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  1. The 13th Annual Miami Spice Restaurant program kicks off in just a few weeks on August 1. This year to celebrate, the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) launched a series of special of monthly Miami Spice Mash-Ups, where chefs collaborate for a one-night only dinner and prepare dishes from their upcoming Spice menus.

    On Wednesday, June 25, J&G Grill at St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort kicked off the series with its Chef de Cusine Brad Kilgore and pastry chef Antonio Bachour creating a six-course menu with visiting Chef Jose Mendin of the Pubbelly family of restaurants.

    The intimate dinner showcased the creativity of these chefs with dishes such as Local Poussin, “Saucisson de Lyon,” Five Spice, Chard Walnut Emulsion from Kilgore, Pork Cheeks, Asparagus, Mushroom Dirt, Parmesan Cheese and Pickled Mushrooms from Mendin; and Salted Honey Yogurt, Candied Tomatoes, Greek Yogurt Custard, Strawberries, and Yogurt Sponge Cake from Bachour. Guests also enjoyed cocktails from Botran Rum and beers from Stella Artois.

    Check out more highlights from the video above and make sure not to miss the next Miami Spice Mash-Up on Thursday, July 24 at 8 p.m., when chef Clayton Miller of 50 Eggs and Todd Erickson of HaVen Gastro-Lounge team up at Swine Southern Table & Bar. Tickets are $65 per person and can be purchased here 50eggsinc.com/chefs.

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  3. The Floridian is the St. Augustine restaurant that has created buzz among locals and tourists alike for almost four years. The restaurant serves up unique Southern fare, with a healthy and local twist. Chat Chow TV sat down with co-owner Jeff McNally to learn more about the cuisine and its creative dishes and cocktails.

    Jeff and his wife Genie McNally opened the Floridian Labor Day weekend in 2010 after much encouragement from their friends and family. Prior to that Genie, who runs the restaurant’s kitchen and back of the house, had a small catering company and was serving up food at local farmers markets where she made strong bonds with many local purveyors in the area.

    The eclectic restaurant prides itself on its relationship with the many vendors in the area and supporting the local community no matter their taste or preference. The restaurant’s slogan is “innovative Southern fare for omnivores, herbivores, locavores,” and this remains throughout the menu. No matter if you are vegetarian, vegan or even gluten intolerant, the restaurant has something to accommodate any guest.

    The Floridan is divided into several parts, the back bar that serves creative beer and wine cocktails, the main dining room and the front porch located right on a popular street in town. Behind the restaurant is the quaint Florida Room where guests can get a freshly brewed cup of coffee, sandwich or salad, or even a glass of wine or local beer.

    Curious what a “Porch Sipper” is? Or which local pepper dominates The Floridian’s menu? Find out all that and more in the video above.

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  4. Florida is having a spirits renaissance thanks in part to the St. Augustine Distillery. Chat Chow TV sat down the distillery’s president and founding partner Philip McDaniel to found out more about the new craft distillery, its historic location and how it is stepping up St. Augustine’s “cool” factor.

    The distillery is the brain child of McDaniel and his fellow founding partner Ryan Dettra who were looking for new projects to take on in their adopted hometown of St. Augustine. They were intrigued by the idea of bringing a distillery to the area and went around the country researching and discovering the best practices on how to do so.

    They partnered up with Master Distiller David Pickerell, who has more than 30 years of experience in the distillery industry under his belt with brands like Maker’s Mark, and used some of Florida’s abundant produce like sugarcane, corn and wheat, to create their spirits. The first one created was vodka, followed by the recently released gin along with rum that will be coming in early 2015. Bourbon is also in production and once released will be Florida’s first bourbon.

    The distillery is housed in the historic FP&L Ice Plant right in the heart of the historic St. Augustine beach area. It is easily accessible by trolley and tour buses and provides free tours daily where guests can learn more about the plant, its process, sample some product and purchase it if so desired.

    Curious who Ella and Bessy are? Or what goes into the distillery’s signature Florida Mule? Find out all that and more in the video above.

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  5. Articles Of War
    Created by Robert Ferrara

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