December 14, 2020

Yahoo News – Like dining outside? Swank Table, a rural-chic dinner feast on a farm, announces 2021 events

By Like dining outside? Swank Table, a rural-chic dinner feast on a farm, announces 2021 events

Phillip Valys, South Florida Sun Sentinel

Lovers of al fresco dining in sweater weather and dishes by South Florida top chefs, take note: Swank Specialty Produce’s annual rural-chic dinner feast, Swank Table, has unveiled its 2021 lineup on its Loxahatchee farm.

Eight dinners will be featured in the January-May 2021 dinner series, in which renowned chefs turn Swank Farms’ bounty of microgreens, fruits and vegetables into top-flight, multicourse meals. But to make it work during a pandemic, the farm’s namesake co-owner, Jodi Swank, had to change everything about the ritzy dinners staged every winter and spring on the 20-acre hydroponic farm.

This year’s lineup features Emerson Frisbie, former executive chef at 3rd and 3rd in Delray Beach, joining a bill that includes Red Rooster executive chef Tristen Epps; chef Paula DaSilva of the Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale; Brule Bistro/Rose’s Daughter chef-owner Suzanne Perrotto; Rebel House chef Eric Baker and others.

Swank says she decided to stage the popular series in 2021, in part, because the pandemic forced her to postpone six Swank Table dinners in March and April. Swank Farm’s first dinner, the seventh annual White Party on Jan. 3, is already sold out, she says. Apart from dinners, there will be an Easter Sunday Brunch ($45-$99) on April 4 and a Mother’s Day Brunch ($45-$99) on May 9.

“A lot of the 2021 dinners are spoken for by people who booked last season and are coming back for their makeup date,” Swank says.

The name Swank Specialty Produce may sound unfamiliar to most, but top South Florida restaurants from Grato in West Palm Beach to Michael’s Genuine in Miami use the organic fruits and vegetables grown there.

“The goal for each dinner is to feature as much of the microgreens and lettuce as possible,” says Emerson Frisbie, Swank Table’s lead chef, who will be in charge of cooking at least one course for each dinner. “Chefs basically pick what course they want to cook, come up with an idea and come together on the menu. We’re using tomatoes, strawberries, lettuces, eggplant, squash and peppers.”

In pre-pandemic years, the Swanks would fly in big names from foodie cities New Orleans, Nashville and Asheville. Wary of travel safety amid COVID-19, they booked only South Florida chefs for 2021, says Swank, who with husband-farmer Darrin Swank have staged the farm-to-table gatherings since 2011.

The Swanks are limiting each dinner to 120 tickets, about half the capacity of its 2020 edition. Instead of serving shared dishes family-style, the five-course dinners will be individually served under the farm’s main event space, an 8,500-square-foot pole barn strung with market lights. And instead of the barn’s communal-style seating, tables will now seat two to six diners and be spaced six feet apart.

But customary pre-dinner traditions, including a cocktail hour and a tour of the hydroponic farm, will continue, Swank says. Masks will be mandatory except while eating and drinking, and handwashing stations will be posted around the barn.

“There’s no dancing this year,” Swank says. “We’re trying to make sure everyone has a safe farm experience.”

Each Sunday dinner will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. and cost $160 per person via

Vegetable Love, Jan. 10

Guest chefs: Jimmy Everett, Driftwood in Boynton Beach; Johnny Demartini, Lionfish in Delray Beach; Tristen Epps, Red Rooster in Miami; and Lee Mazor, LoveLee Bake Shop in Fort Lauderdale

SHE Feasts, Jan. 17

Guest chefs: Paula DaSilva, Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale; Brooke Mallory, Burlock Coast in Fort Lauderdale; Tara Abrams, Crazy Uncle Mike’s in Boca Raton; Carissa Silva, Lauderdale Yacht Club; and Adrianne Calvo, Cracked by Chef Adrianne in Miami

Mambo Italiano, Jan. 24

Guest chefs: Florenzo Barbieri; Kevin Fonzo, Art in Voyage; Suzanne Perrotto, Brule Bistro & Rose’s Daughter in Delray Beach; and Janderyn Makris, Earth and Sugar in West Palm Beach

Woodford Bourbon Dinner with Brick and Barrel and Friends, Jan. 31

Guest chefs: David Schroeder and Thomas Opt’Holt, Brick and Barrel in Jupiter; Blake Malatesta, Space of Mind in Delray Beach; Adam Brown, Avocado Grill in West Palm Beach; Daniela Pardo, The Dalmar Fort Lauderdale; and Bradley Grace, Grace’s Fine Foods in Juno Beach

Chinese New Year: Year of the Ox, Feb. 6

Guest chefs: Clayton Carnes, Cholo Soy in West Palm Beach; Eric Baker, The Rebel House in Boca Raton; Glenn Rogers, Johnnie Brown’s in Delray Beach; and Loic Audret, Loic Bakery in West Palm Beach

Fat Sunday Mardi Gras, Feb. 21

Guest chefs: John Thomas, Sassafrass in West Palm Beach; Daniel Ramos and Jason Brown, Butcher and Bar in Boynton Beach; Harry Capacetti, Unit B Eatery + Spirits in Pembroke Pines; and Sarah Sipe, The Regional in West Palm Beach

Swank Farm 20th Anniversary Celebration, Feb. 28

Guest chefs: Jimmy Strine, Sundy House in Delray Beach; Kevin Darr, The Fort Steakhouse in Fort Pierce; Michael Hackman, Aioli in West Palm Beach; and Kursten Restivo, Marriott Singer Island in Jupiter

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