaria puts her own twist on it with the addition of pecorino cheese and green peas. Recipe by Chef Rosaria Anderson, This Chick Can Cook Catering | Serves 6

INGREDIENTS 1 pound fava beans or butter beans 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed to break the clove ½ lemon 2 medium kohlrabi roots, cleaned, peeled and diced in large pieces Fresh parsley, chopped, to taste ½ cup English peas Olive oil 2 cups petite Swiss chard, washed Pecorino romano or ricotta salata, grated or shaved, to taste Truffle oil (optional)

PREPARATION Cook beans then quickly chill in ice water and set aside. Zest and juice the lemon and set aside, saving the lemon pieces for the stock. In a 2-quart pot, add garlic, lemon pieces, diced kohlrabi and salt to taste and cover with water. Bring to a boil uncovered, then reduce to simmer. Remove the lemon pieces and chunks of garlic to avoid bitterness. Leave uncovered. Check for seasoning and add chopped parsley to assist in flavor of stock.

Add green peas to kohlrabi broth and bring to a quick boil. When peas are cooked (about 3-5 minutes) add fava beans to heat. Drizzle olive oil over stock and let sit covered. To serve, divide Swiss chard between 6 bowls and add vegetables from the pot, reserving the broth. Divide broth between each bowl. Top with lemon zest and cheese. Drizzle lemon juice and truffle oil if desired.




Fennel, Or ange and Dill Salad

Fennel is one of the most versatile vegetables around and can be served cooked or raw. Serve with lamb, fish or any protein that needs something a little brighter. Bring it to your next potluck and watch the recipe requests roll in. Recipe by Katie Nail | Serves 8

INGREDIENTS Salad 4 fennel bulbs 4 navel oranges 5 sprigs dill ½ small red onion, peeled and finely diced Dressing ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice 1 teaspoon sea salt Black pepper to taste To prepare salad: Trim the fennel by cutting off the tall stalks where they begin to turn green.* Cut the fennel bulbs in half and then, starting from the base of the bulb, thinly slice. Place all sliced fennel into a large bowl. Section the oranges by cutting off the skin, then use a paring knife to slice each orange segment out. Place segments into the bowl with the fennel. Remove sprigs from the dill stalk and roughly chop. Add to the salad, then add red onion. Cover in dressing and marinate for 24 hours. To prepare dressing: Measure out the olive oil and then season with salt and pepper. Slowly pour in vinegar, whisking continuously. Then gradually whisk in orange juice. There should be enough marinade to cover ½ to ¾ of the salad. If not, make more dressing and add to the salad. * Fennel stalks can be eaten but are very tough. If you want, save the stalks to add a lovely flavor to broths or soups later.


November/December 2016


Photo by Lexi Mire

Fennel Gr atin

Try this variation on a potato gratin for a side dish that has a mild anise-like flavor, but is sweeter and more aromatic. Recipe by Katie Nail | Serves 8

INGREDIENTS 5 fennel bulbs 4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable stock 1 cup (8 ounces) heavy whipping cream ¾ cup breadcrumbs ½ cup grated parmesan cheese 1 teaspoon sea salt ½ teaspoon cinnamon Pepper to taste

PREPARATION Preheat oven to 400°. Prepare the fennel by cutting off the stalks where the green and white meet. Then quarter each bulb. Place the quarters into a heavy pot. Season and then pour the vegetable stock over the fennel until just covered. Bring the stock to a boil and simmer for 7 minutes.

Transfer the fennel and half the liquid to a medium-size baking dish. Add the cream and place uncovered in the hot oven. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove and add the breadcrumbs and grated cheese. Place back into the oven and bake until the cheese has melted and turned golden brown, about 5–7 minutes. Serve immediately.

Photos by Lexi Mire Katie Nail is a trained chef and avid home cook who enjoys creating new recipes using seasonal ingredients.



“Brussels sprouts have become one of my favorite vegetables because of their depth of application in the kitchen. I tried them as a kid and hated them, and then as I grew up and became a chef, I learned to love them.” — Chef Jason Swank

Photo by Lexi Mire


November/December 2016


Brussels Sprouts Stir-Fry

Take advantage of the local Brussels sprouts harvest and serve these mini cabbages as a side dish during the holiday season. Recipe by Chef Jason Swank, The Blind Rabbit | Serves 6

NGREDIENTS 1½ pounds Brussels sprouts 1 pound applewood-smoked bacon (or your favorite bacon) ½ pound radishes, quartered ½ yellow onion, thinly sliced 1 pint cherry tomatoes (washed and cut in half ) ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese Salt and pepper to taste PREPARATION Clean Brussels sprouts by washing and removing base stem, then cut in half. Wash radishes and cut into quarters. Combine

radishes and Brussels sprouts in a mixing bowl and set to the side. Slice bacon into 1-inch-thick ribbons, place in large sauté pan and cook to desired crispness. Remove bacon from fat, add onion and caramelize until dark brown. Add Brussels sprout–radish mixture along with the bacon to the pan. Toss with onions and bacon fat. Place pan in 350° oven for 5 minutes, until sprouts and radishes are al dente. Take pan out, add cherry tomatoes and toss until evenly distributed. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle goat cheese on top.

Brussels Sprouts Slaw

A member of the Cabbage family, Brussels sprouts are a delicious alternative ingredient when making traditional slaw salads. Horseradish adds a refreshing bite to this side dish. Recipe by Chef Jason Swank, The Blind Rabbit | Serves 4–6

INGREDIENTS For the dressing ½ cup mayonnaise 1 tablespoon horseradish 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard ¼ cup apple cider vinegar Salt, pepper and sugar, to taste

For the slaw 1 pound Brussels sprouts, cleaned and washed ½ pound carrots ¼ pound radishes, sliced thin 1 red onion, julienned 4 ears sweet corn (husked)

PREPARATION Whisk together mayonnaise, horseradish, mustard and vinegar until emulsified. Season to taste.

PREPARATION Thinly slice Brussels sprouts. Peel and shred carrots using box grater or a very sharp chef’s knife. Remove corn from cobs. Mix all vegetables together with the dressing in a large bowl. Refrigerate until serving time.

