Although most of the country is under cold, ice and snow, it’s growing season for produce and vegetable farms in warm South Florida, meaning this is a perfect time to visit Manlee Siu, one of my favorite farm-to-table chefs. Small in stature but large on talent and personality, Siu is Chef de Cuisine at Angle, the signature restaurant at Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa n Manalapan, Fla.
You won’t find anyone more passionate about supporting local farms thank Siu – and it shows in almost every dish she presents.
“Cooking is seasonal,’’ said Siu, who came to Angle in the Fall of 2015. “Now we are getting strawberries, squash, bell peppers, eggplant, tomatoes and cucumber.
Virtually nothing goes to waste in Siu’s kitchen. What she doesn’t use – or even things that aren’t growing now – she pickles and brings back later as local product.
“Any vegetables I’ll pickle and ferment,’’ said Siu, who also uses lobster shells to make fish stock.
So with all of that that mind, here’s a look at some of Siu’s seasonal farm-to-table dishes at Angle:
Roasted Bone Marrow Oxtail Marmalade, Radish Mustard Greens, Cranberry Walnut Bread makes a terrific appetizer, as does the Salmon & Pork Rillette with Cucumber Dill Relish, House-Made Cracker Pickled Squash, Zucchini and Honey Mustard.
The Creekstone Farm Braised Short Rib with Anson Mills White Grits, Swiss Chard, Turnips Herb Salsa Verde is a terrific entrée.
For seafoodies, the Seafood “Stew” features Shrimp, Local Fish, Scallop, Mussel, Octopus Yuca, Braised Fennel and Tomato-Coconut Broth.
My favorite? No doubt it’s the Creekstone Farm Pork Chop with Braised Red Cabbage, Confit Potato, Pork Belly Pomegranate Bacon Relish and Mustard Sauce. Each ingredient melds together to make a perfect dish. And as with each dish at Angle, the presentation is impeccable.
“It’s what I would like eat if I had a pork chop,’’ Siu said.
You will like it, too.