HELENE HENDERSON: FROM FARM TO TABLE CUISINE
By Nina Kullmann
Known for her farm to table cuisine, Helene Henderson's Malibu Farm has become a cult favorite for dining in Malibu which is now making its way over to Miami. After a successive opening in Lanai, Helene is opening her third outpost this month at the Nobu Eden Roc Hotel Miami Beach. Here Resident Magazine chats with Helene Henderson on her culinary aesthetic and plans for her bi coastal opening.
RM: How do you design your menu?
HH: I like my dishes to be super simple. I don't like to use too many ingredients or too much seasoning. I'm all about olive oil, salt and lemon and I like my food to be colorful and happy. I tend to stay away from brown food, I prefer my dishes to be bright and pop yet comforting and healthy. I wanted to bridge the gap between healthy and comfortable.
RM: Do you feel that there is an overlap between Malibu and Miami?
HH: The funny thing is when I first started I was in the backyard of my house which is like a mini farm. And when I started to look for a location I always imagined that this location would be in a garden. That was my vision. Then I found some places that had a garden and I tried to make it happen but I couldn't. And when I ended up on the pier, it's like being in a boat, which is as far away from a garden as you can possibly be. But it's absolutely amazing to be ocean front also.
RM: Are you originally from Malibu?
M: No I grew up in Sweden actually. But I've been in California for about 30 years.
RM: Do you bring some of the Swedish aesthetics to Malibu?
M: I mean simplicity and complete meals are very Swedish. If somebody gives me a sandwich I feel extremely deprived. So at Malibu Farms we serve all of our sandwiches with a side and a small salad. I hate when somebody gives me a sandwich and now I have to buy a $14 salad or something green. I like to have something green on the plate.
RM: How do you feel about being bi coastal?
M: I'm learning to travel better, I'm not a great flyer so that's really the biggest thing for me. For me it's actually getting on the airplane. As long as I'm here I'm fine and that's all fun, it's the flying that's always like ugh ok. But it has been really exciting. It has been a long marathon because we've been waiting for so long.
RM: Did you have a hand in the design of this.
M: One of my friends did the original restaurant in Malibu, she thought about this one.
RM: What kind of elements did you incorporate?
M: We wanted to be casual but fun and wanted to bring in nature. This one is a little bit more upscale than our Malibu outpost but we are excited to see the finished project!
Nobu Hotel Eden Roc Miami Beach | Nobuedenroc.com