Knaus Berry Farm comes to dinner

You know about Knaus Berry Farm’s iconic cinnamon rolls. If you’ve waited in a line for as much as three hours, you’ve also been fortunate enough to taste them.

In your quest to get your hands on the famed cinnamon roll, however, you may have overlooked all the other foodstuffs that Knaus Berry Farm has to offer.

That’s something that Thomas Blocher, co-owner of Knaus Berry Farm, wanted to change.

“I want people to know that Knaus Berry Farm has produce. Everyone knows we have cinnamon rolls,” Blocher says. “I wanted to highlight that side of the farm, and I thought the best way to do that would be to ask someone to use our items, put it on a menu, and let it speak for itself.”

During a visit to The Local 150 Craft Food & Drink in Coral Gables, Blocher approached Chef Philip Bryant about creating a tasting menu, centered on Knaus Berry Farm produce. Blocher’s only request was that Bryant spotlight the farm’s produce in every dish that he could, and otherwise told Bryant he could do whatever he wanted. Both men agreed that they not only wanted to spotlight the produce from Blocher’s farm, but also Homestead as a dining destination.

“All these chefs are getting deliveries from Homestead…but nobody views Homestead as a destination dining opportunity,” says Bryant. “I saw that as an interesting challenge to be able to provide people with something special down there.”

After a planned location fell through, Blocher and Bryant toured Estancia Culinaria, a 15-acre family farmstead in Redland that hosts weddings and private events. They decided  it would be the perfect location for their newly named “Sunday Supper” series.

The four Sunday Suppers that have already happened in 2017 have featured seven-course tasting menus. Each course is carefully paired with a wine, and a master sommelier offers information about each pairing. At the Sunday Suppers, Bryant can experiment with technique and taste in a fashion that he’s normally unable to and Blocher gets to see his produce shine and be transformed. Diners have the opportunity to try a variety of dishes and ingredients that they may not otherwise seek out in a traditional restaurant setting.

“They’re willing to step outside of their comfort zone,” says Bryant. “That’s what I like about doing the tasting menus. It provides people with new food memories and a new frame of reference.”

The next and final Sunday Supper of 2017 will take place May 21. In addition to produce from Knaus Berry Farm, a tasting menu by Bryant, and a wine list that pulls it all together, the May 21 supper will feature two additional South Florida staples, Miami Smokers and Azucar Ice Cream. After a break through the summer and fall, the series will resume in early 2018.

Blocher and Bryant are pleased with the early success of the series and are already looking forward to its continuation next year.

“We want to continue [with the series],” Blocher says. “We don’t want to lose the intimacy of what we’re doing. I’d like to keep it small. It’s an exclusive little club. Chef Phil has done a wonderful job.”

And, with all its success so far, they don’t anticipate big changes for 2018—just great food, good company, and an experience like none other in Miami.

Sign up for upcoming dinners here.

Photographs courtesy of Photography by Depuhl