Paradise Farms, Mother's Day, Redlands, Fla.

Mother's Day At Paradise Farms, Homestead, Fla: Vegetarian Brunch

Paradise Farms is the perfect place for a vegetarian Mother's Day brunch. There is excellent organic food, company, and surroundings.

German born Gabriele Marewski, owner of Paradise Farms, is a lover of certified organic and biodynamic growing practices. She bought the five-acre, former avocado grove back in 1999. Her certified organic farm now grows for and sells to top gourmet restaurants in the Miami area.

My husband and I snagged the last tickets, at $65 a person, for this year's Mothers' Day brunch. The day was warm and breezy. When we arrived ice cold glasses of herbal tea were offered to us. They were made with ingredients from the farm like lemongrass and mint. Then the edible tasting tour started.

Marewski said she had 52 edible flowers on the farm. She encouraged us to try as many as we wanted. The tour ended at a covered dining area at the center of the farm. Chef and caterer (Broadwings Catering), Kira Volz was waiting for us.

She had a choice of two first courses: yogurt with mango and granola or yogurt with granola and strawberries. Chef Volz said all the ingredients were sourced locally in Florida. Mango mimosas were offered to sweeten the experience.

Next was a spring mix salad with edible flowers and a light vinaigrette dressing. Unfortunately, the salad at my table was full of sand so it was hard to eat.

Next was an sweet heirloom tomato, caramelized onion, oyster mushroom, and pea-shoots salad with creamy chunks of crumbled cheese.

Following this dish was fresh handmade ravioli stuffed with sweet squash, topped with spicy micro-greens, and finished with salty, shaved, hard-cheese (from Hani Khouri's goat farm, Homestead).

And finally for dessert we were treated to a moist, orange zest cake with fresh cream and strawberry puree.

Chef Volz impressed me with her use of local ingredients and light use of salt in each course. She was very knowledgeable about the local farm-to-table food scene in Florida, and was eagerly looking for more farmers to source from.

I can hardly wait until the next growing season starts (November 2012), so I can have another brunch with Chef Volz at Paradise Farms.

If you want to get in on a brunch or dinner, book early because seats go fast. You can call (305) 248-4181 on M, T, Th, F from 8:30 - 4:30 pm OR go to their website to learn more http://www.paradisefarms.net/Paradise_Farms/Home.html

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