Gables Culinary Students Awarded Scholarships

Janise Guyot-Cabada, Ibeth Funes and Ahylin Carballo

For some students, the cooking bug bites early. For such students at Coral Gables Senior High School, the Culinary Arts Program gives them a jump start on their career education. Thanks to the Coral Gables Community Foundation, some talented culinary students who display a passion for cooking and a goal to study the culinary arts after high school also receive scholarship money to further their careers.

This year, each of these Culinary Arts Program students received a $2,000 Culinary Arts Fund Scholarship:

Ahylin Carballo has been a part of Gables’ Culinary Arts Program since her freshman year and understands the importance of working as a team with her fellow kitchen colleagues. She has an interest in French, Italian and Mediterranean cuisines and will study culinary arts at Miami-Dade College later this year.

Ibeth Funes has shown an interest in cooking since an early age. During her time at Gables’ Culinary Arts Program, she has interned at Doctors Hospital and the Biltmore Hotel and has participated in events throughout the community. She plans to study at Johnson & Wales University and pursue a career in the culinary arts.

Janise Guyot has a strong passion

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Burger Brawl 2015: Around S. Florida in 20 Burgers

This simple cheeseburger bears little resemblance to some of the burgers on the Burger Brawl menu.

Oh, there will be burgers at Friday’s Burger Beast Burger Brawl. Burgers topped with truffle sauce, with pulled pork, with kimchi, with provolone. Not one, but two burgers slathered in pimento cheese. Tempura-fried burgers stuffed with cream cheese and bacon. Burgers accompanied by fried pickles, candied jalapeño, bacon jam. Simple burgers served with secret sauces.

Twenty burger joints, plus dessert and snack places, will be serving up their fare at the Magic City Casino from 7-10pm May 15 in this annual event that showcases the best burgers. It is a competition – attendees get to vote on their favorite burger – but it’s also a carefully curated gathering of chef-owners of old and new restaurants and food trucks in South Florida.

“This is the best bet if you want to learn about locally owned businesses,” says organizer Sef Gonzalez, aka Burger Beast.

This year’s contestants have waxed poetic in describing their creations. Consider Pincho Factory’s Quesadilla Burger:  Chuck, Brisket and Short Rib Patty (Schweid & Sons) topped with Fresh Pico, Homemade Guac, Queso Fresco, Crema and Cuddled Between 2 Cheesy Quesadillas. And how … Read More

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American Craft Beer Week in South Florida

Temps in the 80s … humidity still tolerable … sunny skies. Yup, perfect weather for drinking beer. American Craft Beer Week is May 11-17, and South Florida has more opportunities than ever before to celebrate craft beers. Here are some highlights:

May 11

  • Biscayne Bay Brewing Company introduces their Scotch Ale at a special dinner at The Seven Dials in Coral Gables. The dinner also pairs mussels with curry, kaffir lime and chili and their IPA; pearl barley risotto with mushroom and truffle and their saison; Proper Sausages butifarra with the scotch ale; and malted chocolate cake with La Colada Coffee Porter Ice Cream. RSVP here.
  • There’s a 14-tap takeover from Wynwood Brewing at LoKal in Coconut Grove from 6pm-11:45pm.  More here.
  • Riverside Market in Fort Lauderdale is hosting an epic Drink Like a Local event starting at 6pm and featuring beers from Due South (Barrel Aged Mexican Standoff, Hopicana, Olympus Mons, Northern Exposure); Funky Buddha (More Moro; Wide Awake [Imperial Maple Bacon Coffee Porter]); Wynwood La Rubia; and Cigar City (Guayabera, Jai Alai, Florida Cracker and other Cigar City special releases.)

May 12

  • OTC in Brickell hosts a NOLA and Boulevard Tap Takeover starting at 6pm.
  • At
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Miami, 1981: Words, Food, Subtropical Setting

Miami, 1981 at The Kampong

There are many reasons to love the annual O, Miami Poetry Festival. Just run down the list of imaginative events designed to make sure everyone in Miami-Dade encounters a poem during the month of April: Poems on strawberry and mango popsicles, odes to your ZIP code, poems sneaked into tabloids at beauty parlors – if you did not find a poem, a poem found you.

Which is why we were thrilled once again to collaborate with O, Miami for Miami, 1981. For the story in our spring issue, folks like chef Allen Susser, chef Hector Morales of Epicure Market, Monty Trainer and others who were around back in those heady days helped paint a picture of the food and drink scene of Miami. For the event Mon., April 27 at The Kampong in Coconut Grove, amid the classic subtropical beauty of plant explorer David Fairchild’s home and grounds, a group of poets who had gathered during 1981 got together to read their works and those of others. On display from University of Miami’s Special Collections were periodicals and cookbooks from 1981, part of their growing culinary collection for South Florida.

Like words, … Read More

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Nina Compton / Compère Lapin

Prior to filming Top Chef: New Orleans, Nina Compton, the Saint Lucia native and former Chef de Cuisine of Scarpetta had never been (but always wanted to go) to NOLA. While her original honeymoon plan to visit the French Quarter fell through, a different kind of passion landed her as runner up on Top Chef Season 11 and in the city she’d always yearned for. Obviously the rest is history as it’s no secret that Compton packed her knives in February in search of a Creole cooking future, which brings us to her new venture and little unknown secret: Compère Lapin.

We’ve got an exclusive on what she’ll be serving at her frst solo endeavor at the new Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery, and we’ve got an exclusive on what she’ll be serving up. Conch Croquettes with pickled pineapple tartar sauce, Orecchiette with pork cheeks and arugula and Banana Zeppoles with salted rum caramel. As well as her final ode to Miami: Her pasta dumpling recipe from the queen of gnocchi herself. 

