Earlier this month the chefs from the number one restaurant in the world, El Celler de Can Roca, came to Miami to create a pop-up dinner experience for some very lucky guests aboard the SeaFair Yacht.
The Roca brothers include the restaurant’s executive chef Joan, its pastry chef Jordi and its sommelier Josep. The dinner was part of a three year partnership with Spanish bank BBVA, where the brothers close up shop at their namesake restaurant for a few weeks a year and embark on a world tour to re-create their Catalonian cuisine for guests around the globe. This year Miami was one of the five stops in the tour and we sat down with Joesp to find out about the dinners and why they chose to visit Miami.
The Miami dinner showcased not only flavors from their world tour but reflects their roots as well, with one course dedicated to their parent’s bar in Spain that they all grew up working in.
“The second appetizer [of the meal] is dedicated to our parents, our bar, our restaurant,” Josep adds. “Our parents are still cooking in this space and are 82 years old and 79 years old and still cooking.”
Each location the chefs visited during their world tour inspired elements on the meal. Due to Miami’s proximity to Cuba, one of the dishes served was called, “A Trip to Havana” and was an ode to the area and its influence on Miami.
Curious which restaurant in Miami the brothers were most impressed by? Or their thoughts on being compared to legendary restaurant ElBulli? Find out all that and more in the video above.
Vagabond Restaurant’s Alex Chang has quickly built a reputation for his outspoken personality and eclectic cuisine. Chat Chow TV sat down with the 25-year-old executive chef to find out more about his background, what he thinks of the Miami food scene and what’s in store for the restaurant.
Chang first came into the spotlight a few years ago after filming a documentary with about his college supper club that caught the attention of restaurateur Alvaro Perez Miranda who invited him out to New York City to do a pop-up dinner. The dinner went well and the two stayed in touch, eventually reconnecting for the Vagabond Restaurant concept.
He admits that he has been a bit outspoken about Miami’s food scene since arriving but that he didn’t necessarily mean it in a negative light, “I thought I was just saying what everyone was saying to me but I guess no one wants to say it publicly,” but adds he thinks that there is prime opportunity for the city’s food scene to grow because it isn’t overly saturated like other markets.
As for the inspiration of his menu it’s a reflection of items that he enjoys eating — with heavy emphasis on local vegetables, which has been a challenge for him in the summer months when produce isn’t easily available.
“We’re finding ways to challenge ourself and do something different instead of do something just order tomatoes from California,” he adds. “If we showcase a vegetable on the menu we want it to be from around here.”
As for the future of the restaurant, after a successful launch of brunch and lunch he admits to toying with the idea of of a special tasting menu with hopes of launching that down the line.
Curious what he thinks of Miami’s culinary journalism? Check that out at the 13 minute mark. Or if he thinks Miami has truly embraced him? Find out all that and more in the video above.
Contributed by Nel Bailey
• 2 oz Dillon's Unfiltered Gin
• ½ oz of Dolin Blanc Vermouth
• ½ oz of St. Germain
• ½ oz of Lemon Juice
Muddle 3 cucumber slices and shake all ingredients. Rinse a coupe glass w/ absinthe, double-strain cocktail and garnish with a cucumber slice.
2 oz Kappa Pisco
1/2 oz Mandarin Napoleon
3-4 fresh basil leaves
3/4 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
dash of simple syrup
1 egg white
Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain the ice. Shake again. Pour into a chilled coupe. Garnish with a fresh basil leaf.
Five local chefs (and a bartender) walk into our backyard! Chat Chow TV partnered again with Miami Herald's Indulge Magazine to produce a behind-the-scenes video of a Miami BBQ Feast w/ Danny Serfer, Rob Ferrara, Kareem Anguin, Julia Ning, Horacio Rivadero and Phil Bryant.