More About Cress
OUR INGREDIENTS & PURVEYORS
Cress draws as much as possible of its produce from local farmers and purveyors. By sourcing as much of our produce from Farmer's Markets, local growers and purveyors, we ensure that only the freshest and tastiest seasonal produce is served at Cress. Furthermore, we use ingredients that are at the peak of their quality and by combining global flavours using gastronomically sound classical techniques; we are able to provide our guests with an uncompromisingly delectable and exciting dining experience. Additionally, we pride ourselves in procuring the freshest possible seafood from local wholesalers, incredible meats, poultry, game, and cheeses from local specialty purveyors as well as internationally acclaimed artisanal farms. Some examples of local farms we routinely source from are:
Tomazin Farms, Samsula, FL
Planted Earth Vegetables, DeLand, FL
Mike and Tony's Seafood, Ocoee, FL
Wild Ocean Seafood, Cape Canaveral, FL
Seely's Ark Farms, Ocala, FL
Lake Meadow Naturals, Ocoee, FL
Tevye Farms, Chiefland, FL
Deep Creek Ranch, DeLeon Springs, FL
Pasture Prime Farms, Summerfield, FL
Vo-LaSalle Farms, DeLeon Springs, FL
The White Ranch, North Central Florida
and...the numerous independent farmers who bring us produce frequently.
THE CRESS STORY
Our story embodies a tireless spirit of hospitality, sharing, passion, and craft. Chef and Co-Owner Hari Pulapaka envisioned Cress in 2004 soon after deciding to pursue a classical culinary degree. Growing up in Mumbai (India's gastronomic, cultural, and economic capital) exposed Hari to an eclectic array of bold and vibrant flavours and although the food was primarily influenced by flavours of the sub-continent, an appreciation of unusual flavour profiles was already taking root. In 2005, Hari met the amazing Jenneffer, an established podiatrist who had already carved a respected name for herself by opening and running the very successful DeLand Foot and Leg Center. Like Hari, Jenneffer enjoys the finer aspects of gastronomy and wine. Today, the marriage of Jenneffer and Hari far transcends their exciting personal relationship. An avid foodie herself, Jenneffer brings a savvy entrepreneurial spirit and an invaluable palette to the table. In addition to running the kitchen at Cress, Chef Hari is also an active, tenured, full-time Associate Professor or Mathematics and Computer Science at Stetson University.
The result of their combined passions is Cress Restaurant, Volusia County's most exciting restaurant. Cress opened her doors in late August 2008. Last year, we celebrated our Third Anniversary by hosting five James Beard Regional Nominees for a Charity Dinner which raised over $13,500 to help end Childhood Hunger and Homelessness in Central Florida. In 2012, Chef Pulapaka was honoured to be a nominee for Food and Wine Magazine's People's Best New Chef nominee (one of only 100 in the entire country).
THE CRESS CONCEPT
At the heart of our concept lies a set of powerful goals. We strive to provide our guests with exemplary and innovative eclectic food, served with tastefully professional service, in an excitingly trendy setting, and at a surprisingly outstanding value. In order that we successfully achieve these lofty goals, we are constantly assessing the quality of our ingredients, preparation, service, and value.
THE CRESS MISSION
Our goal is to create a restaurant that combines an intriguing atmosphere with superb and interesting food. We aim to be a restaurant with a strong environmental and social conscience that practices responsible usage of energy and resources and recycles as much as possible. Our mission is not only to have great tasting food using the best possible ingredients, but also efficient, friendly, and knowledgeable service. We want to be the restaurant choice for all special occasion celebrations, food and wine connoisseurs, eclectic food lovers, and adventurous gastronomes. By combining menu variety, atmosphere, ambiance, specially themed nights and a friendly and knowledgeable staff, we will create a sense of place in order to reach our goal of offering unparalleled overall value in the dining experience.
4th Anniversary Charity Dinner
On Monday, September 3rd, Cress sparkled with our 4th anniversary charity dinner featuring five of Central Florida's finest locally inspired chefs! This year's theme was "For Local, By Local". Celebrations will begin at 6 pm with a special screening of "Vegetarian Bound: A Pilot for TV" at the Athens Theater followed by a decadent food and wine dinner at Cress. Here is more information about the event.