Redland Fruit & Spice Park is the only tropical botanical garden and public park of its kind in the U.S., hosting over 500 varieties of tropical fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs, nuts and edible plants. GrowFest! is about connecting the dots between the farm or garden and the dinner table. GrowFest! gives you the knowledge and materials to grow, forage, buy, prepare, and eat good, local, seasonal food. Empowering you with the tools to grow your own food lets you gain a better appreciation of what it takes for our farmers to produce the food we all eat, and whets your appetite for the best, healthiest, and freshest produce. It’s all about Local at GrowFest! Food vendors, local cottage food and artisanal producers showcase locally-grown Fresh From Florida and Redland-Raised ingredients, and share their stories…..all good enough to eat!
The Growfest 2016 Culinary Competition hosted at Fruit & Spice Park was presented by Edible South Florida and Bee Heaven Farm. The event was Iron Chef-like with a mystery box of ingredients. The competition entries could be an appetizer, salad, soup, entree or dessert. The rules were, entries must contain at least five ingredients from the local mystery market basket provided. Entries must incorporate choice of one local bee product (honey, pollen, or comb) – provided. Each box was filled with items from South Florida farms:
• Black-eyed peas, grown at Homestead Hospital’s Grow2HEAL Garden
• Okra from Dunagan & Son
• Persian limes from Homestead Organic Farms
• Yuca, nopalitos and rosemary from Verde Farm
• Ginger from LNB Groves
• Avocado ‘Booth 8′ and betel leaf from Possum Trot
• Starfruit (carambola), Malabar spinach and baby greens from Paradise Farms
• Baby sunflower greens from Health and Happiness Farms
• Eggs from Abigail Farm
• Moroccan-style Spicy Citrus Pickle from Steve’s Kitchen at Green Groves
• Garlic chives, hoja santa, basil, Cuban oregano, allspice leaves, curry leaf, sun-dried tomatoes, Earth and Sea buttonwood smoked sea salt from Bee Heaven Farm
Chefs could bring one “secret” ingredient. Any fish or poultry must be locally sourced and sustainable. The chefs competing were, Loren Pulitzer, Johnson Teh, Venoy Rogers, and Carolina Molea. The end result was a tie with Loren Pulitzer and Venoy Rogers taking the winning title for their dishes.
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