Delicious dish at Miami’s newest health center

Chef Kurt and yogi Giancarlo welcome you with open hearts and fine dining.
Chef Kurt and yogi Giancarlo welcome you with open hearts and fine dining.

How often does a Saturday night approach and you think to yourself, “I need to go somewhere for my sanity.” The regular options of a mediocre dinner and a horrid movie don’t cut it anymore, and you want some more, something with substance.

Enter the Tree of Life Center’s dinner parties. The brainchild of yoga teacher Giancarlo Solimano and chef Kurt Schmidt, the new center combines the worlds of yoga and healthy eating into one palate-pleasing package. Along with the yoga studio, the twice monthly dinner parties launched in October.

“A fantastic, relaxing evening,” said Lori Coorper-Rider of El Portal about the event on November 23. “It’s just like having dinner among friends.”

The homey atmosphere stems from sharing dinner in a quiet yoga studio with a small assembly of about 10 people–a very different experience than a typical restaurant. In addition to personal attention from Kurt and Giancarlo, local herbalist Victor Rivera shared his insights into health and displayed natural therapies from around the world.

Savory squash soup with coconut and a topping of pumpkin seeds.
Savory squash soup with coconut and a topping of pumpkin seeds.

Personal trainer Adam Wenguer was eating it up. “I’ve been getting into herbs more, because you’re getting the energy frequency from the earth itself,” he said. He felt the same way about dinner. “Kurt’s food was incredible. It has a different energetic feel. It’s like eating knowledge, and it tastes good.”

The dinner party’s theme was anti-inflammatory foods, and its five courses featured tangy salads and wild-caught salmon. Kurt, a practicing nurse for decades, throws his knowledge of physiology into his cooking. Before dinner,

The dining concept combines friendship, food, and healthy living.
The dining concept combines friendship, food, and healthy living.

he explained how inflammation is becoming widely recognized in medical research as the root cause of major diseases such as cancer and diabetes. By consuming anti-inflammatory foods, you reduce your risk for these diseases.

The five course event, including a glass of wine, costs $96. On this evening, the five courses included:

  • appetizer of baked pear on arugula salad
  • squash soup
  • fennel citrus salad with goji berries
  • wild salmon with Peruvian potatoes and greens
  • dessert of bing cherries in coconut cream sauce

The leisurely event lasted from 7 pm to 10:30 pm. Reservations are required.

The Tree of Life Center is located in the lofts at 8101 Biscayne Boulevard. For details, call 503-705-6095.

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