Swank Farm Brings Farm-To-Table Back To The Farm With Its Swank Table Series Returning In December
You might not know Darrin and Jodi Swank, but if you've ever eaten at a popular farm-to-table restaurant in South Florida, odds are you've eaten their produce.
However, Swank Farm does more than supply fresh local produce to top chefs in the area; the couple also invites those same chefs to prepare themed dinners on-site during growing season, as part of the Swank Table Series.
"Many of the chefs on that list support our farm by buying on a weekly basis," Jodi Swank said. "Some don't, but it's a communal event, and the chefs love it … to get out of that closed-window kitchen and out into a field where the food is grown."
This farm-to-table dinner series held right on their Loxahatchee farm has grown from 65 guests at their first dinner in 2012 to regularly drawing a sell-out crowd of 240. And when Swank Table Series returns for its fifth season in December, the farm will be hosting a record eight al fresco dinners.
This season's lineup includes a Hamptons-style evening with the author of "Hamptons Entertaining" and "Palm Beach Entertaining," a celebration of the Chinese New Year, a Parisian dinner, and even a meal highlighting farm-raised pork.
"We are raising three red wattle pigs on the farm for our last dinner," Swank said.
Each dinner benefits a different charitable organization and features several top South Florida chefs, including a pastry chef, and at least one sommelier. For the $160 price tag, guests can expect a seven-course meal incorporating Swank Farm produce, live music from area bands, local brewers and more.
The evening typically begins with a signature welcome cocktail—and this year, also a welcome bite prepared by the chefs. Then guests are welcome to roam the organic fields where the vegetables grow and listen to farmer Darrin Swank talk about how they grow their produce.
"The people really are curious and they're blown away," Jodi Swank said.
People love that it's not the same as a typical restaurant experience, she added.
"It's like an education for them," she said. "They're learning about where the food comes from, about several new establishments that are cooking for them that they might never have eaten in, and they're networking."
Swank said she's particularly excited about the Chinese New Year dinner, for which she has a few special surprises planned. She added the farm is also growing cut flowers this season, so they hope to dress the dinner tables with those.
Since the Dec. 6 dinner coincides with the holiday season, Swank Farm is offering groups the opportunity to hold their corporate holiday parties on the farm.
Here's the schedule of events for the 2015-2016 season:
- Dec. 6, 2015, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.: Annie Falk and Team Dean James Max
- Jan. 10, 2016, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.: Farmstand
- Jan. 31, 2016, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.: The Year of the Monkey
- Feb. 28, 2016, 4 p.m. to TBA: The Envelope Please…
- March 6, 2016, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.: Gauchos Asados
- March 20, 2016, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.: American Artisans
- April 10, 2016, 5 p.m to 9 p.m.: 3rd Annual Diner en Blanc
- April 24, 2016, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.: The Three Little (Red Wattle) Pigs