The chef, who has worked at kitchens such as the Forge and his own North 110, says he and winery founder Peter Schnebly have been toying with the idea of working together for a decade. "Peter and I have been friends for 11 years and have always talked about doing something like this that is literally farm-to-table. It's actually more like farm-to-farm!"
See also: Schnebly: Finally, a Microbrewery
LoSasso, who most recently served as executive chef at AQ by Acqualina, says his new role at Schnebly has many different layers -- but still no title. "There's no name as of yet," LoSasso notes, but the concept is there. "We want to build a mini Epcot Center of food" that contains a "Dean and Deluca-type market," a pop-up restaurant on weekends, Sunday brunch, weekday beer- and wine-pairing dinners, cooking classes, visiting chef collaborations, and plenty of music.
Eventually, a brick-and-mortar restaurant will be added. A small lodge will follow in three to four years. "We're like a house where you're adding different rooms. It's like a campus of wine, beer, food, and music. I love all those things. You can have fun, food, tour the grounds, and then stay over."
LoSasso says he's passionate about farming but not very good at it, so he's looking to Peter Schnebly to show him the ropes. "I was a horrible farmer. My beets would be gnawed from underneath by insects and critters, but I Ioved it. Peter shows me things and educates me about being a good farmer."
The chef is equally enthusiastic about working with the various tropical fruits grown on the property and incorporating Schnebly's fruit wines and beers into his cuisine. He's experimenting with recipes in an onsite food truck. "We're taking lychee wine and adding habanero peppers to marinate local suckling pigs. It's a sharing and communal experience.
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"I also cooked up some spent grains from the beer mash tank and added dried mango, roasted shallots, and grape seed oil. It was so healthy and light and different. We're also playing around with grilling flatbread over guava wood. You're looking at sustainability."
LoSasso is eager to begin dinner service. He's hoping to start with a Valentine's Day picnic and dinner by the property's waterfall. Though LoSasso has been commuting, he sees himself eventually moving to the southernmost point of Miami-Dade, what he calls the center of the triangle of South Florida food, whose points are the Florida Keys, the Redland, and Miami. "Right now I like the drive. It chills me out at the end of the day, but there's something about this part of the world."