Every year I look forward to the last weekend in February. It’s when the big white tents go up on South Beach and chefs and food lovers flock to the beach to eat and drink everything in sight. Last year, I left disappointed and a little hungry. This year was a completely different story. My favorite year by far. Some of the highlights were beer brewed by Florida International University Students (Rye and IPA), Potato and Shrimp Croquettes with pickled red onion from Gia at the Eden Roc Hotel, Ravioli from The Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland, OH and Steak with horseradish cream from Luma on Park in Winter Park, FL.
The Whole Foods tent also came strong this year. It’s no secret that Whole Foods is one of my favorite places on earth and their hospitality tent was giving away smoked salmon, caviar, plantains stuffed with chorizo and avocado cream and little toasts with vanilla honey goat cheese. The goat cheese was so simple, but such a tasty little bite that I wanted to attempt to recreate the recipe at home.
This spread is basically just goat cheese whipped with honey and vanilla bean. The honey is a nice contrast to the tangy goat cheese and the vanilla adds a little exotic flavor. It’s a great little snack on crackers or with some strawberries and pretty amazing paired with a fresh mimosa.
8 oz. goat cheese
2 tbsp. honey
1/2 vanilla bean
2 tbsp. water
You can use a food processor or mixer to whip the goat cheese, but the process is the same. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and place all of the ingredients in a bowl (or food processor). Mix until well combined and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Serve with crackers and/or fruit.