Photos by Lexi Mire


Felipe Sardi

{La Palma y El Tucán} Cundinamarca, Colombia




At Bold Bean Coffee Roasters, there’s a story – and a face – behind every cup of our selectively sourced, farmer direct, specialty coffees. Faces such as that of specialty coffee innovator Felipe Sardi, one of our growing community of Bold Bean producer partners. Felipe and his wife, Elisa, founded their La Palma y El Tucán operation with an eye toward revolutionizing production practices in their native Colombia. Borrowing from and building on best practices used in wine production and modern farming methods, coupled with farm workers paid for quality over quantity, their innovative approach is a daily demonstration that great coffee doesn’t just happen.

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November/December 2016



Golden Cauliflower

The color of this aromatic side dish adds a festive touch to your holiday menu. Recipe by Forrest Masters, Sprout Kitchen | Serves 6–8

INGREDIENTS 1 large cauliflower 1 tablespoon coconut oil 1 cup coconut yogurt 2 cloves garlic 1 teaspoon turmeric 1 teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon coriander 1 teaspoon ground ginger ¼ teaspoon cayenne Sea salt and pepper to taste 2 tablespoons lime juice 1 teaspoon lime zest ¼ cup chopped cilantro

PREPARATION Break cauliflower into small florets. To make marinade, blend together coconut oil, yogurt, garlic, spices, salt, pepper and lime juice. Toss florets in marinade and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Place florets on parchment-lined baking sheet and roast at 400° for 25 minutes or until golden. Top with lime zest and cilantro and serve.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

Easy to assemble, this vegan soup makes a great first course during cauliflower season. Recipe by Forrest Masters, Sprout Kitchen Serves 6–8

INGREDIENTS 1 large cauliflower 1 medium potato, peeled and chopped 3 cups vegetable stock 3 bay leaves 2 leeks, washed, chopped 1 carrot, diced 1 tablespoon coconut oil 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk Sea salt and pepper to taste 1 cup microgreens PREPARATION Boil cauliflower, potato, vegetable stock and bay leaves for 25 minutes. Sauté leeks and carrot in coconut oil until cooked through. Remove bay leaves, then add leeks and carrots to cauliflower mixture. Blend mixture with coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with microgreens. Photo by Jenna Alexander



Veggie Sliders

Looking for a healthy snack or a light lunch during the holiday season? Try these veggie-packed mini sandwiches. Recipe by Chef Cheryl Crosley, Manatee Cafe | Makes 8-10 mini burgers

INGREDIENTS 2 cups cooked black beans ½ cup cooked brown rice ¼ cup cooked sweet potato ¼ cup salsa ¼ cup cooked red cabbage ¼ cup avocado ¼ cup shredded carrots 2 tablespoons Braggs liquid aminos 1 tablespoons Spike seasoning ¾ cup carrot juice 1 cup spelt flour 1 tablespoon olive oil


November/December 2016

PREPARATION Mix all ingredients except oil together, adding more spelt flour if too moist to hold together. Shape into small patties. Heat oil in frying pan and cook patties about 10 minutes on each side. Serve on small dinner rolls or hamburger buns with condiments of your choice: ketchup, spicy mustard, green or red onions, sliced tomato, avocado, cheese, etc.

Photo by Jenna Alexander


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November/December 2016






“What we’re after is real food. We eat this way at home—it’s what we feed our family and we look at our customers as family.”

Photo by Amy Robb

Ben Loose, owner of Gas Restaurant, with his grandfather’s butcher block table.




Watching a mother or grandmother cook, observing her hands skilled at preparing and combining ingredients—these moments are the training camp in the life of many young culinarians. They create a foundation for experimentation and exploration. Later, formal education and on-the-job experience build on those formative roots, when simple raw materials were transformed into something more. As a cook’s expertise evolves with a desire to innovate, sometimes it is a return to the past that inspires new flavors for the table. For Ben Loose, chef-owner of Gas Restaurant in St. Augustine, honoring his family’s traditions is evident as soon as you walk through the door. There, a butcher’s block table greets you, a souvenir of his grandfather’s butcher shop back in Pennsylvania. Once a perfect square, the edges of the solid oak table are now worn smooth from years of slicing and shaping fresh meat. Loose proudly carries on this legacy by serving hand-cut steaks and other meats at his restaurant, having learned much of the techniques at his grandfather’s business. He spent his early years in Lancaster County and then, after moving with his parents to Florida, returned to spend summer months with his grandparents in an area surrounded by farms that raised both vegetables and livestock. Loose recalls going to the stockyards on Mondays with his grandfather to buy the animals that would then be butchered and sold at a farmers’ market on Friday. “It was an all-family business—my grandfather, uncles, brothers all worked together. I would ride with my grandpa to the auctions and then we would bring the pigs and cows back to the shop. I had to earn my keep when I visited in the summer, and would go to the markets with him to sell the meat,” said Loose. Growing up around the butchering business, and seeing everything from the slaughter to the grinding to making bacon and sausage, he learned at an early age where meat came from. “It never seemed strange,” he said. “That’s just the way it is.” Besides hands-on experience with his grandfather, Loose also spent time in the kitchen cooking with his mother. “My mom bakes a lot and some of our desserts are based on her recipes,” said Loose. “She encouraged me to pursue a career in foodservice. Occasionally we would eat at a steakhouse where there was an open kitchen; she noticed how I liked to watch the cooks, and thought that would be a good job for me.” After several years working in various restaurants, refining his skills along the way, Loose was offered an opportunity to open his own place. He jumped at the chance to create an eatery that would serve hand-cut, high-quality meats and locally sourced vegetables. “What we’re after is real food. We eat this way at home—it’s what we feed our family and we look at our customers as family,” he said. “I’ve had people come in, tourists, who told me they bought meat from my grandfather. That’s been pretty special. He was able to visit once and was very impressed. He loved a good pork chop and was happy to see that on the menu.”


