Bring Your Passion to Harvest

There are many things I enjoy in life, but one of my favorites is the celebration of success with friends and family.  When that success is the acknowledgement of the tireless work, passion, and imagination of a brother, son, and business partner – - how sweet the journey.

From L to R: Patrick Broadhead / Dennis Max / Chris Miracolo

This week my brother Fred, son Pete, and business partner Dennis Max, celebrate the one year anniversary of Max’s Harvest, the farm to fork restaurant they launched in the Pineapple Grove section of Delray Beach, FL.  As most of you are aware, Fred and I are partners with Dennis in Max’s Grille, a Modern American Bistro located in Boca Raton.  We recently celebrated our 20th Anniversary and look forward to another 20 years of success.  But history can be boring and it was only a matter of time before Dennis Max, the man who changed the way South Florida eats, would nurture the innovative spirit of Max’s Grille and again craft a concept that would elevate the culinary world.  A restaurant where quality, sustainability and consistency far exceed the price of admission – - enter Max’s Harvest.

Opened by Dennis and Fred just one year ago, along with my son Pete as the acting General Manager, Max’s Harvest has garnered high food critic accolades from Palm Beach to Miami.  Aside from Dennis’ vision, Fred’s business acumen, and Pete’s operational know-how, this success derives from the magic and artistry of Chef Chris Miracola and the watchful eye of Owner/Chef, Patrick Broadhead.  I write this post to congratulate Chris Miracola on being named New Times “Best Palm Beach County Chef 2012” and Max’s Harvest being named “Best Palm Beach County Restaurant 2012”.  No small feat in a prosperous county full of 4-star establishments.

The Max Group also recently opened Assaggio del Forno, a contemporary Italian bistro in West Boca Raton, where Pete now acts as Assistant General Manager.  Assaggio takes guests on an adventurous journey through Italy’s culinary heritage. Authentic regional

Assaggio del Forno – Boca Raton

specialties are presented in the traditional Italian style to share with family and friends.  Delight in the Salumeria Bar or Artisanal thin crust pizza from the wood fired oven.  Homemade pastas and simple and fresh preparations of grilled fish, meats, and vegetables blend rustic tradition with contemporary casual chic.

With more inspired and innovative openings in the works for The Max Group, Dennis and Fred remain available to the industry for restaurant consultation and management services.  Fred can be reached by contacting the Business Services Group of Stampone Law.

Raise a glass to perfection – - happy birthday Max’s Harvest!

 

Congrats to Chris Miracolo for being Named Best Chef – Click the image to read the article

Congrats to Max’s Harvest for Being Named Best Restaurant – Click the image to read the article

 

Green This, Green That

My son Joe, a Tuft’s University Economics graduate, was awarded his Master’s Degree in Real Estate last week from New York University.  He is the author of a blog called A Student of the Real Estate Game.  An entrepreneur by nature, his passion is real estate development with an emphasis on sustainable development and green building.  Everywhere we turn nowadays, we are bombarded with “green this and green that” and the idea of sustainability.  Many of you, including me, have probably wondered what does this really mean.  In simplest terms, sustainability focuses on minimizing the impacts a particular industry has on our environment.  In other words, sustainability is the capacity to endure and remain productive over time.  Ways of living more sustainable can take many forms from reorganizing living conditions (eco-municipalities) to reappraising building practices (sustainable architecture and design) to basically adjusting individual lifestyles to conserve natural resources.

I would like to think that much of Joe’s passion as an entrepreneur and in particular for real estate development has in some way been nurtured by projects developed by my brother Fred and I (FJ3 Development LLC).  Hopefully, his social consciousness in being interested in green technology has also flowed from how Fred and I have raised our kids and how my parents raised us.  Although the idea of living green is something very current, the reality is that it is not a new concept.  A great example is my grandfather, Giuseppe, an immigrant from the region of Puglia in Italy.  Grandpop had an incredible respect for nature and in his own way, an innate understanding of the delicate balance between production and consumption.  Growing up, we were fortunate to spend every Sunday at my Grandparent’s house enjoying a feast created by Grandmom.

Everyone shared in the bounty, my aunts, my uncles, and cousins alike.  Typically upon arrival at Grandpop’s, he could be found in his garden tending to his tomatoes, peppers, lettuces, herbs, and all different forms of produce.  His garden was immaculate.  It was a thing of beauty and pride.   But far beyond the mere fact that it was a source of pride, it was as much a connection with the land.  He did not know it at the time, but he was a steward of that small piece of ground in Northeast Philly.  He fertilized it naturally (thanks to the nearby horse farms), he seeded, irrigated, trimmed, and harvested, all the while producing on a very small scale, incredible fruits of his labor.  Not just our family, but the entire neighborhood was lucky enough to share in his harvest.  And guess what – his garden remained sustainable, year after year, salad after salad, pot of gravy (tomato) after pot of gravy.

The beauty of what Grandpop started is that this connection to the land was passed on not just to his children and grandchildren, but to the entire neighborhood.  How proud Grandpop would be to hear that my son Pete has been hired to be the General Manager of Max’s Harvest, a farm to fork restaurant opening in Delray Beach, Florida, on June 9th.  Pete will be an active participant, much like my Grandfather, in spreading the farm to table gospel of what is now known as the Slow Food Movement.  The emphasis will be on fresh healthy ingredients, locally grown, and simply prepared.  Max’s Harvest will be the second generation of the New American food movement.  Clean, simple, unadulterated food, that lets the land speak for itself.  I can’t help but notice that it sure sounds like my Grandparent’s kitchen!

I’m attending the pre-opening of Max’s Harvest this week and look forward to discussing the vision that was created by a few guys with simple beliefs.