Special to The Laker/ Lutz News
Bernard Wong has been a professional chef for more than 25 years. He and his wife Vicky Lin were thriving in the New York City baking industry for many of those years. But when their daughters Alexandria and Isabella were born, they decided to make a change.
“We enjoyed the city. There are so many culinary influences from all over the world.” said Lin. “But it wasn’t the best place to raise a family.”
So, two years ago, they packed up their bakeware and purchased a 17-acre farm in the rolling hills of Dade City. They faced challenges adapting their gardening methods to Florida’s subtropical climate, but are pleased with the results.
“We are committed to using only foods grown without pesticides or artifi
cial ingredients,” said Lin. “We’ve spent the past two years cultivating our farm so we can honor that commitment.”
Adhering to a “farm to table” philosophy, the couple grows the produce they use to create their fusion-style menu of breads, cakes, and desserts. These include sweet potatoes, pumpkin, taro, mangos, sunflowers, and the leaves of the moringa tree.
Known for its antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties, Moringa oleifera has gained popularity as a miracle food. Customers are intrigued by the green-tinted cakes, breads, and even chicken noodle soup made with the tiny leaves.
“Nature provides so many healing foods,” Lin explained. “We love to incorporate these into our menu. We are what we eat, so if we eat healthy foods, we are healthy.”
That philosophy is evident in their menu. Homegrown sunflower leaves are dried, ground and transformed into sunflower tea mousse cake. Lemon raisin twists are made with fresh lemons. Fresh pickled daikon finds a home on barbecue pork buns and chicken sandwiches.
The menu changes with the seasons, guaranteeing exciting new delights throughout the year. All natural fruit smoothies are a recent addition, and the couple plans to offer a farm fresh salad bar during the summer months.
Located at 38201 10th Avenue, Zephyrhills, the Living Food Bakery and Café is open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday. They also offer catering and will create al occasion cakes and gift baskets on request by calling (813) 715-0622.