25. Keith Kalmanowicz of Earth N' Us Farm
New Times' Best of Miami 2013 issue arrives June 13. To celebrate, Short Order is serving up the top 30 tastemakers in the 305. These people have helped shape the Miami food scene into what it is today. We began with number 30 and will lead up to the county's number one. A Q&A session is included in each post.
Keith Kalmanowicz doesn't want you to pay for vegan, organic, and locally sourced food -- unless you can afford it, that is. Previously a line cook at Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, Kalmanowicz lives on Earth N' Us Farm in Little Haiti. There, he founded Love & Vegetables, a community café that organizes vegan pop-up dinners and operates under the standards of One World Everybody Eats Foundation. Dinners function on a "pay what you can" model. There's only a suggested donation, no bill.
Kalmanowicz is more than a vegan chef. He's also a chef with a cause.
The most influential person in my career has been:
Sam Gorenstien. Sam taught me the fundamentals -- knife cuts, technique, fineness, standards, and the meaning of sexy food. He and I still remain in contact, and he continues to guide me, inspire me, and teach me. He's one of my gurus.
When I'm alone and in need of comfort (and no one is there to watch or judge), the one food or drink I turn to is:
Frozen pizza is, has been, and always will be my go-to emotional comfort-food BFF. I just found some yummy frozen gluten-free vegan pizza.
What does Miami need more of?
Affordable locally sourced, organic vegan restaurants.
You get to vote one food or beverage trend off the island forever -- what is it?
Fake meat products. We don't need them, and most of them are overprocessed unhealthy pieces of junk. We need more of fresh local produce, cooked with love to perfection.
You have unlimited funds to open a restaurant or bar -- what's the name and what do you serve?
I just finished a business plan for a for-profit gourmet vegan restaurant, Love and Vegetables, a sustainable urban restaurant, growing its own produce, serving sexy rustic plant-based cuisine, in conjunction with a nonprofit community café, Love and Veggies, that is an educational vegan café that operates on the One World Everybody Eats Foundation Standards to feed all members of our community regardless of means to pay -- with dignity and respect. A percentage of the proceeds from the for-profit will help support the nonprofit community café model.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
A father, living on a communal farm with friends, all raising our families together, raising the vibrations, growing our own foods, supporting ourselves, and cooking yummy and delicious vegan food!
Dream dinner party for six: Who (living or dead) are you inviting?
My sister, Amy, who passed away 13 years go. I miss her dearly. My mother and father. I don't see them enough. And my two best friends, Stu and Chantellee -- I love them both mucho. And Yogi Bhajan. His teachings are part of my daily practice, and I would love to hang out with this guy. Wahe guru!