November/December 2016

Family traditions also made an impression on Chef Ryan Randolph while growing up in Tennessee. Randolph discovered the value of sustainable living and seasonal eating at an early age on his family’s farm, and he has incorporated many of those food memories into the dishes at Kitchen on San Marco. During apple season in the fall and winter, for instance, the chef will add one of his favorite desserts, the stack cake. Traditionally served at weddings in Appalachia, individual layers were provided by family and friends attending the ceremony and the stack cake was then assembled by the bride’s family using dried apples, apple butter and a sorghum glaze. “The tradition started because brides had no money or time for an elaborate cake, so family and friends would each bring a layer. The more stacks on a cake, the more prominent the family,” said Randolph. Wedding celebrations would customarily take place in

“The tradition started because brides had no money or time for an elaborate cake, so family and friends would each bring a layer. The more stacks on a cake, the more prominent the family.”


the cooler months because that was the season for butchering hogs, harvesting apples and processing sorghum syrup, food in abundance in the Appalachian region. In addition to weddings, Chef Randolph’s family tradition was to have a stack cake for holiday gatherings. He watched his grandmother and aunts prepare many a cake over the years. His grandmother would pick, peel and thinly slice the apples, then dry them—on her roof. “She would put a tarp on the roof and then throw the slices up there to dry for 24 hours,” Randolph said. To protect the apples, his grandmother would sit in her rocking chair on the front porch armed with her shotgun to deter any opportunistic birds from helping themselves to the key ingredient of the holiday dessert. The cake is flavored with cinnamon and sweetened with sorghum. The dried apples are cooked down into a thick butter. “We would have at least six layers of the cake, each individually baked in cast-iron pans. The cake would not have decorations; it was just real simple looking. Making the cake was such a big process for my grandmother and aunts,” said Randolph. “It’s funny to see something I associate with childhood being photographed so intensely.” When we pass along recipes and skills, we honor our family traditions while preserving our cultural roots. It’s a way of keeping our ancestry alive, with the hope that young and future culinarians are watching, learning traditions to make their own.

Photos by Jesse Brantman

Chef Randolph prepares his family’s traditional Stack Cake. Want the recipe? Visit us online.


One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. – Virginia Woolf




CATERING • CAFÉ GOURMET GROCERY JUICE BAR • KITCHENWARE Open Tues - Sun 9:00 am to 3:00 pm 503A Centre Street | Fernandina Beach 904-277-9779




At TPC Sawgrass • Thanksgiving Day Buffet – Thursday, November 24th • Tree Lighting Ceremony – Friday, November 25th • Brunch with Santa – Sunday, December 11th • Festival of the Seven Fishes – December 23rd & December 24th Please contact Cameron Geer Social & Member Events Coordinator at 904.543.5105 to make your reservation today!





Follow us on social media to stay up to date on specials and upcoming events. @ovintejax @ildescojax @bistroaix

November/December 2016

/ovinte /ildescojax /bistroaixjax


Semi-swanky street food, hand-crafted with ingredients you can pronounce. Serving Mexclectic tacos on fresh, house-made tortillas, daily. Slow Food approved.

818 Post Street | Jacksonville 904-240-0412 |

A WORLD OF CELEBRATION In every culture, holidays call for a special feast WORDS CARI SANCHEZ-POTTER AND SABEEN PERWAIZ



Friends and family gather to celebrate Nochebuena with a Christmas Eve feast.

Residents in Northeast Florida hail from all over the world. As of 2011, foreign-born residents accounted for nearly a third of Duval County’s population growth. With such a richness of cultures, there is an opportunity to experience different holidays and traditions of the world right here at home. A holiday is a great way to get a taste of another culture, teaching us about customs and traditions while sharing in people’s joy, with food as a central element in each celebration. Here is a sample of some of the delicious cuisines and traditions to be found in our region.


Rosa Ortiz and her daughter Penny spread masa on a banana leaf.


PUERTO RICAN NOCHEBUENA In Puerto Rico, as in Spain and throughout Latin America, Christmas is the midpoint of a nearly month-long holiday season that begins in December and ends on January 6, when the Three Kings arrive on Día de los Reyes. Nightly parties, parades and caroling fill this balmy Caribbean island with an atmosphere of festivity, and the celebrations are accompanied by dinners shared with family, friends and neighbors. Here in Northeast Florida, the biggest day of celebration for Libna Lopez and her daughter Leslie Rios Wilkins is the Nochebuena, or Christmas Eve, feast. The preparations begin in the days leading up to the holiday with family and friends gathering to make pasteles. The pastel, a bundle of pork filling stuffed into a batter of grated root vegetables and wrapped in a banana leaf, is considered by many Puerto Ricans to be the dish most representative of their cocina criolla. This multicultural cuisine grew from the island’s native Taíno Indian roots and was later influenced by the Spanish and Africans who have inhabited the island for the past 500 years. It is the dish that Puerto Ricans crave most when they move away from their island home and it incorporates many of the ingredients that are unique to the island’s cuisine: sofrito, an aromatic base that is used as the jumping off point for many recipes; achiote, a seed that lends a warm reddish hue and subtle flavor; and sazón, a seasoning salt that is ubiquitous in Puerto Rican cooking.


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Making pasteles is a tradition passed down through the generations, and has long been Libna’s domain. This year, Leslie wanted to learn her mother’s technique for making this special holiday dish. The process of making pasteles starts at least a day in advance with shopping and prepping ingredients. The next day is a full day of cooking, with family and neighbors coming in and out of the kitchen to lend a hand, all the while sipping coquito, coconut-based eggnog that boasts a hefty dose of white rum. Libna starts by toasting the banana leaf wrappers over an open flame until glossy and pliable. She recruits Leslie to make the dough, a starchy mix of grated root vegetables that has a slight reddish tint from the achiote oil. Finally, Libna neatly arranges her signature filling ingredients in a row: pork, chickpeas, strips of roasted red pepper and green olives. Once the elements are laid out everyone falls into an assembly line, first brushing the banana leaf with achiote oil, then filling it with the starchy dough. The juicy pork and other filling ingredients are added, then each pastel is packaged into a neat little green packet tied tightly with string that would seem right at home under the holiday tree. It takes practice to get the packets just right, and Libna guides Leslie the first few times until the technique is perfected. During the Nochebuena celebration, the evening revolves around a sprawling buffet that includes the revered pasteles along with arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas), succulent lechón (roast pork), a simple green salad and pastelillos (fried empanadas). Libna surveys the spread, confident that her holiday cocina criolla traditions will survive another generation.

