The 20th annual VeritageMiami was the culinary fundraiser’s largest and most successful event to date. Presented by City National Bank over the weekend of April 15 – 18, 2015 the event attracted more than 3,500 wine and food lovers over the four days with all proceeds benefiting United Way of Miami-Dade’s work in education, financial stability and health.
Kicking the four event off was the Craft Beer Tasting on Wednesday, April 15, at Wynwood Walls. Set amongst the colorful outdoor murals, crowds got to sample more than 140 different brews and micro-brews — most of which are from local Florida breweries. Restaurants like Quality Meats, Shake Shack, Edge Steak & Bar and Wynwood Kitchen & Bar served up bites, with R House’s Tuna Tartare with avocado, wasabi cream sauce and sweet chili taking home top honors for a second year in a row. Of course it wouldn’t be a proper party without an after party and beer tasters were invited to go to MAPS Backlot to keep the party going.
On Thursday, April 16, at Village of Merrick Park, the celebration continued with the walk-around Fine Wine Tasting, where more than 65 wine producers and importers lined San Lorenzo Avenue, displaying a collection of 300 wines from around the world. Restaurants like newcomer Soho Bay and Cibo Wine Bar were serving up bites with Coral Gables favorite Uvaggio taking home honor of best bite for the second year in a row.
On Friday, April 17, the annual Interactive Dinner took over the Intercontinental Miami. More than 600 guests put on their aprons and cooked away a five-course meal taught by Miami’s best female chefs including Eileen Andrade of FINKA TABLE & TAP; Adrianne Calvo of Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar; Paula DaSilva of 3030 Ocean at Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa; Cindy Hutson of Ortanique on the Mile; and Dena Marino of MC Kitchen.
Rounding up the weekend was the Auction and Wine Dinner at Marlins Park on Saturday, April 18. The evening featured a dinner on the clay around the dugouts, a live auction on the diamond, while award-winning wines from the Best in Glass Wine Challenge were poured and an 80s-themed afterparty on the terrace overlooking downtown.
Check out the highlights of this year’s event in the video and make sure to visit veritagemiami.com to get updates on next year’s festivities!
Coyo Taco, the colorful taqueria located right in the heart of Wynwood, recently opened its “secret” back bar that features one of the largest mezcal and tequila collections in Miami. Chat Chow TV sat down with one of Coyo’s partners, Anna Robbins, to find out more about the space, its unusual cocktails and her favorite tacos.
Robbins is a self-proclaimed lover of mezcal and tequila and her aim is to teach the people in Miami to appreciate it as much as she does. But she tells Chat Chow that shooting the tequila isn’t the way to go at Coyo’s bar.
“At Coyo we sip tequila, we don’t shoot it,” notes Robbins. “We’re the more sophisticated Wynwood. It’s a different kind of culture.”
The bar also uses the popular ‘paletas,’ a traditional Mexican popsicle, found on the Coyo menu in some of the cocktails — most notably the ‘palerita,’ a margarita made with crushed up paletas.
Up in the front of the space is the actual taqueria, which serves classic and not-so-classic tacos. Robbins says her favorite are the seafood and veggie-filled tacos, like the Pulpo made with charred octopus or the Nopales filled with grilled cactus and quinoa, but meat lovers have plenty of options too.
And what’s the best thing to wash all those tacos down with? A Don Julio margarita to-go, sold right in the front window late into the evening.
“We’re taking advantage of it before they crack down on us,” says Anna with a laugh.
Curious which popular spirit Coyo has on draft? Or what Robbins “all time favorite” drink is? Find out all that and more in the video above.
Prior to filming top chef New Orleans, the Saint Lucia native and former chef de cuisine of Scarpetta had never been (but always wanted to go) to Nola. And while her original honeymoon plan to visit the French quarter fell through, a different kind of passion landed her as runner up of 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 back in February in search of a creole cooking future, which brings us to her new venture and little unknown secret: Compère Lapin.
That’s what she’s calling her first 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.
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 too much. It just should come together and feel soft and not breaking apart. And work it while its hot so it doesn’t get gummy. Roll it out, chop it up and cook it right away.
We’re gonna go ahead and safely say an iteration will find its way onto Compère Lapin menu, so should you not want to make it at home there’s always road tripping to New Orleans for a taste of the real thing.
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? Or what dishes are key to her menu? Find out that and more in the video above.
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 you want to come back for more there is some more work to do on it.”
Some of the most popular “cravers” on the menu are the house-made pastas, octopus, pizza and a meatball that’s so beloved it has it’s own Twitter account.
Curious how Viviani feels about taking over the legendary space? Or why dining is different in Miami versus Chicago? Find out those things and more in the video above.