Meet South Florida farmers best friend – Manlee Siu. No SoFla chef is more enthusiastic about the local farm scene and what it provides than Siu, chef at Angle restaurant at Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa in trendy Palm Beach enclave of Manalapan.
Siu’s respect for local farmers is a genuine as her menu items, which these days include an incredible Braised Veal Osso Buco and Poached Wild Florida Shrimp “Cocktail,’’ each served with locally grown vegetables and herbs.
“The farmers determine what’s on the menu,’’ said Siu, a native of Hong Kong and a graduate of the University of California and Le Cordon Bleu. She came to Angle at Eau Palm Beach in late 2015 – just in time for the winter season, although that’s a term Siu prefers not to use.
“Our growing season is opposite everybody else,’’ Siu said. “Right now, tomatoes are in season. Kale and collard greens are wonderful. So, I like to say our menu is more about what the farmers are growing.’’
Guests at Angle get to see it – and taste it – too, sometimes on same plate. For example, Siu’s Cider Brined Berkshire Pork Tenderloin features Kai-Kai Farm Black-Eyed Peas, Pickled Green Papaya Compressed Pineapple, Pork Belly and Braised Red Cabbage.
The aforementioned Braised Veal Osso Buco is served with Green Cay Swiss Chard, Marrow, Polenta Pickled Stem, Gremolata. For that dish, Siu and her three-person team remove the bone, roll the meat and soak it overnight in red wine, braise it and re-wrap it.
“Then I get the marrow and serve it on the side with local herbs and a housemade walnut/cranberry wheat bread to dip in the marrow,’’ Siu said.
It’s truly a dish to behold – and even better to eat. It’s also another good example of Siu’s commitment to the local farmers.
“Any time I need to be inspired, I go to local farmers. One is only five minutes from my house,’’ Siu said. “I see what’s growing, how I can use it and what’s coming up.
“You can look at books and magazine, but it’s not the same as going to the farm. I’m like a kid in a store. It’s all very exciting to me.’’
And delicious for her guests.