When my editor first asked me to review an organic food tasting, my first thought was, “Oh God, I’ll be eating raw food. I better grab dinner before I go.’’
When I found out the location (two counties over, in downtown Delray Beach), I almost had a heart attack. Thankfully, the food was completely cooked and it was only an hour’s drive.
Be Organic, an organic catering service/organic lifestyle education company, has entertained the likes of President Barack Obama and the South Florida Black Journalists Association’s 2008 awards presentation.
It was founded by four gentlemen: Chad Cherry (from New York City), Roosevelt Desir (from Haiti), Kirk Nelson and Andre Walker (both from Jamaica). Together, this fantastic foursome formed a team of chefs who cook with soul and Caribbean flair and are so close, they seem like brothers.
“Our motto is: ‘Once we feed you, we give you the message’,” said Cherry.
These men are planning to take their message across the state of Florida.
I’m going to give you an insider scoop, so don’t say Kimmy never gave you anything: The men of Be Organic are preparing to do a 40-day, 40-mile bicycling tour across the state to build awareness of organic food, educate the public about organic lifestyles, and, they hope, raise money to keep doing what they do.
Their stops will include: Miami, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Gainesville, Orlando, Tampa and Sarasota.
Now, this is a food review, after all. So, without further adieu, I will commence my critique of organic food (and try not to be stuffy).
First of all, the food-tasting event I attended on June 23 was actually a networking event. I had the pleasure of sitting with three vibrant women: Mikaila Brown (an activist/fashion designer), Alison Eager (who provided beautiful, symmetrical art work for the evening that I loved so much – I’m not that inclined when it comes to paintings), and Hindy Stegman (she specializes in Feng Shui and positive energy).
I know you’re wondering why I’m even bringing these women up. Part of a critique for a food event is the ambiance, and the food was served as the entertainment on beautiful, red-and-white table designs with awe-inspiring use of space by a company called The Event Firm. Let’s just say the energy of the room was alive with electricity.
Now, on to the food; drum roll, please. Another part of the ambiance was the moving of spaces. For the three courses of the event, patrons were moved from one room to the next. In the first room, the appetizer room, the chefs served fruit salad, grilled avocado, prawns (shrimp) sautéed in cilantro sauce, and pears baked in raw honey.
For my first organic taste, I have to admit that I did not like the servings. The only thing that appealed to me was the prawn dish because I am a lover of seafood, especially shrimp. Thankfully, the tour did not end with this room, or the brothers would have gotten a bad review.
In the entrée room, three dishes were served: meatloaf with mango gravy and couscous, pineapple jerk chicken with mango gravy and Caribbean rice, and poached salmon served on a bed of green onions, cilantro, chick peas, kidney beans, and corn. Each dish, which was somewhat spicy, didn’t hit my taste buds properly, because it wasn’t what I’m used to eating.
Fortunately, I gave each a second chance and inhaled my food. I would also like to point out that the “meatloaf” was actually made out of a tofu substance called seitan. It’s a tasteless food product that can take on the taste of whatever you want, as long as you use the right ingredients.
Now, I know the thought of seitan sounds disgusting, but it’s so good, you will forget to be disgusted. On to dessert: mango mousse. I was very skeptical about eating it. I am, after all, a chocoholic, and don’t see the need to eat any dessert that doesn’t contain chocolate. Be Organic’s Famous Mango Mousse is fresh mango, heavy cream, vanilla extract, lime juice, cane sugar and cinnamon. At first, the lime hit my tongue in an odd way. And then, I went for a second helping.
So, the morals of this story are:
• Be Organic is a great way to educate yourself and your loved ones about eating healthy, and the food actually tastes good;
• I don’t like pears;
• Organic food is good once you open yourself up to the possibility;
• With so much positive energy among the chefs at Be Organic and their tasty entrees and desserts, it shouldn’t be hard at all to give yourself the organic gift of a healthy lifestyle.
Photos by Mychal McDonald. Chef Chad Cherry serves up blue cheese with a sprinkle of Balsamic dressing over an organic spring mix.
ON THE NET
Log on to these websites for more information on:
Alison Eager’s artwork-www.rawhoneyart.com
Hindy Stegman’s Feng Shui Designs – www.hindy.net
The Event Firm – www.theeventfirm.net