From Some of the Space Coast’s Favorite Foodies

By Jaimie M. Engle

The holidays remind us to slow down and enjoy the meal. Secret family recipes are baked, stewed, broiled, and served. Seasonal fruits and vegetables bring joy to our palates as we remember celebrations from our past and create new memories to be passed down. Whatever the case, great food brings us together, to the table, and to take in what life is really all about. Three spectacular foodies in Brevard County took a moment to share their favorite recipes and the stories behind them. So grab a glass of wine or a cup of coffee and get ready to try something new.

Otjundus-Restaurant-and-Biergarten“Monkey Gland Sauce” | Otjundu’s Restaurant and Biergarten

There are many stories about the origins of this South African sauce. It is speculated that at the time of the sauce’s introduction, the use of monkey glands was a means of maintaining one’s youth or vitality. Contradictory to the sauce’s name, it does not involve monkeys in any way. Popular all over South Africa, the barbecue style sauce is typically eaten with steak. It blends chutney, onion, garlic, ginger and other flavorful spices.

Otjundu’s specializes in African food with European influences, serving tasty German and Namibian cuisine. They also serve a variety of German and American beers that pair nicely with the savory ingredients of their meats or “braaivleis” (or simply “braai” in Afrikaans) which means, “to grill over an open flame.” Try adding this unique and flavorsome sauce to your favorite meat the next time you grill out. This is the recipe:

  • 1 large onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup of chutney
  • 1/2 cup of tomato purée
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 5 tablespoons port wine
  • 1/3 cup of broth chicken or beef
  • 2 tablespoons of red wine
  • Salt, pepper and brown sugar

Otjundu’s makes their chutney from scratch, with tomatoes, onion and curry spices. You can try their monkey gland sauce by visiting them at 1385 Highland Avenue in Downtown Eau Gallie. They are open from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Visit or call (321) 622-6861.

the-tulip-restaurantThe Tulip’s Famous Caramel Flan | The Tulip Restaurant

The Black Tulip Restaurant has been a landmark in Historic Cocoa Village since 1981, serving continental fare and fabulous wine in a casual yet tasteful environment. Now simply The Tulip, it’s the perfect place to spend that “special evening” filled with romance, candlelight, and soft music. Co-owner Tanya Colzani shared a recipe of the Tulip’s famous caramel flan. Her father, Daniel Colzani, grew up in Brazil alongside his eight siblings. His mother loved to make flan, and it was a special treat for the kids. Every birthday, a pan of flan baked in the oven, scenting the house with sweet vanilla-infused custard and sugary caramel. Tanya considers this recipe a true reflection of her grandmother, who will be celebrating her 96th birthday in Brazil in 2015. This is the recipe:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • Caramel
  • 1 quart half and half
  • 1 1/2 cups of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons of vanilla
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6 whole eggs
  • 4 egg yolks


In a large sauté pan add 2 cups of sugar and place on high heat stirring constantly with a wire whisk until melted. Remove from heat and add 2/3 cups of water quickly and carefully. Ladle about 1 oz. of caramel in individual bowls.

In a heavy saucepot add the half and half, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and heavy cream. Bring to a boil quickly, without letting it boil over. In a separate mixing bowl mix together eggs and egg yolks.

Slowly add the cooked mixture to the egg mix after it has cooled down a little. (If you add too soon, you will overcook the eggs and ruin the batch.) After it is mixed, strain the mixture through a fine strainer. Ladle mixture in the bowls with the caramel.

Place in a shallow pan, add hot water in pan about 3/4 way up the bowls and bake for 45 minutes at 300 degrees. Cool in refrigerator; serve.

To enjoy the Tulip’s famous caramel flan without having to whisk or boil, make your reservation from Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at (321) 631-1133. The Tulip Restaurant is located at 207 Brevard Ave., Cocoa Village. Visit them on the web at

The-Green-Turtle-MarketPan Seared Halloumi Cheese | The Green Turtle Market

Chef Ercan Ekinci is executive chef and partner of the Green Turtle Market, a full service gourmet market and catering company that thrives on creating a culinary experience for people to enjoy and explore. Culinary innovation and premier service has been the cornerstone of this locally owned and operated business since its foundation in 2000 by Tim Dwight and Chef Ekinci. Their extensive experience as a premier gourmet market restaurant and catering source ensures seasonally inspired menus that feature the freshest ingredients, all prepared to perfection. As a little boy, Chef Ekinci’s mother cooked often, inspiring him to become a chef. This dish, a tribute to Chef’s mother, is pan seared halloumi cheese, deglazed with sambuca, topped with confit Sicilian tapenade, blood orange segments and lemon Dijon. The recipe is as follows:

  • 10 ounces Halloumi Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons diced red pepper
  • 2 blood oranges, cut in segments
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 ounces Sambuca
  • Salt, pepper


Step One: Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette

  • 6 ounces extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 ounce white vinegar
  • 1 ounce honey
  • 1 tablespoon Italian parsley
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Mix all of the above in a mixing bowl with a handheld mixer. Whisk in oil until emulsified for 2 to 3 minutes. Bring dressing to room temperature before serving.

Step Two: Sicilian Olive Tapenade

  • ½ cup green Sicilian olives
  • ½ cup black Turkish olives
  • 3 tablespoons small dice tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon thyme leaves
  • ½ tablespoon fresh chopped basil
  • ½ tablespoon flat leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


In a food processor combine all ingredients. Pulse until coarsely and well blended.

bill-farinaBill Farina | Creative Catering by the Farinas

For the past 29 years, Bill Farina has owned and operated Creative Catering by the Farinas, a bold venture he took on alongside his wife, Cathy, and sister, Donna. From full-service weddings and galas to fundraisers and dinner parties, if you live on the Space Coast, chances are you’ve attended an event catered by the Farinas.

In July, routine bloodwork during his annual checkup showed that Bill had acute myeloid leukemia. Shortly after receiving his diagnosis, his doctor sent him to Florida Hospital in Orlando. Within minutes of arriving, he was admitted and underwent a series of tests to determine the nature of the disease and a plan of attack to fight it.

While at the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at Florida Hospital, Bill began a seven-day round of chemotherapy to help kill the cancer cells. This month, he will undergo a bone marrow transplant. The donor is his son Will.

An amazing father to Will and Laura, and proud grandfather of two, Bill is known around town by his generous smile and above-and-beyond attitude.

He has had a passion for food since he was old enough to reach the stove and used to spend his childhood days hanging out in his parents’ restaurant. His love of food can be seen and tasted in his dishes. A graduate of Satellite High School, Bill spent 10 years as a program administrator for Harris Corporation before following his culinary dreams. Bill is a devoted chef with a heart of gold. Updates on Bill’s condition are regularly posted on the GoFundMe webpage and on the Creative Catering by the Farinas Facebook page.

The need is great for blood and platelet donations and BeTheMatch bone marrow registrations, or

To donate via Bill Farina’s GO FUND ME page, visit

This article appears in the December 2015 issue of SpaceCoast Living.
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