cooking fresh in florida
Posted 05 May 2008 - 10:18 AM
Posted 07 May 2008 - 03:47 PM
In northeast florida it seems to be hard to get fresh produce and other products. I worked at a restaurant that had items fedex'd to them but is that realy logical for food costs. I dont know what to do. I've been looking for farms in the area but all of them are very far away and if i do find one close that can provide what i am looking for how do i start a relationship with the farm.
Where are you in NE Florida? And what are you looking for? You might take Chef Michael McMillan from Opus 39 in St. Augustine out to lunch one day - and talk with him about where he sources his food (he really tries to be local when possible). Chef Morey Anderson at the TPC at Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach might be another source of information (Chef Michael's buying is probably much smaller scale than Chef Morey's - so it kind of depends what your purchasing needs are).
I don't know how long you've been in the area - but - if you drive around in the agricultural areas here during various seasons - you'll note that we don't have a great variety of very local produce - and the seasons for what we have usually aren't very long (e.g., St. Johns County - where I live - is known mostly for cabbage and potatoes). Mayport shrimp and other local local seafood are probably some of your better bets. One thing you can do is start a small herb garden - a lot of chefs and home cooks do it here. It's very easy - and guarantees good seasonings (although many will vary with the seasons - some are better for cool weather growing - others for hot). Robyn (not a professional chef - just a local who likes to cook and eat well)
Posted 07 May 2008 - 03:49 PM
Posted 08 May 2008 - 03:22 AM
Click for Farmer's Markets
There is also a Market Bulletin at that site where you can find classifieds
It really does depend upon where you are in North Florida. I was recently in the Jacksonville/Orange Park/Green Cove Springs area, and found numerous produce stands all up and down SR 16 and SR 17. Stopped at several. Ate some fine BBQ as well, and saw many shrimp shacks. The people are friendly and will talk produce all day long.
You might want to investigate preparation with some of the fine, and commonly overlooked in the restaurant industry, local products such as greens and southern peas.