Education

South Beach eatery, nonprofit Slow Food Miami teach children about healthy eating

From left in front, Sean Reichert of Slow Food Miami and Frederic Joulin with a group of students during an event to plant a garden at South Pointe Elementary in Miami Beach on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016.
From left in front, Sean Reichert of Slow Food Miami and Frederic Joulin with a group of students during an event to plant a garden at South Pointe Elementary in Miami Beach on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016. rkoltun@miamiherald.com

Valentina Diaz scooped dirt and, with the grace of a 7-year-old, potted her cilantro herbs in a garden at her school.

She patted the dirt firmly around the wilted herbs.

“I’m afraid mine won’t survive,” she said to Sean Reichert of Slow Food Miami.

“I think it’s going to be fine,” he said. “It’s just had a rough day, and it needs some water.”

She flashed him a toothy grin and ran back to her classmates, who had also finished planting various herbs as part of a partnership between Semilla Eatery and Bar and the nonprofit Slow Food Miami, which aims to introduce children to a healthy lifestyle by empowering them through the growth of their own food.

On Nov. 16-17, Semilla planted herbs and vegetables with students from South Pointe Elementary School in South Beach.

Each month, Semilla owner and chef Frederic Joulin will use the herbs from the garden to create a special seasonal dish and 20 percent of the proceeds will go back to Slow Food Miami. Guest can also donate $2 on their checks after their meals. The restaurant is at 1330 Alton Rd.

Joulin, whose restaurant means “seed” in Spanish, hails from Paris. He brings French-style cooking to Miami Beach with his “farm to table” practice. He uses organic produce and buys locally grown food for all the meals for Semilla.

As a father of three boys, he said it’s important to cook with them and teach them to grow their own food.

“You need to teach kids about good nutrition as soon as possible,” Joulin said.

He said he hopes the kids will eat the vegetables they grow.

“We just want to try to educate the kids,” he said.

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