Raising Our Glasses to Miami Beach 100

Miami Beach is throwing out all the stops as it celebrates its centennial –including a mega-concert on the beach Thurs., Mar. 26, featuring luminaries (many local) Barry Gibb, Gloria Estefan, Jon Secada, Andrea Boccelli and Flo Rida, to name just a few – and an amped-up Miami Beach Food Truck and Music Fest Wed., Mar. 25, with the Spam All-Stars (celebrating 20 years!) and birthday cake.

Everyone’s joining in the fun. Cocktail doyenne Jen Massolo of The Liquid Projects, who recently signed on with the new AC Hotel Miami Beach to help develop their beverage and food program, came up with two original cocktail recipes. They honor Miami Beach’s official birthday and delicious Florida spirits and fruit. Cheers!

The Indian River  

1.5 oz Miami Club Rum

2 oz fresh blood orange juice

1½ oz coconut water

¼ oz simple syrup

½ oz lime juice

1 mint leaf

Blend all the above, serve over ice and garnish with a mint sprig


Sobe Centurion

1.5 oz Wicked Dolphin Rum

2 oz guava puree

2 oz starfruit puree

5 chili flakes

½ oz lime juice

Blend all the above, serve over ice and garnish with a bay rum leaf on a … Read More

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Fabio Viviani / Siena Tavern Miami

Last Fall, Chicago’s popular Siena Tavern opened its doors on Miami Beach in the iconic China Grill building. At the helm of the restaurant is the ever-charming Top Chef alum Fabio Viviani, who sat down with Chat Chow TV to talk all about Siena Tavern Miami location and its menu.

Viviani has been working in kitchens since he was 11 years old in his native Italy. By the time he was 28 he was the owner of five different restaurants when he decided to sell them all and come to America. Since then he has opened several successful restaurants throughout the country and has become a well-recognized and well-liked chef.

When Viviani and his partners decided bring the Siena Tavern concept to Miami, the restaurant team partnered up with local vendors like Bar Lab and Wynwood Brewing to help create the bar program. As for the menu, Viviani tells Chat Chow that he enlists his friends, family and co-workers to help narrow down the menu from 300 dishes to 35 “cravers.”

As for what deems a dish as a “craver” he notes, “we like to have the ‘wow’ kind of dishes, because if I can’t get the reaction where … Read More

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Food Conference for World’s Fair at Miami Dade College

South Floridians can get a taste of the upcoming World’s Fair in Milan right here in downtown Miami at an all-day conference at the Freedom Tower and Miami Dade College this week.

An impressive gathering of top culinary names, dignitaries and food experts are slated to appear Thur., Mar. 12 at the MDC Wolfson Campus and Freedom Tower for a pre-launch conference to kick off Expo Milano 2015, the World’s Fair taking place May 1–Oct. 31 in Italy.

The day-long forum, “America and the Old World: Food, Health and Culture,” includes chef/restaurateurs Lidia Bastianich, Scott Conant of Scarpetta and Corsair, Maricel Presilla and Giorgio Rapicavoli; Dorothy Cann Hamilton, founder and CEO of the International Culinary Center; and Mitchell Davis of the James Beard Foundation, among other notables.

It’s a big deal, says Art Furia.

Furia, a partner at Shutts & Bowen and general counsel of the National Italian American Foundation, was instrumental in efforts to bring this event to South Florida. Miami’s significant and growing ties to Italy, in business and in culture, were among the factors that led to the choice of Miami for the event, the only one of its kind in the U.S, … Read More

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Bringing Fun Back to Coconut Grove

Coconut Grove’s genuine artsy charm – its bayside location, lush foliage and eclectic architecture – somehow manages to keep shining through, despite the best efforts of developers to strip this historic village of its character. Homegrown restaurateurs of note Michael Schwartz and Giorgio Rapicavoli and coffee roasters Panther Coffee have staked out space. Renowned photographer Clyde Butcher now has a gallery on McFarlane. Independent businesses like The Bookstore in the Grove and the fun pop-ups like The Typsy Mermaid add quirkiness amid the new accoutrements of urban living today – Citibike and Car2Go, to name a few.

Then there are the events. Classics include the annual Coconut Grove Arts Festival and the Mango Strut plus more neighborly festivals like the Gifford Lane Stroll and the monthly F-A-M (Fashion + Art + Music) gallery nights on Saturdays. More recently, it’s the annual craft beer festivals Grovetoberfest (October) and Sprung! (March) that are bringing fun back to the Grove, combining its friendly village-y vibe with craft beers.

“As a venue, Coconut Grove is the perfect mix of everything you want: waterfront, tree-lined streets … it’s a great place to live and entertain,” says Tony Albelo, whose beerfests draw thousands to tents … Read More

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Wynwood gets a greenmarket







The very best markets both reflect the character of the community around them and serve its residents, too – which makes the debut of the Wynwood Green & Art Market at the Bakehouse Art Complex such a natural fit. Beginning Sun., Mar. 1, the historic Art Deco bakery art center will host a regular farmers market on the site. As a community space for working artists for nearly 30 years – long before Wynwood’s emergence as a thriving arts neighborhood –  Bakehouse has been home to a culturally diverse group of over 60 contemporary artists, and the site of exhibitions, cultural programming and other resources. With the addition of a green market, the 2.3-acre space can expand its offerings to the community by being a source for fresh, healthy local food.

Marte Siebenhar

“I see this as a major initiative to welcome the public to this space,” says executive director Marte Siebenhar. “We are in a food desert. [The market] can truly serve the neighborhood in ways we hadn’t imagined.”

