Slow Food Miami Accepting Nominations for Snail of Approval Awards

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Photo by Laine Doss
Michael Schwartz won the first Snail of Approval in Miami.
Just a few short years ago, Miami's food scene wasn't exactly known as a thriving mecca of locavore cuisine.

Even with its proximity to oceans teeming with fish and farms that raised everything from tropical fruit to cattle, South Florida establishments ordered more from Sysco than farmer Joe.

See also: Slow Food Miami Snail of Approval Tasting Party: Clean Bites on the Beach

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The Ménage à Trois Raw Vegan Doughnuts from Jugofresh Will Leave You Stuffed

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Photos by Carina Ost
The threesome.
There's a certain person (El Jefe) who likes to visit local doughnut shops whenever he travels to different cities. Unfortunately, in Miami you have to leave the city and head to Mojo in Pembroke Pines for that special round sweetness with a hole in the middle.

It's unclear why this Magic City is lacking a special doughnut, but surely this healthful population is partially responsible. Perhaps that is why the juice masters at Jugofresh brought us raw, vegan donuts in a three-pack to satisfy our pie doughnut holes.

See also: Jugofresh Hires In-House Health Expert to Educate Customers

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Five Reasons to Join a CSA for Fall

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Courtesy of Tiffany Noé
Everyone knows they should eat local. But when faced with a busy schedule and the convenience of the Publix produce aisle, it can be tough to commit to a locavore lifestyle.

But that's what CSAs are for. Community Supported Agriculture means someone else does your shopping for you and you're supporting local farmers. Now's the time to get on board with a fall share.

See also: Tastemakers: 16. Muriel Olivares of Little River Market Garden

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As Sugar-Apple Season Starts, There's Another Super Fruit to Try

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Photo by Carina Ost
Break it open.
At last Sunday's farmers market on Lincoln Road, our favorite vendor who bags and boxes our bounty of produce broke off a bit of something green and mysterious. It looked like something that dinosaurs would munch on or like their scales.

The piece was white and creamy in the middle, like a soft pear with the graininess of an Asian pear. It reminded us a bit of a lychee without the floral notes and had the same vessel and pull-apart, seed-heavy structure as a pomegranate.

It was a sugar-apple and it was exceptional.

See also: Mangoes to Share Looks to Bring Tropical Fruit to Those Less Fortunate

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Colony1: Bulk Food Store, Organic Garden, and Vegan Kitchen Coming to Wynwood

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Courtesy of Ricardo Trevino
Homemade edibles by the Colony1 team, on display at the Grassroots Music Festival.
Picture this green-living dream: A marketplace where Miamians can buy locally grown produce and bulk goods, then carry them home in reusable containers; a kitchen where locals can learn to cook healthy, vegan meals for themselves and their families; a lush community garden where people can donate time in exchange for a share of fresh produce.

Believe it or not, all of the above is coming to Wynwood.

Known as Colony1, the living building and its lot will serve as a bulk food store, organic garden, and vegan kitchen, among a community classroom and other things. It's the vision of Nando and Blair Jaramillo, the couple behind local nonprofit the Art of Cultural Evolution (ACE).

See also: Colony1 Eco-Friendly Community to Build Sustainable "Living Building" in Wynwood

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Slow Foods Miami Snail of Approval Awards: Huahua's, Edge Steak & Bar Have Best Bites

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All photos by Laine Doss
Frederick Kaufmann, Julie Frans, Louis Aguirre, Todd Erickson, and Aleric Constantin celebrate the slow food movement.
It was a beautiful, balmy evening at the Raleigh Hotel, as hundreds of fans of slow food and renowned chefs gathered poolside for Slow Food Miami's 2014 Snail of Approval Awards party.

Nineteen of South Florida's best restaurants and shops, each committed to providing food from the most local sources possible worked overtime to present amazing dishes to the locavores who gathered at their tables for a bite and the opportunity to vote for their most delicious dish.

See also: Slow Food Miami Snail of Approval Tasting Party: Clean Bites on the Beach


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Slow Food Miami Snail of Approval Tasting Party: Clean Bites on the Beach

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Hannah Sentenac
Chef Todd Erickson embraces the slow food movement.
On a recent weekend trip to Grand Cayman, I was pleasantly surprised to notice how many restaurants participate in the slow food movement. Even on an island that's not known for its lush, rainforest environment, farmers are successfully growing everything from eggplant to guava. During the island's recent Slow Food Day at Camana Bay, Alan Markoff, president of Slow Food South Sound, noted the island's farmers got a significant push when local restaurants, including the outpost of Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, served fresh, clean foods on their menus.

It comes as no surprise that Michael Schwartz's reach extends to the Caribbean. After all, his flagship Miami restaurant has embraced the farm-to-table movement since its inception, and Schwartz was the first chef to be given Slow Food Miami's Snail of Approval award, back in 2010.

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Peace A' Cake: Miami-Made, Gluten-Free Vegan Muffins

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Courtesy of Peace A' Cake
We've said it before, and we'll say it again: Healthful food doesn't have to be boring, tasteless, or raw. A good chef can make anything delicious -- including baked goods made with prune juice, brown rice flour, and coconut palm nectar. We promise.

Miami-based bakery Peace A' Cake makes sweet treats that are almost too delectable to be believed once you take a gander at the ingredients. Run by health-conscious Miamians Veronica Menin and Vanessa Hentz, this muffin-making endeavor is slowly but surely making its way into stores such as Whole Foods, Milam's Market, and beyond.

See also: Miami's Ten Best Vegan Desserts

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Superfood Bars: Goji, Spirulina, Cacao Snacks Made by Hand in Miami

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Courtesy of Eat4Life
Think packaged food prep, and you'll likely envision a sterile assembly line manned by dead-eyed factory workers. Or not manned at all. Such is the general reality of our tech-heavy, mass-produced food system. But Eat4Life, a Miami-based company and creator of the Superfood bar, is just the opposite.

Even with distribution at more than 100 locations, co-owner and founder Ashanty Williams still makes the bars herself. Then, she and her team package the tasty bars to send all over South Florida (and to a couple of locations in other states). The growing company is all about vegan, gluten-free, raw treats that are good for the taste buds and the bod.

See also: Ginnybakes, Superfood, Pale-o-la, Good Future, and Bad Ass: Top Five Miami-Made Packaged Snacks

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Mandolin Aegean Bistro's Harvest Lunch: Spring Is in the Air (Pictures)

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Photos by Laine Doss
Mandolin's garden is in full bloom.
It seemed like a coincidence that New Times was invited to lunch at Mandolin Aegean Bistro to celebrate the anniversary of its garden. After all, it was only a few days earlier at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival that celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian confessed his love for the intimate Design District spot, calling it a "chef's restaurant."

The lunch was hosted by Anastasia Koutsioukis and Ahmet Erkaya, restaurant and life partners who will soon welcome a child. In fact, the couple joked before the harvest lunch began that "spring was certainly in the air," as Koutsioukis pointed to her growing belly. That set the tone for the lunch, which was clearly a celebration of new beginnings as well as good food. As friends sat at two large communal tables, the food started coming out fast and furious. Hummus, feta, olives, prawns, and lamb -- all served family-style and garnished with fresh vegetables, herbs, and flowers just plucked from the garden. Here are the highlights.

See also: Mandolin Aegean Bistro Owners Launch Organic Garden and Announce Plans for New Eatery, Poor Man's Lobster

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