Mash 5 potatoes. Add 3 egg yolks. Season with a pinch full of salt and a hand full of flour. Work the dough but not

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Getting Fresh with Small Farms in South Dade

Will Allen, harvesting (Photo: Growing Power)

Innovative programs, like local farm incubators to help grow small family farms in South Miami-Dade, are important to Miami-Dade Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava. “South Dade is already doing many things right, like crop diversity, smaller family farms and many tree crops that are not seasonal and are often less resource intensive.” And, she says, there’s more work to be done. “We’re looking to do things differently in Miami-Dade. We’ve been working to provide greater opportunities for small farms to innovate. We are looking to establish local farm incubators, community spaces celebrating our farming history and culture, and innovating with our University partners who are eager to help our farmers.”

As part of her efforts, she is sponsoring a free screening of “FRESH” at the Deering Estate at Cutler Fri., Apr. 17. The documentary, by ana Sofia joanes, celebrates the farmers, thinkers and businesspeople across America who are re-inventing the food system. The film features urban farmer and activist Will Allen and sustainable farmer Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms, among other leaders in the sustainable food movement, and offers practical visions for a future of food and the planet.

“We are what we … Read More

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New from Lan: Burrito San downtown Miami

Filipino Breakfast burrito san

Johnson Teh and Kazu Abe’s fast-casual Lan Pan Asian at Dadeland Station and Yuga in Coral Gables have a dedicated following for their fresh, consistently tasty dishes that truly span different Asian cuisines, from sushi to noodles and Vietnamese wraps to Filipino food, Korean and inventive mash-ups like battered and fried tuna sandwiches, made of grilled tuna with rice and seaweed and yellow curry vermicelli, dotted with Chinese sausage, shrimp and peppers. Now, they’ve brought a new idea to downtown Miami: Burrito San, fat sushi-style rolls that are filled with traditional sashimi tuna and brown or white rice, but also other unconventional choices, like crispy masala chicken or braised pork, scrambled egg, banana ketchup and roasted garlic cloves, dubbed the Filipino Breakfast roll.

Burrito San draws upon some of Lan’s greatest hits, says Abe. “The idea for this restaurant was to take the most exciting, interesting dishes and flavors at Lan and create a fast casual restaurant where we could focus on a short, more simplified menu that would be really different from anything that we saw on the market. Our burrito rolls are hand held, are burrito-sized, have the contrasting flavors, textures, and temperatures you … Read More

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Farm-to-Table Takes Wings: Local Produce at MIA

Icebox Cafe at MIA

Airport food at Miami International Airport is not only getting healthier – it’s also, increasingly, locally sourced. Icebox Cafe, long a Miami Beach favorite at Sunset Harbour, is now using local greens and vegetables for salads at its MIA restaurant, which opened in 2010. They’ve also just opened the Mediterranean Kitchen inside the new North Terminal Marketplace. There’s also an Icebox Cafe at Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW).

Farm-to-table is more than just a buzzword for Icebox Cafe founder and owner Robert Siegmann. “Icebox’s recent recognition as farm to table in airports is an extension of what the company has been doing since its inception in 1998,” he says. “We will continue to source locally no matter which market we operate in, not because it is trendy, but because we feel that it provides the best quality to our customers while supporting the local industry.”

Icebox Cafe may be the first airport restaurant certified by Florida’s “Fresh from Florida” program as a provider of locally sourced foods, but officials – and the traveling public – can look for more to come.

“Now more than ever, travelers are expecting world-class airports to provide the freshest, healthiest food options possible, … Read More

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Dena Marino / MC Kitchen

Veritage Miami 2015 is just a few days away and Chat Chow TV got to sit down with one of the event’s marquee cooks, Dena Marino of Design District’s MC Kitchen to find out more about her restaurant, its popular dishes and what to expect at this year’s Interactive Dinner.

Marino got her training with acclaimed chef and restauranteur Michael C out in Napa Valley after a chance meeting with him. After working in his kitchen California kitchen for 6 years, he asked her to run his concept in Aspen where she stayed for the 13 years before coming to South Florida and opening MC Kitchen — and cheer on her beloved Miami Heat.

Since opening in 2012 the restaurant has received praise across the city and the U.S., most notably making the prestigious “Top 20 Best New Restaurants of 2013” list in Esquire Magazine.

For this year’s Veritage she will be cooking alongside four other notable South Florida female chefs in the interactive dinner on Friday night, April 17, teaching a crowd of 700 how to make a signature pasta dish that she serves in the restaurant.

Curious what Marino will be making at the dinner? … Read More

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Cooking for Life Festival

Participants at work at a Miami Common Threads class

One in three children in this country are overweight or obese, and millions of children – especially those growing up in low-income families – have no idea how to eat or cook healthy food.

No question the U.S. has food problems. Many say what we have is a cooking problem.

One of the leaders in addressing just that issue is Common Threads, the national nonprofit organization fighting childhood obesity by teaching kids healthy cooking skills. Founded in 2003, Common Threads brings its cooking and nutrition curriculum to kids in underserved schools and communities, including 33 schools in Miami-Dade under superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho. “The knowledge of healthy cooking and eating is a powerful asset and one that should not be taken lightly,” says chef Michelle Bernstein, key local Common Threads supporter.

To raise funds for this effort, Common Threads has gathered some of the country’s top culinary superstars for the debut of the Cooking for Life Festival April 17-19 at various locations throughout greater Miami. Among the highlights:

  • Kickoff dinner at Mignonette, Fri. April 17, with 10% of the evening’s proceeds benefitting Common Threads
  • Culinary Boot Camp, April 18,
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