It took 106 local volunteers, 632 hours and 30,000 pounds of willow saplings to build “Twisted: Patrick Dougherty Entwined.” The North Carolina-based land artist’s large-scale installation, which is on view at Mounts Botanical Garden in West Palm Beach through June, took nearly a month to fabricate. It’s titled Cutting Corners for a maze-like layout for kids of all ages to explore. He thinks the concept resonates with people for its natural, rudimentary materials. Similar to the broad appeal of artist Dale Chihuly’s glass sculpture installations, Dougherty has traveled the world for his unique, interactive “Stickworks.” He also has commissions in Philadelphia, Denver and Long Beach, Calif. during this year alone, among hundreds of destinations throughout the decades. Mounts wanted to do something special to celebrate its 40th anniversary.
531 North Military Trail; 561.233.1757; mounts.org
Even diners without a sweet tooth remember every bite of Hedy Goldsmith’s desserts. (Her doughnuts were especially legendary.) After relocating to Los Angeles for a while, the former pastry chef for Michael’s Genuine in Miami and two-time James Beard finalist is back with a new gig. For Ad Lib restaurant and lounge in Coral Gables, 50 Eggs’ new concept opening on February 1, she teams up with Jamie DeRosa, a longtime local chef who also knows about comfort food and neighborhood places. In addition to a tasting menu, a la carte items include branzino with littleneck clams and olives as well as a salad with labneh and Teena’s Pride tomatoes grown in nearby Homestead. Her strawberry pavlova’s olive oil cake with meringue and lemon curd are worth the extra crunches.
2415 Ponce de Leon Boulevard; 305.504.8895; adlibgables.com
VALENTINE’S TO VEGAN
Jupiter is in full swing for season with culinary experiences of all sorts. Tastings begin with a Valentine’s Day-themed fundraiser for Jupiter Inlet Foundation on February 8. Head to April Davis Fine Art Gallery (1630 North U.S. Highway 1) for gourmet chocolates and wine. Jupiter River Walk’s food scene has expanded enough to fill three-hour “taste tours” every Saturday. Learn about local history and pop into shops while sampling small plates with a glass of wine. Tours meet in the Shoppes of Jupiter’s courtyard (201 North U.S. Highway 1 at Indiantown Road) at 2 p.m. Vegan options are taking off here, too. Hampton Forks Kitchen & Table hosts a five-course, plant-based dinner with small-production vegan wines selected by the Vine Post, a shop in Juno Beach, on February 9.
jupiterinletfoundation.org. 561.774.5227; jupiterfoodtour.com; 185 East Indiantown Road; 631.276.1197; hamptonforks.com
Stuart’s 32nd annual ArtsFest is so much more than picking up a new work to hang over the sofa. Returning to Memorial Park (300 SE Ocean Boulevard) on February 9-10, the Arts Council of Martin County’s family-friendly event involves cuisine, live music and dance performances that bring out the whole community. It’s a great outing to entertain company, whether grandkids or a girls’ weekend. Tickets range from general admission (children under 12 are complimentary) to a Bollywood-themed VIP lounge with a catered lunch, two drinks and posh amenities that come in hand at festivals. The global tour continues with evening activities like a Hawaiian luau and flamenco dancing. Besides food vendors, six local chefs compete in Chopped, a daily contest that’s become a crowd favorite. Purchase festival passes here.