The Thirty-A Review January 2021

c h e f p r o f i l e

Chef Kyle Swift b y C o u r t n e y M u r r a y

S ome people like their job. Some people are passionate about what they do. For Chef Kyle Swift, cooking runs deep within his veins. “If I had to pin-point my single greatest passion for cooking it would be feeding people. The whole process and journey that food and culinary products take to reach the end consumer is amazing,” describes Swift. “Being the last person to assemble those items for someone to consume is fulfilling. Having a person or group of people there to enjoy something I’ve created brings me joy.” His love of the culinary arts goes all the way back to childhood. They didn’t have any chefs in the family, but his mother cooked delicious healthy meals for them every day. It wasn’t anything elaborate, but it was comforting and taught him the foundations for basic cooking techniques that would set him up for life. By 6-7 years old he was scrambling eggs and fully immersing himself into learning the process of cooking. While most 8-12 years old boys are watching Ninja Turtles and Spiderman , Swift was watching Emeril and other cooking shows. His first few restaurant jobs were washing dishes at a buffet restaurant and working in fast food; learning every position in the kitchen. After moving back to Florida, Swift continued to expand his knowledge by gaining experience working in numerous restaurants from Destin to Rosemary Beach. He made the switch to food sales and worked at many beloved establishments along the Emerald Coast, including Christiano’s and Summer Kitchen. After multiple requests from friends, family, and prior customers to come cook for their events or prepare a meal in their home he began making meals in December 2014. By spring 2015 Swiftly Catered was born. The focus was primarily on Four Course Casual Fine Dining: a delightful combination of French, Gulf Coast, Central American, Asian, Creole, and the flavors that people travel to 30-A to enjoy. “We strived to make everything as ‘swift’ as possible. From booking to our cooking process in their homes. We basically set up a casual fine dining restaurant for a few hours in our guest’s home or rental property,” he says. Swiftly Catered has doubled their sales each year since 2015 and now offers private chef services and all culinary needs stretching from Panama City Beach to Destin. Swift and Dallin Harris crossed paths in 2015 when Dallin and his wife Jessie moved here from Utah to begin spreading the Barbacoa Mexican Grill franchise in Inlet Beach, FL. Swift became Harris’s primary vendor as his US Foods Sales Rep and the pair quickly became great friends. Harris began helping with catering events and when he got an offer from a buyer to purchase his

Emerald Coast Grouper

Chef Kyle Swift

Photo courtesy of Snapshot 30A Photography

Chocolate Key Lime Pie

restaurant Harris took it, and then decided to buy into Swiftly Catered. The duo planned to build a catering kitchen in the unique Blue Mountain Beach area. In the process of designing and discussing kitchen ideas, the sale of La Lobas Bakery fell into their laps. The history of the bakery goes back 25 years, and with 13 years in this location came great products, employees, and an established customer base. Swift and Harris are now in the process of rebranding to Blue Mountain Bakery. By keeping the La Lobas brand on their granola and featuring the stories of the three owners the bakery has had, they will pay homage to its roots. Plans include a kitchen/dining room/patio expansion, as well as a dinner and dessert menu, opening on Sundays in season, and delivery options. We basically set up a casual fine dining restaurant for a few hours in our guest’s home or rental property.

One of the most exciting plans is to become one of the first 100% organic bakeries and cafes on the Panhandle. Swift is an avid fisherman and is able to catch and prepare fresh seafood right from our local bays and the Gulf of Mexico. Swift’s advice to a novice chef would be practice. Practice. Practice. “Cooking is all about repetition, once you get an item or dish figured out, set yourself up the same way each time to prepare it again,” says Swift. Repetition has certainly paid off for him. Swiftly Catered & Blue Mountain Bakery look forward to continuing to feed our community and those that come here to enjoy our beautiful beaches. For additional information visit www.swiftlycatered. com or call (850) 972-0850. Go check out Blue Mountain Bakery Monday-Saturday: 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. at 2217 W County Hwy 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459. For more information call (850) 267-0400 or visit www.bluemountainbakery.com.

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