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Friday, November 1, 2013

Rabbit Run Farm Tour and Culinary Class With Chef Kristina San Filippo

 Gourd almighty! Fall was in the air
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and as part of The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel Restaurant Week 2013 there was an event scheduled at Rabbit Run Farm. This was a tour of the farm followed by a culinary class with Chef Kristina (CK). Usually she teaches at The Good Life, a culinary store in Naples, FL but the attendees of this event had the privilege of interacting with her here. As with a previous class I had attended taught by CK, her class that day consisted of a cooking demonstration, lots of useful information on food and a meal for all the attendees.

The class was held at the cottage at Rabbit Run Farm.
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As space for the attendees and the cooking area were limited, for practical matters, a vegetarian menu was chosen.
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The first cooking demonstration was putting together an herbed feta cheese dip.
Orange zest and juice (not from Rabbit Run Farm)

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and fresh herbs (from Rabbit Run Farm)

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were combined into a "binder" of cream cheese followed by feta cheese and other ingredients.

During the assembly of this, we were reminded that quality local produce is much better, for the simple reason that procuce purchased in a grocery store may, at it's freshest, have been cut a week ago. For this reason there are things you just cannot buy from a grocery store such as heirloom tomatoes. They are traditionally "thin-skinned" and just don't travel well.

We were also reminded that when buying produce, do not go into a retailer with preconceived notions of what you want to buy, but focus more on what looks the freshest that day, and plan your meal from there. Probably very good advice.

The dip was assembled

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and the final product at table side was quite good served with summer squash and watermelon radish slices.

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In between this and the next course we sampled a number of products from Rabbit Run Farm chosen for their taste and texture.

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Pink eyed peas, dixie speckled butter peas, marconi beans, burgundy okrachidori kale and haricot verts (a pole bean). I did not know this but you can tell how fresh one of the pole bean variety of beans are by the integrity of it's tail that is present on the bean.

Denise, the owner of Rabbit Run, reminded us that she sends out an e-mail Friday of available produce at the farm on Saturday. She also told us about her use of coconut oil as a sunscreen. All very interesting information.

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All of this information was given to a seemingly very engaged audience. 

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The second course was soup. Various greens were added

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  the soup was cooked

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and the final result was quite tasty. Okra was used as a thickening agent here. Much easier and healthier than a roux.

The final course was a vegetable salad with cheese and pumpkin seeds and a fruit vinaigrette. It was fun watching it being assembled.

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The vinaigrette was made

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and the dish plated out.

All in all a really good entree.

This was followed by chocolate chip and macademia nut cookies.

As the class closed new friends and farewells were made.

Well that's that. Another food related event at Rabbit Run Farm. Should you want to buy produce contact Rabbit Run.

Rabbit Run Farm
5150 Neal Rd.
Fort Myers, FL 33905
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