Edible Northeast Florida magazine was first published in September 2015—the “Taking Root” issue.  Founder, Amy Robb, was a follower of other Edible publications for a decade before planting herself in St. Augustine and discovering a need for support of local food culture in her region.  

“Food and drink is this crazy common denominator we all share as human beings, and it affects the way we gather in community, how we understand our cultural identity, the health of our local economy, the environment, our daily routines, and our sense of well-being,” said Amy in an interview with Babes Who Hustle.

In June of 2020, Amy Robb, Haley Guiette, Michelle Smith, Lauren Titus, Katie Delaney and her husband Bill partnered together to keep Edible alive during the pandemic.  

The SipC team couldn’t feel prouder to be part of the Northeast Florida food and beverage community. We’re extremely lucky to have a publication like Edible to connect us over our shared love.

We had the opportunity to chat with both Michelle and Haley to learn a little more about the powerhouse team behind Edible Northeast Florida. Plus! we learn how to cook Haley’s favorite meal, and what wine to pair with it.

Tell us a little bit about yourself! How has your background and experiences led you to Edible?
MICHELLE: After years in hospitality and fine dining, a 13-year career in professional beauty led me to work in up-and-coming food cities in the South, such as Charlotte and Birmingham. My love for the culinary world only continued to grow during that time. Over the last few years, my husband and I produced collaborative pop-up dining events in multiple cities, including Jacksonville. After making the decision to leave the professional beauty world in 2019, my passion for the food community led me to Edible Northeast Florida. Finding Edible felt like finding my purpose. 

HALEY: I’m a 28 year old with many passions and not enough time in the day. I grew up in the kitchen with my mom snapping green beans and peeling potatoes. You could often find us both standing like flamingos in front of the stove flipping through her recipe cards—like balancing on one leg somehow improved my ability to sous chef? Whatever could make me more like her, I was in.

I graduated with a degree in Advertising from UNF in 2015, with little confidence at the time that I’d utilize it one day. The corporate American dream was not for me. Whatever was in store for my life, I was dedicated to working with people and making a positive impact in the world.

Fast forward to today and I get the honor of working with small business owners to create growth and collaboration through advertising on Edible‘s platform. The folks that work in the culinary and agriculture industries are some of the most intelligent and intuitive people out there. It’s a pleasure to learn from them.

How do you think Edible shapes or influences our local community here in Northeast Florida?
MICHELLE: The food and drink community is unique in that it’s essential, something we’ve seen over the last two years. Nourishment is crucial to our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and survival. Edible Northeast Florida shares the stories of the farmers, makers, artisans and business owners that give everything they have to serve those in their neighborhoods and across the region. We provide a platform to elevate their voices.

You work with a team of five talented women and one brave dude! How is that dynamic? What’s your favorite part of working with a group of such inspiring women?
HALEY: We couldn’t have asked for a better group! We work together so well and each bring something unique to the table. The collaboration is inspiring!

What’s the greatest lesson you have learned while working with Edible?
MICHELLE: The importance and the impact of COMMUNITY. 2019 and even 2020 have shown that by rooting for and supporting each other, we can survive and bounce back from almost anything. Community over competition!

HALEY: I couldn’t have said it better myself.

What is your favorite meal to cook at home? Favorite wine?
MICHELLE: I find that simple is always a favorite—fresh ingredients, whole foods. I love pinot noir, but my happy place is a cold glass of red, boozy sangria.

HALEY: I stick to a plant-based menu when cooking for myself. My current fixation is sushi bowls. Watermelon “tuna” sounds bizarre, I know, but wow. And so easy! Paired with a glass of sauv blanc, I’m a happy girl.

What is one piece of advice that has helped you the most during your professional career?
HALEY: Be passionate and intentional. Life is short.

What’s your favorite way to get cozy?
HALEY: Now that the temps are finally dropping, I’m looking forward to bonfires with my neighbors, with a glass of wine and s’more in hand.

What Haley is cooking at home:
Haley sticks to a plant-based diet, but on occasion, loves to cook with seafood. This flounder recipe, made with white wine, bright citrus and savory herbs, is one of her go-tos. Here’s the recipe!

Fennel-Lemon Flounder

Preheat oven to 350°.

Sauté carrots, onion, fennel bulb, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil in a medium pan on high heat for about five minutes. Arrange the vegetables on each parchment paper square, dividing evenly. 

Place fish fillet on top of vegetables, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Combine lemon juice, white wine (try substituting SipClean White Blend), fennel seeds and salt and pepper to taste. Spoon mixture evenly over the fillets. 

Place 1 tablespoon butter and two lemon slices on top of each fish. 

Fold parchment over the fish, then roll and crimp the edges together tightly. Place the packages on a large baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked (cooking times may vary according to fillet size). 

Transfer packages to plates, open and decorate with the freshly chopped fennel. Serve with rice. Pairs perfectly with a dry white wine, such as SipClean White Blend.