The Modern Host, located on South Dillard Street in Winter Garden, may be the new kid on the block since opening in February, but they are already a favorite among locals looking for specialty foods, stunning charcuterie, and a truly unique culinary experience. I met with the owner, Karem Rodriguez, at her shop and learned all about the conception of the store, her vision for the future, and experienced firsthand her innate passion for what she does.
Karem has spent the year leading up to the opening, curating the most interesting and taste bud tingling selection of specialty foods for her store. She sources exclusively artisan and batch-made products and imports, while also stocking her own house-made creations including Bacon Beer Dip, Pulled Pork, Krab Salad, Shrimp Ceviche, and so much more. Her distinctive culinary creations are sure to be a hit for your next party, picnic, or quick dinner on the go. The Modern Host also holds fabulous sommelier-led wine tasting events where you can experience their extensive collection of vino, sample pairings, and meet other passionate foodies in the community!
Not only is Karem providing the Winter Garden community with a go-to place for specialty foods, but she is also helping her customers expand their horizons, try new ingredients and dishes, and find their taste for adventure. After seeing the incredible selection The Modern Host has to offer, I felt inspired to whip up something special, simple, and perfect for all of those outdoor, Summer adventures.
Whether your Summer plans include trips to the beach, long days on the lake, or picnics in the park, this recipe is the perfect way to elevate your traditional on-the-go cooler sandwich.
While perusing The Modern Host, I was surrounded by gourmet meats, rare cheeses, spreads, and toppings galore. Photos hung in the store of their specialty charcuterie boards inspired me to pack all of those savory flavors into one transcendent bite. I grabbed a couple of ciabatta sandwich squares, an assorted pack of imported cold cuts, some creamy Spanish goat cheese, spreadable ‘nduja for a smokey kick, olive salad for a salty, briny note, and added some peppery dressed greens and a few tomato slices. While I highly recommend this particular tasty creation, the vast selection at the Modern Host gives you creative license to formulate your own masterpiece.
I rounded out my meal by adding some of Karem’s fabulous house-made lemon squares, a bag of artisan potato chips, and a tart blood orange soda there at the counter. With my ingredients in hand, I went home to assemble my feast, then hit the park for a lovely picnic, and a dip in the lake. Good food and beautiful summer weather. What more do you need? A quick stop into a local spot turned an average Summer day into an adventure and I hope this inspires you to find yours!
Spanish Goat Cheese
Salt and Pepper
1. Split and lightly toast the ciabatta squares.
2. Dress the arugula in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper
3. Spread the goat cheese on one side of the bread, and the ‘nduja on the other.
4. On the cheese side, stack your deli meats, tomato, and arugula, then spoon the olive salad on the ‘nduja side so it has a surface to stick too.
5. Stack both sides together, wrap in parchment, cut in half, and behold the beautiful layers of savory goodness.
If you want to learn more about my story, head over to GirlInTheGreenApron.com or on Instagram at @GirlInTheGreenApron_ (don't forget the _ at the end). You can also visit The Modern Host at 636 S. Dillard St. Winter Garden, FL 34787, on Instagram at @TheModernHostLife, or online at www.TheModernHostLife.com