Now that the December holidays are behind us next up is Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re a +1 or not, Valentine’s Day is looming, and planning a party, a gathering, or a menu for 2 or 20 can be overwhelming to say the least. Regardless of how you feel about DIY party planning we all need a little help every now and then because that clock just keeps ticking. So I’ve put together a list of shops that I frequent, and products and artisans that I personally use, and come South Florida Food and Wine recommended.
Shocolaate (Show-ko-latt) is an online gourmet chocolate company based in Tequesta, Florida owned and operated by mother and daughter team, Diana Pace and Cristina Vives; both of whom are truly passionate about the design, the creativity and the art of chocolate making. Shocolaate specializes in handmade truffles and chocolate treats. Diana and Cristina embody their product with a very feminine victorian-esque motif that makes eating chocolate oh so pretty.
Romanicos Chocolates Miami, gives you the ultimate chocolate experience. Having been around for over a decade, Romanicos delivers the full package in taste, quality, packaging and service. For the love of chocolate, be it truffles or assorted chocolates, Romanicos romanticizes the cacao from one bite to one hundred boxes.
Jimmie’s Chocolates Dania Beach, for 66 years Jimmie’s Chocolates has created the ultimate love affair with chocolate. Designing a chocolate salon in Wilton Manors and a chocolate path in Dania Beach, Jimmie’s has brought chocolate to life and made it an interactive experience. Classic chocolates and truffles lead the way to nouveau flavors and molds for those who walk on the wild side of taste and experience.
Atelier Monnier Miami, is where to get your Macaron fix. Atelier Monnier serves and packages a rainbow wave of almond powder cookies in a variety of flavors, such as Rose Petal, Passion Fruit, Fleur de Sel Caramel, Strawberry-Vanilla and a host of others. And for that over-the-top WOW! addition to your brunch, tea or any recipe is the Confiture otherwise known as spreads and jams.
The Spice Quarter Fort Lauderdale is where to get your flavor on to jazz up that weeknight pot roast or when that recipe calls for hard-to-find exotic spices and herbs, infused extra virgin olive oils, aged balsamic vinegars, and an incredible selection of sea salts.
Cheese Culture Fort Lauderdale when the ho-hum supermarket brie cheese just won’t do; a trip to this cheery Las Olas cheese monger will fit the bill every time. The selection of cheeses spans the globe as well as the palate.
Bettasnax is a South Florida based family company that baked its way out of the home kitchen with its healthy biscotti chips for neighbors and friends, to becoming a major retail producer for consumers. Bettasnax is sold in Whole Foods, Fresh Market, Bloomingdales and Bedner’s. This all-natural biscotti chip comes in fruit and nut, s’mores and original almond flavors.
Fireman Derek’s World Famous Pies are really made by a City of Miami Firefighter. By day Fireman Derek keeps us safe and by night this hunky fireman morphs into pie baker extraordinaire. Fireman Derek whips up some pretty fabulous pies from traditional apple to the the radical crack pie and everything conceivable in between. And it’s not just pies, but Fireman Derek is rockin’ the rest of the bakery world with his Cheesecakes, Flan, Quiche, S’mores and Donuts.
Panther Coffee is a Miami-based specialty coffee roaster, that brings the jolt of java to a whole new level with its specialized small-batch roasting of coffee beans. Panther Coffee is a retailer and wholesaler of its coffee. Half pound and pound bags of coffee can be purchased in store and online in a variety of blends.
Zak The Baker, no food lineup is complete without bread, [at least in my world]; and believe it or not but Zak the Baker and company is baking bread that will turn any carb-naysayer 180-degrees around. Zak keeps it simple and to the point with his Walnut & Cranberry, Sesame, Jewish Rye, Olive & Za’atar, Multigrain, Whole Wheat and Plum Fennel & Rye. Breads can be purchased at select retail stores throughout Miami.
Proper Sausages Miami is an artisan sausage maker that takes the pig to a whole new level with its wildly exciting sausage flavors, such as Fig & Blue Cheese, Prune & Cognac, Orange and Fennel, Whiskey Cherry Venison and many, many more. Stop by the store in Miami Shores and grab the lunch special while waiting for your order to be packaged up.
Smitty’s Old Fashioned Butcher Shop Fort Lauderdale has been one of my go-to places for exemplary steaks and chops for close to 15 years. Dave and his team define true customer service and put it into practice daily. Aside from the obvious cuts of meat such as beef, pork, and veal, extensive game and exotic meats such as elk, caribou, and antelope are available with prior notice.
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