From sushi rolling to locally sourced specialties served up on long farmer’s tables, the variety of group foodie experiences in Florida just keeps growing.
Shooters Waterfront in Fort Lauderdale teaches groups the art of rolling in a Sushi 101 class. All the ingredients are supplied, from fresh tuna and crabmeat to masago fish roe, sushi rice, sesame seeds and fresh-cut avocado. First they learn the basics on a classic California roll, then they try their hands on a more complex roll. A dessert of coconut green tea sorbet adds a sweet finish
Swank Produce Farm, a half-organic and half-hydroponic farm, has a loyal following throughout Southern Florida. In what they call their “Table Series,” they set up long farmer’s tables with bench-style seating under a huge pavilion that was built by the owner. Each dinner features one course served up by a list of prominent guest chefs from the area. Or groups can work with them to create their own foodie experience for up to 260 guests.
A must-try in Tampa is what’s known as cracker cuisine, a creation of the pioneers and cowboys who settled in this part of Florida after the Civil War and lived off what could be grown or hunted. Leading the trend are several local chefs, including James Beard Award–nominated Greg Baker, who opened a Cracker cuisine restaurant, Fodder and Shine. In 2017, Tampa will see the opening of the Heights Market in a huge building that was formerly a storage and maintenance facility for streetcars. It will feature eateries headed up by local chefs along with two event spaces (the largest accommodating 1,300 for cocktails) and a rooftop social area.