Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Bee Unique, Raw Honey, West Palm Beach, Fla.

West Palm Beach, Fla.--Bee Unique sells raw honey from Florida based hives. But they also sell a whole line of skin products made with their honey.
Richard Spinale, co-owner of Bee Unique, West Palm Beach, Fla.
I met co-owner Richard Spinale at this year's Localecopia's Meet & Greet in The Breakers Palm Beach Resort, Palm Beach, Florida.

All the honey comes from bees that source nectar from only Florida sources. Some of the honey like the raw Tupelo comes from the Apalachicola River Basin in the Panhandle area of Florida. And some like the Orange Blossom comes from citrus groves in Vero Beach, Indian River and Central Florida.

"All I've ever sold is my own honey," said Spinale as he handed out bottles of honey to Meet & Greet participants. "Here try this," he said handing me a bottle of Cinnamon honey (sells for $18/lb), "It has cinnamon, bee pollen, royal jelly and propolis in it."

I am not fond of spiced honey and so I exchanged it for a bottle of wildflower honey (sells for $9/lb). It tasted like wildflowers smell but it had an unexpected aftertaste of wax.

He also handed me a bottle of pomegranate scented Revitalizing Lotion (sells for $14) made with added bee pollen, propolis, and royal jelly.

Spinale said they add these ingredients to all their skin care products because they believe it increases the health benefits of the products.

As I am not fond of perfumes in my skin care products, I found the scent of the Revitalizing lotion overpowering. But for people who like perfumes I'm sure this would be a wonderful luxury.

To buy Bee Unique products you can go to their store at 3311 S. Dixie Hwy, West Palm Beach, FL 33405

You can also find them at the Saturday morning West Palm Beach Green Market
Or go to their website

Monday, November 25, 2013

Jr.Ponics, Lake Worth, Fla: Aquaponics For Kids, Updated

West Palm Beach, Fla.--KidSmart Inc has designed a way to get children interested in growing food. It makes Jr.Ponics an aquaponic/hydroponic educational garden kit that is small enough to fit on a window sill.

Jr.Ponics by KidSmart Inc,  aquaponics on the small scale for kids,
West Palm Beach, Fla.
Designed and patterned by co-owner Leon, this small scale farm grows herbs and vegetables with the help of fish and other aquatic animals. It was developed after a customer came into his store and bought $100 of hydroponic equipment for a child.

I met Leon and his wife Shirley at the Gray Mockingbird Community Garden's Open House last month. "We assemble each kit by hand and sell them all over the country," said Leon.

There are two styles: BubbleGarden that just grows plants or FishGarden that uses the power of fish, crabs, shrimp or frogs to help grow plants.

The kits are very easy to use according to Leon and have everything a child needs to grow their plants. The KidSmart Inc website says, "Just add water and pets!"

And if there are any questions, the web site has very good instructions, with pictures, on how to set up the garden. The Jr.Ponics kits start at $39.95 and can be purchased directly from the company site or at garden events around Florida.

To find out more you can go to
Or call Shirley at (561) 797-2100

Friday, November 22, 2013

CornucAupia Edible 24K Gold, Americas Food & Beverage Show, Miami, Fla.

Edible gold is nothing new but CornucAupia is new. It is the first American and Florida  based gold leaf manufacturing company. Co-owner CEO Denny Fisher, a former jeweler, said, “There are only six companies in the world that manufacture edible gold leaf and we are the first to perfect 24-Karat gold leaf.”
CornucAupia's edible 24K gold leaf on chocolate covered strawberry, 17th
Americas Food & Beverage Show, Miami, Fla.
I met Mr. Fisher at this the 17th Annual Americas Food & Beverage Show held at the Miami-Beach Convention Center last month. The company incorporates the element symbol for gold, "Au," right into its name.

Denny and Alla Fisher of CornucAupia Gold Leaf
Manufacturing Inc, 17th Annual Americas Food &
Beverage Show, Miami, Fla.
“Gold is a cooler idea than silver,” said Fisher, adding they also manufacture silver for toothpaste. And a little gold leaf goes a long way according to Fisher, “To cover the top of an eight inch cake it will take a fraction of a gram.”

They sell edible gold by the gram, as a powder, and in five styles of leaf. “Our products are more for high-end restaurants and weddings. They also make good presents,” said Fisher.