PUERTO RICAN PASTELES The pastel, a bundle of pork filling stuffed into a batter of grated root vegetables and wrapped in a banana leaf, is considered by many Puerto Ricans to be the dish most representative of their cocina criolla. Makes 50 pasteles. INGREDIENTS

For the pork filling: 9½ pounds bone-in, skinless pork butt 1 packet sazon seasoning 1 tablespoon adobo seasoning 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste 5 tablespoons achiote oil 1 cup Puerto Rican sofrito 3 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce 6 cups water PREPARATION The day before you are going to cook the pork filling, prepare and marinate the meat. Remove bone from pork butt and trim all fat off the meat. Reserve the bone. Cut the trimmed meat into 1-inch cubes and place in a large bowl. Add sazon, adobo and 1 tablespoon salt, then stir to coat pork with seasonings. Cover and marinate overnight. The next day, heat a large stockpot over medium heat. Add achiote oil, sofrito, tomato sauce and water. Bring to a simmer. Add pork bone and half of meat. Stir to coat with sauce. Add the remaining pork meat and stir well. Bring the meat to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer, covered, for 1¼ hours, stirring occasionally. Check for seasoning and add salt to taste. Remove 4 cups of cooking broth to use for the pasteles dough. Place the meat and remaining broth in a large bowl and reserve for assembling pasteles. For the masa (dough): 8 green plantains 4 mafafos (short, squat unripened bananas) 11 green bananas 1 cup evaporated milk 1 cup broth from cooking pork 7 tablespoons achiote oil 1½ tablespoons salt

Libna teaches her daughter Leslie how to make pasteles.

pass each leaf over a hot flame until leaf changes in color and becomes shiny and pliable. Using scissors, cut banana leaves into sheets slightly smaller than the parchment paper sheets, approximately 7 by 10 inches. PREPARATION Grate plantains, mafafos and green bananas using the smallest holes of a box grater. Place grated bananas in an extra-large bowl and add evaporated milk, broth and achiote oil. Use your hands to mix thoroughly, then add the salt. Allow masa to rest for 30 minutes. To assemble pasteles: 1 bag banana leaves (about 30 large leaves) 50 sheets parchment paper, approximately 9 by 12 inches each 2 cups achiote oil 1 recipe masa dough 1 recipe pork filling 1 (16-ounce) jar pimiento-stuffed olives, drained and halved lengthwise 6 whole roasted red bell peppers from a jar, sliced into thin pieces 2 (15-ounce) cans garbanzo beans, drained 50 lengths of butcher’s twine, approximately 36 inches each Using scissors, cut out the large middle vein of each banana leaf. Wipe each leaf with a wet cloth. Using a pair of tongs or your hands,

To assemble pasteles, place 1 piece of parchment paper on your work surface and top with a banana leaf. Spread a teaspoon of achiote oil in center of banana leaf. Mound 1/3 cup masa on top of achiote and create a shallow dent in the center of the masa. Place ¼ cup pork, 1 olive half, 2 strips roasted red bell pepper and 4 or 5 garbanzo beans in the dent you created in the masa. Working quickly, fold the parchment paper over the filling and fold in the ends to make a tight package. Tie pastel tightly with butcher’s twine. Repeat with remaining filling and masa dough. To cook pasteles: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasteles 8 or 10 at a time, being careful not to overcrowd pot, and boil for 25 minutes. Remove pasteles with tongs, allowing water to drain off each pastel, and place on a platter. To serve, cut butcher’s twine with scissors and unwrap each pastel. Serve hot with arroz con gandules and a green salad.



CAMBODIAN NEW YEAR Cambodians, along with neighboring countries Laos and Thailand, follow the Buddhist calendar; last April they feted the year 2560 with a three-day New Year’s celebration. To honor the occasion, temples and homes were decorated with lights and an offering table consisting of banana leaves, fruit, candles and incense should be placed outside for the gods. Families gathered to drink, eat and dance. Cambodian (Khmer) New Year is celebrated by roughly 5,000 Cambodians in Jacksonville. Two local temples, (known as wats in Khmer), serve as places of worship and hold regular festivities to keep the culture and traditions of home alive. We were able to participate in a recent celebration as guests of Top Chan at Wat Kanteyaram. This hidden beauty on the Westside has an interesting side story: A former Cambodian resident of Jacksonville won the lottery and donated $2.3 million to help build the wat. Every element of the temple was brought in piece by piece from Cambodia, including the two-ton Buddha. “We want to let the community know about our culture both as a way to educate as well as to help keep it vibrant in the area,” said Chan. The holiday calls for a generous feast. Most dishes use kroeung, a spice and herb paste similar to a Thai curry paste, as a base, though generally Cambodian cuisine is not very spicy. Kroeung is used to make the classic dish amok. Fish amok steamed in banana leaf is widely cooked for holidays and is a well-known Cambodian dish. The holiday meal is served family style, and almost always includes a soup, spring rolls, fried rice, barbecue and sticky sweet rice with mango for dessert. Condiments are equally important. Two common sauces include a combination of fish sauce, chopped chilies, shallots, garlic and palm sugar, or a make-it-yourself mix of black pepper, salt and lime juice.


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Fish amok steamed in banana leaf is widely cooked for holidays and is Cambodia’s most famous dish. Serves 4 INGREDIENTS ½ recipe kroeung (Khmer spice and herb paste)* ¾ cup coconut milk, plus another ½ cup for garnish 1½ tablespoons fish sauce 1 teaspoon prahok (crushed, salted and fermented fish paste) 1 egg, beaten ½ teaspoon salt 1½ pounds catfish, cut into 1-inch pieces 8 banana leaves 1 bunch Chinese broccoli (can substitute collard greens, spinach or kale) 6 kaffir lime leaves, finely julienned 1 small red bell pepper, finely julienned Steamed rice, to serve Upper left: Vannin Som offers up a plate of Catfish Amok at Khmer New Year. Below: Samlor Kako, a traditional soup dish of Cambodia.

PREPARATION Marinate fish: In a large bowl, mix together kroeung paste, ¾ cup coconut milk, fish sauce, prahok, egg and salt. Add the fish and combine well. Set aside and marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes. To prepare banana leaf bowls: While fish is marinating, wipe each banana leaf with a wet cloth. Using a pair of tongs, hold each leaf over a hot flame until leaf changes in color and becomes glossy and pliable. Make 4 banana leaf bowls by stacking 2 banana leaves on top of each other and folding into little rectangular bowls, holding the sides together with toothpicks.

