When Ed Chiles started in the restaurant business, he was a recent college grad with a political science degree seeking a way to earn a living. Nearly 40 years later, the younger son of Lawton Chiles, the late Florida governor and former U.S. senator, not only has three successful restaurants; he has built a company that has nothing to do with politics but much to do with science. Agriculture and aquaculture, sustainable and organic, wild and cultivated; field to fork, Gulf to grill, and pasture to plate. Menus at all three restaurants are dominated by Gulf of Mexico seafood, of course. But they also boast dishes made with all manner of Florida-grown largely through Chiles’ various partnerships and other investments in local food producers. For decades, he has been putting his money where his patrons’ food desires are: locally grown and sustainably raised seafoods, meats, and produce.
The Farm Team
Chris and Eva Worden
The farm has earned great success with the support and experience from both consulting partners the Wordens and Geraldsons.
Since 2003, Chris and Eva Worden have been growing fresh, local, organic produce for the local Southwest Florida community and distributing it through farmers. The Wordens are recipients of the Florida Innovative Farmer Award and have been recognized as Organic Farmer Experts by the Organic Trade Association and the United States Department of Agriculture.
Eric and Ryan Geraldson
Eric and Ryan Geraldson have been in the farming business dating back to the late “70’s. With more than forty years of farming experience, the Geraldson’s knowledge and experience are valuable to the success of the farm.
With a new crop plan in place and a shift to 100% Certified Organic production, Gamble Creek Farm will benefit from renewed focus and commitment for growth and expansion in upcoming seasons. A well- developed strategic plan with input from all four of Chiles’ CIA trained Chefs, ensures maximum output and usage.
Toffer Jacob grew up in Arlington, Texas. For years Toffer visited Anna Maria Island and always had a desire to live there. Toffer’s background includes working in Charleston and Nashville where he was executive chef at some of the finest hotels. He attended Johnson and Wales. Toffer is the Commissary Chef de Cuisine of the farm. He plays an instrumental role in taking our organic farm produce and preparing, including pickling them for the restaurants. Toffer’s creativity allows for menu planning for the restaurants using our very own locally grown crops.
Our environment, and subsequently our ecology has become an area of concern for us over the last few decades. This has increasingly led us to contemplate, innovate and employ alternate methods or smaller initiatives to save our ecology. One such initiative is sustainable farming. It simply means production of food, plants and animal products using farming techniques that prove to be beneficial for public health and promote economic profitability. Eating sustainably doesn't mean that you have to sacrifice flavor or texture. Many lesser known species are absolutely delicious on their own and the Chiles Group culinary team is well versed on the best ways to enhance the flavors of each species, allowing us to bring diversity to our menus and support a healthy, sustainable environment.
A Member of the Chiles Group Family
The Chiles Group is a multi-faceted family owned and operated company. For generations the Chiles have focused on their community. The three waterside restaurants the Sandbar, Beach House and Mar Vista continue to aim for sustainable ways in which to integrate local and fresh farmed produce and fresh catch from our local waters.
The Chiles Group has created a culture of caring for the environment and honoring the resources we have in our area in a way that will ensure they are here for generations to come.