St John Cooks supply do-it-yourself meals for supply
Perhaps you have reached your limits in baking focaccia at home, or perhaps you are just fed up with cooking. We all miss being able to dine in a restaurant very much, but there are several ways you can relax from the kitchen and help St John’s hospitality industry (win-win!).
Many of St John’s top chefs have focused on making and delivering fresh food during the coronavirus crisis, and the word gets around.
Here is a list of some chefs offering home cooked meals, baked goods, and more right from your home.
The beautiful blueberry-lemon cake from Ari’s Home Baked is one of many freshly baked creations on their menu.
Photo by Ariana Fagan
Ariana Fagan was the server at Tap 42 in Coral Gables until the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Like many in the hospitality industry, she was fired. What started as a hobby to avoid boredom led to Ari’s Home Baked. Fagan is based in West Kendall and will deliver in St John-Dade for a fee of $ 7 and in Broward for a few dollars more (pickup is also an option). The menu, which is posted on their Instagram page, along with photos of each item, features a variety of cheesecakes, including a dulce de leche and a Baileys Irish cream ($ 16-24), as well as other tasty classics like carrot cake or strawberry – Shortcake ($ 35). . Order by direct message on Instagram.
Finding a great banh mi in St John wasn’t always easy, but Chef Benjamin Murray serves it fresh with local ingredients.
Photo courtesy St John Food Pug
Benjamin Murray was the head chef at Paul Qui’s Pao at the Faena Hotel in St John Beach. Now he is turning his love for the Vietnamese Bánh Mì baguette sandwich into a passion project. After spending a few weeks testing recipes, Murray launched Benh Mis on Instagram, offering meal sets for easy assembly at home. “The thing about a Bánh Mì is that it has to be super fresh,” explains the chef. “If you don’t eat it for the first 15 minutes, it won’t be as good as it was when it was made.” He buys his bread from a local bakery, his meat from suppliers in St John who meet Faena standards, and his products from local suppliers. All sandwiches come with umami mayo, cucumber, fresh herbs, crispy vegetables and lemongrass meatballs, roast pork shoulder or the vegan-friendly Char Siu Portobello. A kit for two sandwiches is $ 20 and a kit for four sandwiches is $ 40. Murray is based in downtown St John and accepts orders through Instagram for pickup only. Time windows are allocated to maintain social distancing.
Early Bird Bakeshop’s pastries include Ocampos extra-large, sticky, droolable cinnamon rolls.
Photo of the cheeky fork
This collaboration comes from head chef Henry Hane, founding chef at B Bistro St John and Osaka St John, and Hanses pastry chef Natalia Ocampo. The two started Early Bird about a month and a half ago. So it’s safe to say that they got the proverbial worm by jumping on this concept. “We decided to do what we do best and cook,” Hane told the New Times. “The idea was to just do it for fun, but we got very busy very quickly. We are grateful, but we didn’t expect it. We just want to take care of others and ourselves.” Every week they post a menu on Early Bird’s Instagram page. Hane tackles the hearty “to go provisions” – soups, salads, and stews, all served in 32-ounce servings, plus one main course per week. Ocampo is responsible for baked goods, from babkas and cinnamon rolls to focaccia, biscuits, loaf cakes and tres leches. They are based in Midtown and mostly do pickup jobs but deliver on certain days (minimum order is $ 60). Orders can be placed via Instagram DM or by SMS to the phone number given on @ Earlybird305.
Marsha Martorano is one of many local chefs who bake cakes out of her Fort Lauderdale home.
Photo courtesy Lilly Cakes
If you have been to Cafe Martorano you have had Marsha Martorano desserts. She is the wife of Chef Steve Martorano and has run her Lilly Cakes business for years. She even has plans to open her own pastry shop later this year. Until then, she’s baking out of her house in Broward (and in the restaurant if she can). Their typical cake flavors are red velvet, chocolate, carrot, blueberry, lemon, coconut, strawberry shortcake and dulce de leche. A 6-inch ($ 35) cake serves four to six; a 10-inch ($ 70) cake serves eight to fourteen. Collection and delivery; Orders must be placed 24 hours in advance at 954-561-2554.
Freshly baked from the wood oven, Luna Rossa Cucina’s pizzas can be yours for a simple DM.
Photo by Juan Rozo
Juan Rozo wants to bring you a freshly baked pizza from home. The chef who worked at No Name Chinese invested his stimulus check in an Italian stone pizza oven. He has mastered the art of Neapolitan cakes with handmade dough that ferments for 12 hours. Rozo, based in Cutler Bay, has an average of 24 pizzas a day and will be looking to expand its operations in the near future. “I’m just myself – I do what I know and what I love,” he says. The 12-inch ($ 12-17) cakes come in a variety of flavors, from the traditional margherita to white pizzas, a sweet Nutella option, and a cake with ham. Orders are taken 24 hours in advance on the Instagram page. (Collection, delivery to Doral and Brickell possible if enough orders are stacked.)
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Nicole Votano is back with her creative salads and comfort food.
Photo by Felipe Cuevas / @ culinarylense
Nicole Votano, a veteran of the St John dining scene, had worked for residential clients before the pandemic restricted her and her two children to their two-bedroom apartment. She fearlessly publishes weekly menus on her Instagram and Facebook pages, combining family recipes from her Italian-Jewish background with the favorites that many know her for. She will also make adjustments based on dietary needs. “I got into this business because I love making people feel good,” she says. “It’s a way for us to feel better by helping and taking care of the locals.” (She says her daughter even steps in and writes some of the thank you notes that come with every order.) Orders are due Wednesday for pickup or weekend delivery anywhere in St John to Boca Raton. Order by direct message on Facebook or Instagram.
The locals are crazy about Zitz Sum’s homemade dumplings – but beef and broccoli are also on the short but excellent menu.
Photo by Pablo Zitzmann
Zitz Sum is the latest concept from Chef Pablo Zitzmann, whose No Name Chinese had a popular two-year run in South St John before closing down last year. Two weeks ago, Zitzmann decided that he would rather be in the kitchen than “sit around in front of a computer and wait for unemployment to set in”. He promptly launched the Zitz Sum Instagram and piggybacked on his loyal No Name Chinese following. What began as an experiment resulted in a spate of orders for hand-rolled dumplings, noodles, fried rice, and spring onion pancakes. Now he’s booked through the rest of May, taking five orders a day and doing everything from his home in Coral Gables. “It turned out to be something bigger than I expected,” he says. For reasons of space, everything except the dumplings is pre-cooked. With every order comes a card that instructs even the least confident chef on how to make this type of dumpling with a quick toss in boiling water. Menu prices range from $ 8 to $ 22. Zitzmann wants to expand the company and open further dates; Keep an eye on the Instagram page for updates, menus, and more.
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