The autumn season is rolling in, a time when crisp humidity fills the Florida air and we can almost smell the pumpkins and squashes and other odorless vegetables growing bountifully on our farms. It is a time when crunchy apples fall from trees -- presumably somewhere in New York state -- and get quickly shipped to various Publix supermarkets so we can purchase them. It is a time when a schedule for the Dinner in Paradise series gets released and tickets go on sale.
The site for these dinners is Gabriele Marewski’s five acre, certified organic Paradise Farms in Homestead. Guest chefs from Miami restaurants team up to prepare each dinner, which is multi-course and features food grown on the Farm along with other local, healthful comestibles. Fish is allowed; meat is not. Each of the seven dinners can accommodate 80 to 100 diners, and they cost $155 per person. Organic wines are included.
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Michael Schwartz hosts the first dinner, which takes place October 1st in conjunction with Outstanding in the Field, a group that since 1999 has set tables at farms such as this, plus at gardens, ranches, mountain tops and all sorts of interesting places around the country (and occasionally outside the U.S.). It is a traveling restaurant without walls that features the host farmer (Ms. Marewski), a celebrated chef from the region (Mr. Schwartz), and meals crafted from food grown a mere tomato-toss from the tables. Now for the bad news: This particular dinner is sold out.
Fear not, acorn-heads: Tickets remain for the rest of the dinners, which don’t begin until December 1st. On that date Chef Allen Susser cooks with Roly-Cruz Taura from The Biltmore and with Gerdy Rodriguez, who moves around too much to know quite who he’ll be representing come December. Point is, there are 8 dinners, spread out until April 26, and tickets do go rather quickly. As we get closer to December, Short Order will go over the lineups and give more details.
-- Lee Klein