Stephanie Burt has been covering food for two decades. Most of the high-volume places she visits don’t present menus that follow local seasons, feature local produce, or work with local farms. However, on Anna Maria Island, FL, and neighboring Longboat Key, the restaurants of Chiles Hospitality Group: Beach House, Sandbar, Mar Vista, and Anna Maria Bake House, are a delicious exception. Beyond the restaurants, the company also includes Gamble Creek Farms, a certified organic farm in Parrish, FL, that supplies sustainable farm-to-fork produce to all of the restaurants, as well as composts the food waste from serving the thousands of tourists weekly.
Zack Rasmussen and Natasha Ahuja are part of the leadership team of Gamble Creek, and both have extensive experience in permaculture design as well as an intense curiosity about the interrelatedness of the natural world. Begun in 2021, this 26-acre farm is still in its infancy, but a visit to Gamble Creek is already a kaleidoscope of flavor, mini-ecosystems, and creative possibilities of how care for the environment and commerce can co-exist instead of being a forgone dichotomy.