Swank Table Series Kicks Off With Hamptons-Inspired Dinner Hosted By Author Annie Falk
Swank Farms is transforming its Loxahatchee venue into an elegant backdrop for a Hamptons-inspired dinner party that might leave you wondering if you’ve been transported to seaside New York.
Hosted by entertaining guru Annie Falk, the first of eight Swank Table Series dinners this year will feature a multi-course meal prepared by an impressive culinary team led by chef Dean James Max, creator of 3030 Ocean in Fort Lauderdale.
The decor and menu for the Dec. 6 event was inspired by the cover of Falk’s latest book “Hamptons Entertaining,” which features photos, recipes and hosting tips from 18 parties held in the region where many affluent New Yorkers often vacation or call home.
“It’s all about staying close to nature ... and treading lightly on the environment,” she said.
Instead of selecting menu items to highlight, Falk gave the chefs copies of the publication and asked them to draw inspiration from its content. The goal is to have them take the basic recipes and add their own flair based on the seasonal ingredients available.
“That’s when the magic happens, when different people collaborate,” she said.
For example, a granita recipe featured in the book has been transformed into a cocktail that will welcome guests at the event.
To Falk, entertaining in the Hamptons means letting your ingredients shine without overpowering their natural taste with heavy sauces or spices—an approach she says is undoubtedly due to the farm-to-table attitude so prevalent in the region.
“Within all of these beautiful homes and beaches … there are still all of these working farms,” she said, recalling the taste of the fresh vegetables and plump fruit in the area. “[It’s] kind of like when you eat in Europe, everything tastes that much better.”
Swank Farms seemed to be the perfect equivalent in South Florida.
The couple behind the operation, Darrin and Jodi Swank, supply fresh local produce to top chefs in the area. Their dinner series, which first began in 2012 with 65 guests, now regularly feeds a sell-out crowd of 240.
After being introduced to Jodi Swank at a local green market, Falk said the idea to team up for one of the venue’s dinners was born.
She's hoping to bring a casual-yet-elegant Hamptons vibe to the farm—one that is a far cry from the jacket-and tie, silver-and-crystal dinners that are popular in Palm Beach. And while those are lovely, said Falk, who was recently named among the best party hosts in America by entertaining website The Salonniere, they're simply the opposite of what one would find at the northern seaside escape.
“[The] Hamptons tends to be more relaxed by nature,” she said, adding that men might wear white jeans and a nice shirt to a dinner, while women might arrive in maxi dresses.
Each tabletop will be topped with understated wildflower arrangements and a multitude of lanterns that will provide an inviting glow—and New England style-charm—to the venue's pole barn.
While the food and decor will surely be the highlights of the evening, Falk is also looking forward to mingling with friends and guests, many of whom are ending Art Basel events in Miami a little early to close out the weekend over a relaxing meal.
She will be signing copies of her book, from which proceeds benefit Children's Home Society of Florida and the Peconic Baykeeper, at the event.
Tickets are $160 per person and are still available for the Dec. 6 dinner. To make your purchase, visit Swank Farm's website here.