Sarah Vargas, who runs the Miami Springs farmers market, was tapped to organize this green market, which made possible by the Our Miami Public Read More

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Steve Santana / Taquiza

Taquiza has become the go-to spot for authentic tacos and late night eats on Miami Beach. Started by Eating House and Freehand Miami alum Steve Santana, it serves up tacos on house-made masa that has everyone buzzing. Chat Chow TV sat down with Santana to find out more about them and the concept behind them.

The fast casual restaurant, located on the first floor of the Eva Hotel, is a no-frills taqueria serving up seven different types of tacos to a standing-room only crowd. Santana emphasizes that everything in Taquiza is homemade right down to its masa corn tortillas, which uses corn grown in small heirloom farms sourced by Masienda. Other popular menu items include the guacamole with hand torn chips, dry rubbed beef jerky, and its take on the popular ice cream treat the choco taco.

But Santana hasn’t always been a chef — he actually began his career doing digital work, but always had a passion for food. After helping coordinate one of the first-ever Cobaya dinners, he met chef Jeremiah Bullfrog and began assisting him on his food truck. His passion grew from there and before long he left the digital world and became a chef … Read More

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Meet Your Fishermen

Wayne and Ben Disdier

Wayne and Ben Disdier, father and son, are third- and fourth-generation fishermen in Key West. They’re now bringing their haul of spiny lobster and stone crabs for Dock to Dish, the community-supported seafood market that launched this past weekend (Read the full story in our winter issue). At the event, they were joined by other Keys fishermen who will work with Dock to Dish, providing fresh seafood to consumers in Key West and soon to restaurants in the Keys.

“We’ve been looking for something like this for a long time,” said two seasonal Key West residents who signed up for the service, adding that it doesn’t make sense that it’s so difficult to find local seafood because much of it is shipped overseas. In addition to lobster and stone crabs, commercial fishermen harvest shrimp, kingfish, Spanish mackerel, red grouper, and mangrove, yellowtail and mutton snappers.

Launched by partners Chris Holland, Paul Menta and Tony Osborn, Dock to Dish is the first expansion of the program co-founded in Montauk, New York, by Sean Barrett. “It is the first step in what we intend to develop into a statewide enterprise involving commercial fisherman, consumers and restaurateurs, … Read More

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Market-to-Table Dinners

Diners in South Florida can now get even closer to farm-to-table meals where chefs harvest their produce just footsteps away from the table. Here are some upcoming events where you can try market-to-table meals:

Miami’s Arts & Entertainment District

Every Monday night at the Arsht Center in downtown Miami, the weekly farmers market (from 4 to 8) is one of the sources for local produce for their weekly farm-to-table dinner prepared under the direction of chef Allen Susser. The cafe is also growing its own microgreens at the Arsht Center, under chef Chandler Rothbar (above, center). It’s especially handy for downtown commuters, who can shop at the market after work and treat themselves to a healthy, tasty dinner.

Picnic on the Patio at Miami Beach Botanical Garden

Wednesday is farmers market day at this tropical oasis in Miami Beach. On special Wednesday nights, the lush garden also hosts its Picnic on the Patio series, offering three-course candlelight dinners on the terrace inspired by produce. The next event, from chef Magali Joseph-Alexandre of Red South Beach Hotel, is Wed., Feb. 25, starting with a champagne punch at 6:30 followed by a family-style meal that includes Mediterranean vegetable tart, pan-seared catch of … Read More

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Isn’t It Romantic?

Love comes in all kinds of flavors. Fine artisan truffles, a home-cooked meal, a romantic dinner under the stars, a special collection of craft beers, an exquisite home-grown tomato each mean “I love you” to someone special. Here are some ideas for this Valentine’s Day.

Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate: This choice does not lose its luster for many people. Artisan chocolatiers in South Florida include Cao Chocolates, whose You Drive Me Nuts sweets combine salty nuts with rich chocolate covering; Romanicos Pink Champagne Truffles, combining champagne ganache with raspberry; and Cacao Art‘s award-winning Tupelo honey cardamom and kochere coffee chocolates.

Or share chocolate in liquid form – that is, craft beers. At Tap 42, they’re offering Southern Tier Choklat, Rogue Double Chocolate Stout, Boulder Chocolate Shake Nitro, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, among other brews to inspire true love.

Al fresco dining: How about a Valentine’s Day picnic in an avocado grove, vintage blanket – and picnic and drinks – provided? Estancia Culinaria (featured on our winter issue story, Edible Guide to Homestead and The Redland) is hosting a Valentine’s Sunset Picnic from 3-6pm.

Three Sisters Farm, across the street from Fruit and Spice Park, is hosting a … Read More

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Celebrate Tomatoes!

Sanna and Claire of The Market Company

Miami’s Arts & Entertainment District – the emerging neighborhood north of downtown Miami that includes the Arsht

Teena of Teena’s Pride

Performing Arts Center – is debuting its new monthly Green Market with a Tomato Festival Sun., Feb. 8. Run by The Market Company, the premiere event features local heirloom tomatoes at the height of our season from Teena’s Pride and fresh produce from Urban Oasis Project, LNB Groves and Victor’s, bread from Zak the Baker, local honey from Keez Beez, plus specialty vendors, culinary demos, free yoga, live music and a Pop-up Beer Garden hosted by Rhythm & Vine.

The new market, located at N. Miami Ave. and 14th St., is open from noon to 5pm.… Read More

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