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Feast to Celebrate Grimal Grove’s Evolution as Florida Keys Fruit Farm

BIG PINE KEY, Florida Keys — A unique and intimate open-air feast is to lure foodies to the Lower Florida Keys’ Grimal Grove Sunday, Jan. 16, and showcase the Keys’ tropical and subtropical fruits and “Floribbean” island-style cuisine.

The outdoor gourmet experience is to feature an “endless table” with seating for up to 150. Presented by Outstanding in the Field, an internationally known “traveling restaurant without walls,” it celebrates local farmers and regional cuisines via pop-up dinners at iconic venues.

Hosts are Patrick Garvey, owner-director of the 2-acre Grimal Grove farm on Big Pine Key, and Chef Shane La Beet, co-owner of Key West’s Pepper Pot Island Café, located in the historic Bahama Village neighborhood and known locally for its Caribbean fare such as curry and roti dishes.

Grimal Grove is billed as the first and only breadfruit grove in the continental United States. Breadfruit is a starchy cantaloupe-sized fruit that can be used as a potato, bread, custard or even in spirits.

Outstanding in the Field was founded in 1999 by chef-artist Jim Denevan. He first visited Grimal Grove in 2018 while preparing for the Keys’ initial Outstanding in the Field dinner held on Stock Island.

Attendees are to gather at 2 p.m. for a cocktail reception. Guests will be treated to fruit excursion tours led by Garvey prior to the dinner extravaganza. At the table, they may be seated next to a local fisherman or other Keys resident with colorful tales.

Chef La Beet’s surprise menu is to include passed appetizers, one amuse-bouche or snacks course, three savory family-style courses and dessert.

Grimal Grove was founded in the 1950s by Adolf Grimal, a recluse who designed the Old Grimal Estate fruit grove at 258 Cunningham Lane. Today it contains more than 30 breadfruit trees and a variety of rare exotic fruits.

The grove became a Florida Agritourism Association member in summer 2021. In addition, Garvey has partnered with Mutiny Island Vodka on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, to develop a Grimal Grove Reserve breadfruit-distilled vodka for release this year.

All-inclusive tickets for the Outstanding in the Field dinner are $365 per person and advance reservations are required. Ticketed guests are required to submit either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. 

Event information: outstandinginthefield.com/event-details/grimal-grove/

Outstanding in the Field is an internationally known 'traveling restaurant without walls' that celebrates local farmers and regional cuisines via pop-up dinners at iconic venues. Images: OITF

Outstanding in the Field is an internationally known 'traveling restaurant without walls' that celebrates local farmers and regional cuisines via pop-up dinners at iconic venues. Images: OITF

The 2-acre Grimal Grove is billed as the first and only breadfruit grove in the continental United States.

The 2-acre Grimal Grove is billed as the first and only breadfruit grove in the continental United States.

A surprise menu is to include passed appetizers, one amuse-bouche or snacks course, three savory family-style courses and dessert.

A surprise menu is to include passed appetizers, one amuse-bouche or snacks course, three savory family-style courses and dessert.

This article was updated on December 16, 2021 at 2:48 PM
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