To assemble amok: Make a bed of Chinese broccoli in the bottom of each banana leaf bowl. Divide the fish and marinade among the bowls on top of the broccoli. Spoon remaining ½ cup coconut milk on top of fish, dividing equally among the 4 bowls. Top with kaffir lime leaves and red bell pepper slivers. To cook amok: Assemble steamer by filling a wok or large saucepan to just under the level of a bamboo or metal steamer rack. Bring water to a boil. Place the filled amoks in the steamer, cover tightly and steam 20 minutes, or until fish is cooked through. Serve with steamed rice.

*For the Kroeung (Khmer Curry Paste) recipe, please visit



JEWISH SHABBAT The most important Jewish holiday happens not once a year, but once a week. Every Friday evening just before sundown the Shabbat candles are lit at dinner tables, and families settle in for a shared feast with their loved ones and honored guests to celebrate the Jewish day of rest. A few minutes before sunset on Friday, the women of the house light two candles and recite a blessing that officially ushers in Shabbat. After blessings over wine and challah—a braided loaf of sweet, eggy bread—a festive dinner is kicked off with a hearty proclamation of “Shabbat Shalom!” One Friday, Chef Scotty Schwartz and his family invited us to their home to celebrate Shabbat. The meal featured traditional Ashkenazi dishes, which have their origins in Eastern Europe and Russia. All the cooking and baking had been done in advance in accordance with Shabbat laws, so everyone could enjoy the company and the meal at leisure. The meal began with deviled eggs stuffed with chopped liver and topped with caramelized onions. Chef Scotty considers this dish his Southern adaptation of the traditional Ashkenazi chopped liver and onions. But he learned his great aunt, who hails from Hungary, makes a similar stuffed egg dish. Also on the table was a platter of gefilte fish, an Eastern European classic. Chef Scotty referred to the first course, a soul-warming bowl of matzo ball soup, as “Jewish penicillin” because of its restorative powers. The soup boasts so few ingredients— chicken stock, simmered matzo balls, carrots and a few snips of dill— so the quality of the broth is of the utmost importance. The secret to a rich, complex broth is a double stock that results in a pure, comforting soup. Up next was tender, slow-braised brisket flavored with tomatoes, onions and carrots accompanied by crisp potato latkes with a dollop of applesauce and bright Brussels sprouts. Schmaltz, the family’s English bulldog, rested in the corner while we chatted over wine and enjoyed a camaraderie that was as nourishing as the meal itself. Over dinner, once a week, 52 times a year, the fast pace and rigors of everyday life are set aside and a restful transition occurs. Shabbat is a time to pause and absorb the simple pleasures of feasting, family and friends.

Left to right: Gefilte fish topped with beets and dill; Chef Scotty Schwartz prepares Matzo Ball Soup for Shabbat.

Matzo Ball Soup

The secret to Chef Scotty Schwartz’s soul-warming “Jewish penicillin” is a double stock. Instead of making his chicken stock with water he starts with store-bought chicken broth. Serves 6 INGREDIENTS Double Chicken Stock recipe* Reserved chicken breast meat 2 cups ¼ -inch-diced carrots 2 cups ¼ -inch-diced celery 1/8 cup minced fresh dill ½ cup minced fresh parsley Matzo Balls (recipe below) Dill, for serving PREPARATION To make soup: Put Double Chicken Stock in a large pot and heat, adding the diced carrots, celery, dill and parsley. Shred the reserved chicken breast meat into large pieces and add to the stock. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes to cook the vegetables and reheat the chicken.

2 tablespoons reserved chicken fat or vegetable oil
 1 teaspoon salt
 ¼ teaspoon black pepper
 1½ quarts chicken stock PREPARATION

Mix matzo meal, eggs, chicken fat, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons chicken stock in a bowl. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Bring the rest of the chicken stock to a brisk boil in a medium pot. Reduce the flame. Run your hands under water so they are thoroughly wet.

Season to taste and serve as is, or ladle each serving over two warm matzo balls and garnish with a couple snips of dill.

Form matzo balls by dropping spoonfuls of matzo ball batter approximately 1-inch in diameter into the palm of your wet hands and rolling them loosely into balls. Drop them into the simmering stock 1 at a time.

Matzo Balls

Cover the pot and cook for 30 to 40 minutes.


½ cup matzo meal 2 eggs, lightly beaten

*For the double chicken stock recipe, please visit our website.



Savana Parveen and Parvez Ahmed celebrate Eid with friends and family.

EID AL-ADHA September 12, 2016, marked the first day of Eid al-Adha (“Feast of Sacrifice”) for Muslims around the world. The festival signals the end of the annual pilgrimage and is the most important holiday in the Islamic lunar calendar. The holiday lasts three days spent overbooked with meals at the homes of friends and family. It is a meat lover’s dream. The day starts with Eid prayer. Locally, thousands of Muslims gather at the Prime Osborn Convention Center. Attendees hail from various countries around the world, which is visually represented in their attire: Nigerians wearing intricate headwear mingle with Bosnian women in beautiful dresses alongside Indians and Pakistanis adorned with colorful kurta shalwar. They greet one another with “Eid Mubarak” (Blessed Celebration) as they embrace three times. After prayers, Muslims get together with friends and family over many, many meals. Children anxiously await the holiday in anticipation of the gifted “Eidee” (cash) from all of the adults. Matriarchs spend days preparing the foods associated with a traditional Eid dinner. We were invited to a celebration at the home of Savana Parveen and Parvez Ahmed. Our hosts, feeling nostalgic, included all the traditional dishes one would find at Eid celebrations in their native India. The meal started with haleem, a stew made of wheat, barley and beef. This dish is slow-cooked for six to eight hours, which results in a delicious chili-like consistency. Next came kacchi biryani. This particular biryani is served on Eid and at weddings and is native to our hosts’ birth city of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), India. “Kacchi” means raw, and refers to a technique of layering raw meat and partially cooked rice when preparing the dish.


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Once layered, kacchi biryani is cooked in a Semaya is a vermicelli dessert served at large copper kettle with a ring of dough sealEid celebrations. ing the lid tightly so that no steam escapes. The kettle is placed over a wood fire, and charcoal is placed on the lid. While Savana gladly undertakes the elaborate preparation for Eid, her husband Parvez would happily eat kacchi biryani every week. The meal ended with semaya (also known as sewai), an Eid specialty. This vermicelli dessert is a staple in South Asian Eid celebrations and is often devoured right after prayers.

