You may not know the name Swank Specialty Produce, but if you dine at top South Florida restaurants, you likely have eaten the organic vegetables and fruits grown at Swank’s 20-acre hydroponic farm in Loxahatchee.
Darrin and Jodi Swank opened the farm in 1996, starting as a small, specialty-lettuce operation. They now grow more than 350 varieties of produce and flowers for restaurants and hotels. They also like to celebrate their bounty with an annual series of dining events at the farm during the cooler, dry-season months. The schedule keeps growing, with a lineup of 18 events for the upcoming season announced this week. The series starts Nov. 18 and runs through Mother’s Day 2019 (May 12).
A culinary cornucopia
The lineup for the upcoming season features eight Swank Table themed dinners featuring local chefs, six Swank Master Chef events featuring culinary talent from around the country, and four family-friendly Sunday brunches. Dinners feature multiple courses with wine pairings and brunches feature mimosas, beer or Bloody Marys for adults and mocktails for those under 21. Each event also offers music and dancing, with performers ranging from bluegrass to classical.
Brunch tickets cost $99 for adults and $45 for children ages 4-12. Dinners are priced at $160, with attendance restricted to those 21 and older. Events are held at a covered pavilion on the property, with 150 to 320 attendees.
Reunion dinners for 3030 Ocean and 32 East
This year’s highlights include reunion dinners for chefs who worked at 3030 Ocean restaurant in Fort Lauderdale and 32 East in Delray Beach, which shuttered in May. The 3030 Ocean dinner takes place March 31, the 32 East dinner on April 13.
Chef Dean Max opened 3030 Ocean at the Harbor Beach Marriott Resort in 2000, and the restaurant has been a launching pad for an impressive stable of talent, including Jeremy Ford of Stubborn Seed in Miami Beach, Niven Patel of Ghee Indian Kitchen in Miami and Paula DaSilva of Burlock Coast in Fort Lauderdale.
The acclaimed 32 East had a 21-year run, and longtime executive chef Nick Morfogen and final executive chef John Thomas will be among those cooking at the reunion.
Other Master Chef dinners will feature talent from Boston, Louisville, Martha’s Vineyard, Miami and Milwaukee. Dinners and brunches also will be held in conjunction with Chinese New Year, Easter and Mother’s Day.
These Palm Beach County restaurants received 3 1/2- or 4-star reviews from SouthFlorida.com's dining critics.