The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island Announces Fourth Annual Meet The Farmers Dinner

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Dedicated to sustainable, local, farms, growers and seafood partners, Executive Chef Thomas Tolxdorf, The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island invites the potato and lettuce farmer, the cheesemaker, the clamer and the bee keeper to the Spring Meet the Farmers Dinner with guests and local community. "It's always great coming in the Front Door," claim the VIPs.

The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, is gathering a group of local farmers, growers and seafood purveyors to celebrate the Fourth Annual Meet the Farmers Dinner. The evening includes a reception with passed hors d’oeuvres, followed by an appetizer buffet of shellfish, cheeses, fruits, breads and meats.

The main entrée will include local seafood, meats and vegetables and delectable desserts all served from Action Stations attended by chefs and farmers serving specialties that highlight the flavor of their ingredients.

Every year, Executive Chef Thomas Tolxdorf leads a group of chefs to visit farmers, growers and seafood purveyors for a better understanding of their capabilities and how they work. “Our goal is to partner and support our growers so we may offer fresh, sustainable foods. The dinner is a tribute to their dedication and commitment in order to continuously offer us the finest food for our guests,” says Chef Tolxdorf.

The event will be held on Friday, April 26 at Café 4750, beginning with a reception at 6:30 p.m. The price is $75 per person.

This year’s VIP’s includes:

•Blue Sky Farms, St. Johns & Putnam Counties, Florida
Danny Johns, fourth generation potato farmer with 20 varieties on 600 plus acres including Blue Fingerling, a first for Northeast Florida and SunLite, a low carbohydrate potato.

•Bacon’s Select Produce, Jacksonville, Florida
Started as a hobby in 2008, father and son, Fred and Freddie Bacon, currently farm 6,000 square feet under greenhouses and use organic and beneficial pest control for Hydroponic Arugula, Butterhead, Multi-Leaf, Red Oak, Romaine and Upland Watercress lettuces.

•Flat Creek Lodge, Swainsboro, Georgia
Environmental stewards with a mission to rehabilitate farmland from years of soil abuse, they developed a full production dairy farm. They have multiple acres and their crops are Oyster Mushrooms, Artisan Cheese and Blueberries. Cathy McDaniel and Martha Cobb will represent Flat Creek Lodge.

  • Gary’s Seafood & Specialties, Orlando, Florida

Gary Reed began his career selling fish out of his truck direct to restaurants and filleted the fish right in his truck. He is one of the most respected suppliers for having the highest quality of fresh Florida seafood. His sources of seafood are from all over the world and his knowledge is invaluable to our chefs.

  • Cedar Creek Shellfish Farms, New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Beginning in 1992, Mike Sullivan started a food clam distribution operation which grew into a successful seed clam business to other farmers. They built their own hatchery and produce 40 million clam seedlings from January through July. As they are producing more food harvestable clams, four million are to be ready in November. Their goal is to harvest and process 100,000 clams per week in the upcoming years.

  • American Bee Company, Jacksonville, Florida

Michael Leach serves as the Beekeeper for The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. He maintains the resort’s 200,000 bees and harvests the honey used in the kitchens. Michael also holds harvest and honey processing demonstrations for guests and groups.

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