K acchi Biryani

This biryani is very particular to the region of Kolkata and is typically served for big celebrations like weddings. Goat meat is used in this version of the dish, but chicken or beef could also be used. Kacchi Biryani is traditionally served with tandoori chicken, paratha, salad and salted lassi. Serves 8 INGREDIENTS For the meat: 2 pounds goat legs and thighs 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 medium onions, thinly sliced Biryani Masala* 1 cup plain yogurt 1 tablespoon ginger paste 1 tablespoon garlic paste Salt, to taste For the rice: 2 cups basmati 3 cardamom pods 3 cloves 1 cinnamon stick Salt For the potatoes: 4 tablespoons olive oil 6 medium-sized potatoes, halved Sugar, to taste

To prepare rice: The next day, rinse basmati rice until water runs clear. Drain. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick and rice to the water and boil until rice is ¾ of the way cooked, around 10 minutes. Drain the partially cooked rice and spread it out to cool in a single layer on a flat surface.

To assemble and cook biryani: Preheat oven to 375°. Brush a large heavy-bottomed pot with a lid with the melted ghee. Place the meat in a single layer in the bottom of the pot. Layer the fried potatoes on top of the meat, followed by the partially cooked rice. Spread the reserved cooked onions on top of the rice, and then sprinkle with saffron and lemon juice.

To prepare potatoes: Heat oil over medium-high heat in a medium sauté pan. Fry potatoes, turning occasionally, until they are light brown. Sprinkle sugar in the hot oil about halfway through cooking potatoes. Once potatoes are cooked, drain on paper towels.

Cover pot tightly with aluminum foil, then place lid over the foil. Place biryani in oven and bake for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325° and bake for 1 hour, until rice is tender. Turn off the oven and leave biryani in the oven until ready to serve.

*For the Biryani Masala recipe, please visit

For the biryani: 1 tablespoon ghee, melted 1 teaspoon saffron Juice of 2 lemons Raita, for serving To marinate meat: The day before you plan to serve the biryani, cut the goat thighs into 1½-inch pieces. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until brown and caramelized, around 20 minutes. While the onions are cooking, toss the goat with biryani masala, yogurt, ginger, garlic and salt in a nonreactive glass bowl. Add 4 tablespoons cooked onions and mix gently to combine. (Reserve remaining cooked onions.) Cover meat with plastic wrap and marinate overnight.



Need a gift for the locavore on your list? Here are a few of our favorite things from farmers’ markets and local makers. Share your holiday finds with us online. #edibleneflorida Semi-Sweet Chocolate Toffee Topsy Toffee

Beeswax Candles Cross Creek Honey Co.

Calli Marie Bakes Cookbook Calli Marie

Smoky Birds Vinegar B & D Sauce Co.

Rice and Chopstick Bowl Westside Studio Clayarts Old City Farmers Market, St. Augustine

Datil Summer Sausage Datil Dave


November/December 2016


Jupiter Brown Rice Congaree & Penn Farm and Mills

edible GIFT GUIDE Thai Chili Pimento Cheese Barrett’s Small Batch Pimento Cheese

Cranberry Bourbon Jam Little Black Box Baked Goods

Beet, Carrot or Italian Herbs Pasta Joshua’s Fresh Pasta & Bakery

Potato Vodka Manifest Distilling

Letterpress Coasters M.C. Pressure

Bold Bean Southern Roots Coffee Blend Southern Roots Filling Station

Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate Old City Brew

Native Yaupon Tea Cultivate Tea & Spice Co.


Join Us!


ALL PROCEEDS BENEFIT: BEAM, The Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry, whose mission is to help families through emergencies and to guide them to self-sufficiency. Visit our website for tickets and information



Jan 15

s av e t h e d at e

e World at Our Table Save the date for our January Sunday Supper, a world tour of flavors to share and enjoy! Visit our website for more information or follow us on social media @edibleneflorida

hosted by


A SMALL GIFT CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE. ANGEL TREE Join with us to provide gifts for children of deserving families in our community who can’t afford to put presents under the tree. Your gifts can bring a smile to a child’s face!

SUPPORT THE Y We rely on the generosity of our community to offer programs in youth development, healthy living and social responsibility to everyone on the First Coast.

THE GIFT OF HEALTH Gift cards are available for personal training, nutrition coaching, youth sports, massages and more. It’s a gift that’s truly life-changing.




Holiday Foraging



New ideas for decorating a holiday table are as close as your backyard when you look at the landscape with a forager’s eye. Use seasonal offerings of fruits, vegetables, flowers and foliage to create custom centerpieces, napkin rings and wreaths. Foraging is a fun challenge and a great way to get the entire family involved while also incorporating organic and sustainable elements in the decor. In the process you may also start new traditions for your holiday gatherings. Take a walk around the neighborhood, a hike through the woods, even a stroll through your own yard or garden to collect supplies for your decorations. Once you begin to explore, you start to notice the beautiful bounty in nature. In Northeast Florida, we have a wide range of textures and colors that can be gathered to create your holiday centerpiece. Look for flowers and greenery with different shapes, sizes and textures to add interest. The variety also allows your eye to move


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throughout the centerpiece seeing something new with each view. We have an abundance of evergreen trees and foliage which can be used as a base for the holiday centerpiece. A great way to add texture and a pop of color is to add berries from Holly, Nandina and Beauty Berry bushes. Cold hardy herbs such as rosemary, sage, thyme and mint will add wonderful fragrance to your table scape. Branches laden with persimmon and kumquat make wonderful additions as well. I like to use these branches for the centerpiece while also using the fruit itself to style the remainder of the table. Get creative with root vegetables and turn them into place card or candle holders. Camellias provide beautiful blooms in red, pink and white. Don’t be afraid to include items such dried seed pods or flower heads, or other vegetation that catches your eye. The possibilities are limitless. There are no rules, just lots of fun to be had.

Becky Cardenas picks persimmons for her holiday decor.



Bleeding Heart Vine





Beauty Berry

An assortment of foraged treasures for your holiday table. Styling: Becky Cardenas, The Wilding Collective Location: Linwood House at The Glen Venue


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Seasonal kumquats are a delicious and decorative touch to your table.