According to CornucAupia's business card/flyer scientific studies have found there are multiple health benefits from consuming gold like relieving the symptoms of arthritis, some cancers, Alzheimer’s and aging.

CornucAupia’s popular party favor size of edible gold leaf is the 100mg size that sells for $50. But no size is too small or big according to Fisher.

To find out more about CornucAupia Gold Leaf Manufacturing Inc. you can go to or call (941) 342-1817

You can also contact Fisher directly at

Or his business co-owner CEO Vlad Fedorov at

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bistro 1001's Farm-To-Table Seafood Party, West Palm Beach, Fla.

West Palm Beach, Fla.--Bistro Ten Zero One had a farm-to-table seafood party dinner this month. Located in the West Palm Beach Marriott, this Bistro's brand is farm-to-table dishes that change weekly and bi-weekly.
From left to right: Carlo Lopez, Steve Torbron, Dean James Max, Chris DeGweck,
Jeremy Ford at Bistro 1001, WPB, Fla.
Executive Chef Chris DeGweck was joined by his friends Chef James Dean Max, Chef Jeremy Ford and Chef Jennny Rissone, in a culinary delight that wowed 50 plus foodies.

Southern Wine And Spirits kept the party going between courses with generous pours of wine.
Chef DeGweck's Ceviche Trio, Bistro 1001, WPB, Fla.
Chef DeGweck's Peruvian culinary skills came out in the first course with his ceviche trio dish. It was made with locally caught fish served on three sauces: white salsa el tigre, yellow ahi, and red rococo. It came with wilted mustard greens and roasted Peruvian corn kernels.

A Sonoma Coast sauvignon blanc brought out the heat of the rococo sauce.

Chef Max's pumpkin soup with Maine scallop, Bistro 1001,
WPB, Fla.
Next was Chef Max's soup course made with roasted red Kuri pumpkin, pureed, and accented with a swirl of olive oil. A plump Maine scallop sat on a stack of seasoned peppers in the middle of the soup and was crowned with dark green fennel strands.

The accompanying Cosantino "the franc," wine brought out the sweetness of the soup.
Chef DeGweck's Florida lobster with ravioli dish,
Bistro 1001, WPB, Fla.
Chef DeGweck prepared another dish made with juicy Florida lobster, mushroom and buratta ravioli and wilted local arugula.

The Sonoma Coast Vineyards chardonnay paired perfectly with the lobster dish.

Chef Ford's snapper and veal cheek dish, Bistro 1001, WPB, Fla.
Chef Ford's main course dish of pan roasted snapper with veal check crepinette, walnut and mustard green puree was almost too beautiful to eat.

The Sonoma Coast Vineyards pinot noir went well with the veal cheek but overpowered the snapper.

Chef Rissone's goat cheese tart with berries, Bistro 1001, WPB, Fla.
Chef Rissone's dessert was a departure from seafood with a creamy chèvre goat cheese tart served with fresh berries, fresh cream, graham cracker crumbles and a drizzle of pomegranate sauce.

The Cosentina "novelist," wine brought out the flavor of the goat cheese tart.

The advertised price of this event was $60 not including tax and tip. These added another $14.40 to the price. But it was worth it to experience the creative geniuses of these four chefs.

To find out more about upcoming dinner parties at Bistro Ten Zero One with Chef DeGweck go to or call 561-833-1234

Monday, November 18, 2013

Florida Sourced Lamb & Mushroom Dish

There's nothing like good lamb except maybe lamb raised in Florida. Last month I stayed at Golden Acres Ranch in Monticello, Florida. They are a 68-acre pastured goat and sheep meat farm close to the Florida/ Georgia State line.
Pasture raised Florida lamb dish with mushrooms & winter wheat, Fla.

At the end of my stay I bought frozen lamb ribs and chops to take home.

I cooked them up with Oyster Island Mushrooms LLC (Vero Beach, Fla.) sourced white cap mushrooms, out-of-state sourced winter wheat and out-of-state sourced apples.

The lamb was a bit tougher than I expected probably because I cooked it too long. But it was an extremely flavorful chew.

