Once in a blue moon, a chef comes along, whose wild talent and fresh ideas completely blow you away. Daven Wardynski, the Executive Chef of Omni Amelia Island Plantation is that kind of a renegade. He doesn't 'just' create outstanding dishes, he reinvents the entire traditional food/ ingredient sourcing process while he's at it!
Daven's 'Sprouting Project' consists of a state-of-the-art aquaponic greenhouse (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquaponics), an extensive organic garden, beehives (yes!) and soon-to-come, a smokehouse.
I was part of a very special sit-down dinner inside the rustic, working greenhouse, which sometimes functions as a private dining room (for up to 20 people). It was a magical, different night, with not just plants, but ideas sprouting all around us. I loved every minute of it.
Food-wise, it was just the beginning of a shockingly delicious tour de force for our taste buds, that didn't disappoint a single time the entire weekend. Truth be told, I wasn't expecting to find all that on Amelia Island, but you bet, I'll be watching Chef Wardynski's career closely in the years to come!
The greenhouse can be booked through Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort (904) 261-6161).
A warm thank you:
My Amelia Island experience was courtesy of Omni Resorts Amelia Island Plantation (http://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/amelia-island-plantation). #MeetMeAtAmelia