Above: Fresh herbs in napkin rings make a fragrant addition to the hand forged copper spoons and artisan wares by Mandy Dexheimer of Amanda Blair Dexheimer Studio. Right: Hardy perennial herbs like rosemary and sage provide greenery for a holiday wreath. Add a pop of color with local Nandina berries.





Root Down’s Hot Toddy

Cardamaro is a wine-based aperitif, flavored with cardoon, blessed thistle (two artichoke relatives) and other herbs and spices, then aged in oak. Even though this variation on an old favorite uses Honey Wine instead of whisky, the medicinal qualities of a hot toddy may indeed be present – we’ ll let you conduct the research. Serves 12

INGREDIENTS 1 bottle Redstone’s Traditional Mountain Honey Wine 1 cup Cardamaro 1 cup fresh lemon juice 1 cup fresh orange juice 1 cup chai tea simple syrup 8–10 dashes of orange bitters 2–3 cinnamon sticks For garnish: lemon and/or orange zest and nutmeg PREPARATION Combine all ingredients in a Crockpot on high until hot. Stir thoroughly and leave on warm to serve. Garnish with citrus zest and nutmeg.

Bartender Erin Gibson is ready with seasonal spirits at Root Down.


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Florida Flip

In colonial America, a traditional Flip was a combination of beer, rum, molasses and eggs or cream, which was then stirred with an iron rod (known as a flip-dog or a loggerhead) that had been heated in the fireplace ashes. The hot fire poker warmed and frothed the mixture while giving the drink a burnt, bitter quality. This modern take doesn’t require a hot iron rod, just some vigorous shaking on the part of the mixologist to create that frothy effect. Serves 1

INGREDIENTS 2 ounces Cigar City Maduro Brown Ale ½ ounce Valdespino 1842 Oloroso Dulce Sherry ½ ounce fresh lemon juice ½ ounce cinnamon and clove simple syrup* 1 entire egg Dash Bittermens Xocolatl Mole bitters

PREPARATION In a shaker combine all ingredients except bitters, add ice and shake vigorously. Crack shaker and strain out ice, then shake again (this is for the egg to fluff). Then strain into a coupe glass and add bitters.

* To make spice-infused simple syrup, bring 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 1 cinnamon stick and 2 whole cloves to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool completely. Remove cinnamon and cloves and pour through a sieve into a bowl. Syrup can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 1 month.


Choose Local this Season EAT. DRINK. SHOP. LOCAL.

From the farm to the table, we deliver fresh local produce and artisanal goods to customers’ homes. Customize each order to suit your taste buds with our simple online ordering.

Grater Goods is located in the heart of Murray Hill and is Jacksonville’s only stand alone cheese and charcuterie shop. We specialize in American made cheeses and cured meats.

Organic Café serving creative juices, smoothies, acai bowls and healthy bites all made fresh to order. Vegan and gluten free options. Healthy. Fresh. You.


1080 Edgewood Ave S. #9 Jacksonville 904-203-8533

1510 King St Jacksonville 904-574-3557



Make your holidays a bit greener with our wide selection of seasonal garden goodies. Fresh wreaths and garland, poinsettias of every variety, live trees! Amaryllis, Paperwhite Narcissus and unique gifts for your resident gardener. Gift certificates too!

Watts Juicery serves organic, cold-pressed juices to help you squeeze the most out of life, giving you a natural boost of electricious energy to carry you through the day and beyond.

1690 A1A S St. Augustine 904-471-0440

1010B 3rd St Jax Beach 904-372-0693

The Golf Bistro is Elkton’s first farm-to-fork restaurant serving cuisine that highlights ingredients grown on our local farm or farms nearby. Located at the St. Augustine Golf Club, our menu delivers creative, fresh, honest food.

A locally owned Aussie-American coffee shop with a penchant for expertly crafted direct trade espresso and single-origin coffee. Aussie pies and baked goods made from scratch daily by a dedicated culinary team.

4900 Cypress Links Blvd Elkton 904-209-0360

24 Cathedral Pl 647 A1A Beach Bolvd 1835 US Hwy 1 S 904-209-9391


November/December 2016


Fresh from Bold Bean Coffee Roasters, Knead Kitchen creates classic pastries, artisan breads, sweet & savory pies, and seasonal specialties, available daily at all Bold Bean Coffee locations (Riverside, Jax Beach and San Marco) plus select cafes. Special orders & catering. Retail & wholesale. 904-634-7617

MGP makes real artisan baked goods and hand-crafted foods with honest ingredients you can trust. From pies and galettes to fresh seasonal fruit curds and spreads, find us weekly at Beaches GreenMarket, monthly at Jaxson’s Night Market, and at various pop-ups and special events. Jacksonville

The benefits of buying local are numerous and range from fresh, flavorful foods and unique one-of-a-kind products, to an increased sense of community and stronger regional economy. We would like to thank our advertising partners (listed here and throughout this publication) whose support for Edible Northeast Florida helps make our work possible. Please make a point of supporting these businesses and organizations.

Specialty coffee roaster with three cafes and roastery operation in Jacksonville. Single origin, direct trade coffees and signature blends for retail and wholesale customers. 2400 S Third St (Jax Beach) 869 Stockton St 1905 Hendricks Ave (San Marco)

Located on the north side of Jacksonville, Congaree and Penn is a rice farm, a mayhaw orchard and home to a future cidery. 11830 Old Kings Rd Jacksonville

Trasca & Co Eatery is a one-of-a-kind vintage neighborhood eatery, specializing in handcrafted Italian-inspired sandwiches, craft beer and craft coffee! 155 Tourside Drive, Suite 1500 Ponte Vedra Beach 904-395-3989


We hand-craft loose leaf teas and culinary spice blends using only the finest organic ingredients. Our blends are locally produced in small batches by passionate artisans. Come see us at the Old City Farmers Market every Saturday.

For a complete list of our offerings, visit us at FACEBOOK.COM/MayanSummerFoods PICK-UP ~ CATERING ~ CUSTOM ORDERS facebook/MayanSummerFoods. Old world recipes of our ancestors skillfully prepared Pick-up, catering and custom orders. Find us for you to enjoy. Visit us every Saturday at OLD CITY FARMERS MARKET at the amphitheater. every Saturday at Old City Farmers Market at the Call: 585585-734734-3207 / Amphitheatre.