To learn more about Golden Acres Ranch, go to

Friday, November 15, 2013

Bradley Farms, Mt. Pleasant, Fla.: Vinegar & More

Mt.Pleasant, Fla.--Bradley Farms makes muscadine vinegar the old fashioned way. According to owners Brad Sells and Melanie Niehus, they leave the grapes on the vine as long as they can to increase the sugar content. This makes a better vinegar Sells said.
Brad Sells and Melanie Niehus owners of Bradley Farms, Mt. Pleasant, Fla.
The first time they made vinegar it sold out quicker than they expected.  Unfortunately this year, when I visited their farm during the New Leaf Cooperative self-driven Farm Tour weekend, there was no vinegar for sale. They did not have time this year but said next year they would. They did have muscadine jellies and jam for sale.

Bradley Farms is a 28-acre homestead in the Pan Handle area of Florida where sheep are raised for their wool, chickens for their eggs, bees for their honey and worms for their composting ability.  The farm practices sustainable methods like organic composting, pasture management and permaculture.

They also grown vegetables organically which they sell at area farmers markets along with home made soap and in-house milled flour breads.

To find out more about them you can go to or call 850-345-1464

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Front Porch Restaurant, Tallahassee, Fla: Farm-to-table In The Capital

The Front Porch serves some food made with locally grown ingredients. It is a 300 seat restaurant located just north of downtown Tallahassee. This one year old restaurant is already on its second Executive Chef. And the menu has changed from Mediterranean seafood themed to Southern comfort food.

On the porch of the Front Porch restaurant, Tallahassee, Fla.
I went in for dinner on a wet October day and chose to sit outside on the covered porch. The menu had many dishes but one with truffle oil caught my attention because this is an ingredient I normally associate with Miami-Dade restaurants.

I asked my server if the chef was from Miami and told her why. She was not sure of his origins but said she would find out adding Truffle oil was also popular in Tallahassee restaurants.

When she got back she said he was from Shula's restaurant. Ah, I thought, a Miami based restaurant.

I ordered a salad with crab, avocado, and a mango salsa. The salad greens came from a local source within walking distance of the restaurant-- Ten-Speed Greens Urban Farm.

Salad with crab & avocado dressing, The Front Porch,
Tallahassee, Fla.
While I was waiting, house made corn bread was served with a side of butter.

The crab was surprisingly salty to me as was the unseasonal mango salsa but the greens and avocado dressing balanced out the saline experience.

After I paid for my meal I talked to a manager about where the restaurant sourced its ingredients. He said, "The grits come from Anson Mills (SC), cheese from Sweet Grass Dairy (GA), organic produce from Orchard Pond Organics (Fla.), salad greens from Ten-Speed Greens Urban Farm (Fla.), Oysters from Apalachiacola (Fla.) and the mushrooms come from Lake Seminole Farms (Fla.)."

To find out more about The Front Porch Restaurant go to or visit them at 1215 Thomasville Rd., Tallahassee, FL  32303

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Wild Faerie Caps, Fiber Arts, Tallahassee, Fla.

Who says onions are only good for eating. According to Melissa Polk, owner of Wild Faerie Caps, they are also good for dying fiber and wool, or at least the dried skin of onions are good for this. She uses both yellow and red onions.
Melissa Polk owner of Wild Faerie Caps, Fiber Arts, Tallahassee,  Fla.
I met her at a booth on Golden Acres Ranch, one of the farms participating in the 6th Annual New Leaf Market Cooperative self-driven Farm Tour.

"Dye something with onion skins then go over it with indigo to get dark green," says Polk. She adds that carrot tops work well dying fiber to a light yellow shade.

"If you want something blue. Take a blue flower and pound it on paper. Then you can use it, in any quantity," she says. Her table is covered with twisted bundles of fiber, wool and pieces of knit clothing.

She also uses bark to dye her textiles. "I've used oak bark. You have to use a lot. Simmer it in water and put the fiber in it," Polk says. The down side of using natural dyes is that one dye does not work on all types of materials. What works for wool does not work for cotton or bamboo. And natural dyes fade except for black walnut.

 "Black walnuts will dye everything. If you need anything brown, use this natural dye, it's permanent." Polk says picking up a bundle of wool that is a light brown color.

"Someday I will have a dye garden," she says.

She sells her fibers and yarn even though it is not profitable. She says spinners appreciate the time it takes to make the fiber. "Mostly I spin to knit with and not sell. I sell online to feed my addition so I can spin more," she says with a big smile.

To find and purchase Wild Faerie Caps online go to