Last week I was invited to attend a media dinner at This Chick’s Kitchen in Jacksonville Beach. Chef Rosaria Anderson is a Sicilian trained chef who works with local farms and artisan vendors to source as many of ingredients for her dishes as possible. By doing this, she not only buys the freshest foods but she also to gives back to the community. She has modeled her entire restaurant after European in-home eateries where food is prepared with whatever is seasonal and fresh at the local markets. Her restaurant does not stick to a strict menu and instead offers healthy, clean foods based on availability.
We got the chance to experience one of her Farm Fresh Feasts where Chef Rosaria serves plate after plate of family style service that includes whatever is freshest from the farms that week. All of the ingredients we were served that night were harvested less than 24 hours before we enjoyed them. Each dish was beautifully presented and prepared with love. Chef Rosaria is doing such a service to the foods presenting them in their cleanest, freshest forms.
I have to be honest and admit that most of the dishes served were way out of my comfort zone. I ate numerous foods I had never even heard of much less tried before. But you can taste the freshness in Chef Rosaria’s cooking. And I was surprised at how much I enjoyed so many of the dishes. Here’s a recap of the dishes we enjoyed at This Chick’s Kitchen.
We were greeted at This Chick’s Kitchen with a beautiful eclectic table spread featuring homemade kombucha, vegan Korean kimchi, bread and butter pickles, and hemp seed hummus with fresh cut local vegetables (not pictured).
Left to right: Local Florida tomatoes with Chinese chrysanthemum and micro basil salad served with Lebanese babaganoush and Nigerian olive salad drizzed with house made balsamic oregano vinaigrette. Arugula and moringa tabbouleh with quinoa. Pad thai kelp noodle spring rolls with watermelon radishes, salad turnips, carrots and cucumbers dressed with butter crisp lettuce and borage flowers served with tamari, tahini and sweet chili dipping sauce.
You guys, I ATE A TOMATO AND I LIKED IT! If that’s what fresh, ripe tomatoes taste like, I might be on board. Maybe. I did not really care for the arugula and moringa tabbouleh. It was too grassy for my liking. The spring rolls were almost too pretty to eat. Almost. They were delicious.
Left to right: BBQ jack fruit taquitos wrapped in rootbeer leaf with collard slaw with bird pepper mayo garnished with fresh nasturtium. Brie and fig jam grilled cheese sandwich with roasted pear and goji berries on Community Loaves sourdough bread. Cacoa and coffee rubbed lamb lollipop with fingerling potatoes and slow cooked french green lentils with grass fed butter served with mixed mushrooms and balsamic onions.
The rootbeer leaf really tasted like… well, rootbeer. I had multiple helpings of the collard slaw. And the brie toast. Oh, the Brie! By far my favorite dish of the night. The lamb was also really good. I do not usually like lamb because it has a game-y taste to me but this lamb was prepared really well.
Left to right: Broiled bone marrow topped with melted romano cheese and fresh coriander flowers. Served with quan yin potato and fennel bulb salad. Gluten free chocolate death cupcakes and maple syrup sweetened whipped cashew cream and mulberries. Coconut gluten free waffle filled with elderberry blossoms.
Bone marrow – that was a first and probably last for me. I know this dish is supposed to be a delicacy but I was not a fan. I can now say I’ve eaten it though! The desserts were so good! Those gluten free cupcakes were so moist and delicious. And in case you wanted to know what it looks like to attend a media dinner with bloggers, there you go. Lots of cameras and one of the few times it’s not rude to have your phone out at dinner.
Chef Rosaria cooks to cater to a lot of dietary needs and lifestyles. Many of the dishes we enjoyed were gluten free and plant based however she’s also well versed in preparing varying meats, breads, and cheeses.
For more information, you can read a great profile on Chef Rosaria on Jax Restaurant Reviews or follow This Chick’s Kitchen on Facebook.
I was compensated for this post by a delicious meal but opinions are my own.