Chef Kristina San Filippo is way beyond creating a restaurant. No, she’s striving to establish a “culinary hub” that meets the needs of her Bonita Springs neighbors in unique and varied ways.
“There’s a continuous stream of energy that runs from farmers to the land, and then from that land to consumers,” she says. “We want to foster a direct connection between the people who grow the food and the people who eat it. It’s a totally different experience from just going into a supermarket and buying calories. It’s the intersection of passion, science, and love.”
At Purple Spoon Culinary, San Filippo offers a cornucopia of events that range from farm-to-table dinners, farm tours, private culinary functions, and a weekly Locally Grown Market. “The market is the heartbeat of our business,” she says. “We do them every Wednesday from 3 to 6 p.m., unless there’s a hurricane or national holiday.” Customers can purchase produce, meat, and eggs from farms located within a 50-mile radius of Purple Spoon, and they also have the chance to interact with the farmers.
The Farm-to-Table + Beyond Dinners feature the participation of local growers such as Inyoni Organic Farms or 12 Seasons Farm, with the principals on hand to explain how the ingredients were cultivated. San Filippo also partners with local holistic experts to host Dinner + Discussion events, which are multicourse, pre-set menus based on what’s available from purveyors. In addition, she offers a range of prepared foods made from organic, sustainable, and non-GMO ingredients. Perennial favorites include coconut curry soup and “veg-un” brownies made from raw cacao, walnuts, dates, and coconut oil. There’s a selection of 12 to 15 organic wines on a rotating basis, all of which are paired with dishes at the dinners.
After graduating from culinary school, San Filippo achieved a degree in hospitality management. “Hospitality teaches you about customer service,” she says. “It’s one thing to feed people but another thing to provide them with a culinary experience.” «