For a complete list of our offerings visit us at

Hand-makers of fine ceramics since 1981. The perfect gift for food enthusiasts! Come see us at the Old City Farmers Market at the St. Augustine Amphitheater on Saturday mornings from 8:30 am - 12:30 pm, Space 68.



St. Augustine 904-824-1317

We grow microgreens, petit greens and specialty produce using sustainable farming methods that combine traditional aquaculture with hydroponics. All produce is grown without the use of pesticides. Visit us!

Florida natives selling farm fresh and boldly flavored ice pops from our vintage camper. We want to be a part of your bold story: weddings, employee appreciation, special events, tenant appreciation & more.

147 Canal Blvd Ponte Vedra Beach 203-240-7309


Handmade cupcakes and treats for every palate including alternative options like gluten free and vegan. Check our events page at for fun frosting classes or schedule a private party! We love our little town and the people in it. St. Augustine 904-824-5280


EAT. DRINK. BE MERRY. Spread holiday cheer with edible.


YOU DRINK. WE DONATE. Join us in supporting local nonprofits. Ask your server for more information.

Order our featured Generous Pours cocktail, and we’ll donate $1 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida. Pictured: Celebration cocktail and piquillo pepper gazpacho, made with sorrel grown at Unity Plaza. See for more information.


November/December 2016



Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

This recipe brings sweet and savory fall flavors together in a chewy, cake-like cookie. Enjoy with a warm cup of coffee and good company. Recipe by Chef Michael Bump, Forking Amazing Restaurants Makes approximately 3½ dozen cookies

INGREDIENTS ¾ cup flour 2½ cups oats (use whole oats for the chewiness they give the cookie) 1 teaspoon baking soda ¾ teaspoon Vietnamese cinnamon (or cinnamon of your choice) 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup butter ½ cup cream cheese ¾ cup brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar 1 egg 1 tablespoon vanilla extract ¾ cup pumpkin purée 1½ cups dried cranberries PREPARATION Preheat oven to 350°. Mix flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt together. Set aside. Cream butter, cream cheese and sugars to-

gether until the mixture is smooth. Add the egg, vanilla and pumpkin purée, then stir to combine. Add the dry ingredients and cranberries and mix until fully incorporated. Drop mixture in generous tablespoons onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat silicone sheet, and bake for 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Cook time may vary based on distribution of heat in your oven. Remove the cookies from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.

Photo by Maria Conover



Photo by Maria Conover

Ever wonder who to thank for the cakes at Biscottis and BB’s? Now you know: Mallorie Finnell.


November/December 2016


Mini Chocolate Pecan Tarts

These bite-sized treats are perfect for a holiday dessert buffet. If you don’t have time for homemade pastry dough, look for frozen mini tart shells at the grocery store. Recipe by Chef Mallorie Finnell, Biscottis and BB’s restaurants Makes 20

INGREDIENTS 20 miniature tart shells 1 whole egg ¼ cup light corn syrup 1½ tablespoons butter, softened 2 tablespoons sugar 1 tablespoon light brown sugar 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract ¼ cup pecans, chopped ¼ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips PREPARATION Whisk together egg, corn syrup, butter, sugars, flour and vanilla until combined. Fold in chopped pecans and chocolate chips. Divide evenly among tart shells. Bake 7–12 minutes at 350°, or until set. Garnish with melted white and dark chocolate.

Photo by Maria Conover


There’s living. And there’s loving life. We’re here to help with the second one. Our intriguing blends of herbs and botanicals support energy, stamina, focus, and overall

®,©2015-2016 East West Tea Company, LLC

well-being. Cup after cup, day after day, life is good.



November/December 2016



Vegan Cardamom Orange Pecan Cookies Make these cookies once and you will discover that butter, eggs and milk are not prerequisites in the creation of amazingly delicious baked goods. Recipe by Nancy Macri, Bluebird Cookie Co. Makes 8–9 large cookies or 16–20 small cookies

INGREDIENTS 1 cup sugar ¹/3 cup canola oil ¼ cup arrowroot powder 3 tablespoons almond milk 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice 1 tablespoon orange zest 1 teaspoon orange extract ½ teaspoon sea salt ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom 1¾ cups unbleached flour 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ cup lightly toasted pecans, chopped PREPARATION Preheat oven to 350°. In large mixing bowl, beat sugar, oil, arrowroot, almond milk, orange juice, zest, extract, sea salt and cardamom until well blended. Gradually add the flour and baking powder until completely blended. Set bowl aside. Cover a large baking pan with parchment paper. Place pecans in a small, flat bowl. Using an ice cream scoop, form level balls of dough, then dip each ball of dough in pecans so 1 side is lightly covered. Place on baking sheet, nut side up, and bake 15–18 minutes until the edges of cookies are only slightly browned. Let cool a few minutes, then remove carefully with a spatula, transferring cookies to a cooling rack.

Photo by Jenna Alexander





This fall, Omni Amelia Island Plantation will redefine what it means to enjoy fine art and food with its inaugural Cocktails + Canvases weekend in partnership with the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens. Guests will enjoy an immersive weekend where visual arts, creative cocktails, and culinary explorations come together in a luxurious coastal setting. This vibrant experience is a can’t-miss event for artists,


$1,599 per room based on double occupancy

• Luxurious oceanfront accommodations for two nights • Cocktail paired dinner & art show on Friday

collectors, and foodies alike.

• Immersive art focused activities and interactive cocktail blendings, tastings and lunch during the day on Saturday


• Art & cocktail paired dinner on Saturday

6:30PM Reception | 7:30PM Art & cocktail paired dinner

• “Art of Breakfast” & Artist Market on Sunday

Tickets to the main event – $150

• The Chef’s Canvas book



10AM–2PM | Open to the public

$659 per room based on double occupancy

1-888-261-6161 COCKTAILSCANVASES.COM 39 Beach Lagoon


Amelia Island, Florida 32034

November/December 2016




po’boy cajun grilled shrimp.


kale slaw. organic red

cajun tartar. organic tomato. organic red onion. grilled white or wheat hoagie.

MANDARIN / 10000 San Jose Blvd. Jacksonville, Fl 32257 SOUTHSIDE / 11030 Baymeadows Rd. Jacksonville, Fl 32256 BEACHES / 1585 3rd St. N. Jacksonville Beach, Fl 32250


forking amazing group


The Traditions Issue  

Issue Eight | Edible Northeast Florida Magazine