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.
With ocean views, a celebrity chef and the freshest seafood available,Lure Fishbar inside the Loews Miami Beach Hotel has quickly gained a large following since its opening in December 2013. Chat Chow TV sat down with Josh Capon, the Executive Chef and partner, to learn more about Lure, how it stacks up to the NYC outpost and what he has in store for Miami.
Lure Fishbar has been an institution in NYC for more than 10 years — it’s so popular in fact that their was a social media outcry when rumors circulated that it may be closing. While the original outpost is still very much in business, the owner of the Lowes had been a big fan of the restaurant and convinced Capon and his team to come down to Miami.
“We thought the space, the timing and location was perfect,” notes Capon. “And I think we’ve created something really special here.”
While the restaurant’s menu has many similarities to its NYC sister location, such as fresh seafood towers, sushi and its famous Bash Burger, the menu also features unique dishes that showcase European and Latin flavors like Seared Diver Sea Scallops with Steamed Clams and Chorizo and Steamed Red Snapper with served Veracruz style.
Heading up the bar program is bartending veteran Robert Ferrara, who has created a menu featuring creative cocktails filled with fresh ingredients that are perfect for its Miami Beach setting. Capon himself is a big fan.
“He’s constantly coming up with new, inventive seasonal cocktails that blow people away,” adds Capon. “He’s a huge talent, an absolute pleasure, and we’re very lucky to have him.”
Capon has plenty of exciting projects in the works, most notably his new half hour food competition show titled “Frankenfood” which just began to air on Spike TV this month.
Want to learn the secret to Capon’s award-winning Bash Burger? Or find out how to get yourself a (possibly) complimentary drink? Watch the video above to find out all of that and more.
Chat Chow TV partnered with Miami Herald's Indulge Magazine to produce a behind-the-scenes video of Miami's most famous foodie, Lee Schrager at a fried chicken feast showcasing recipes from his new book "Fried And True".
Blackbrick Chinese is the newest restaurant in the growing Midtown Miami neighborhood from Richard Hales, the chef and owner of Sakaya Kitchen and Dim Ssäm à gogo. The restaurant serves classic Asian dishes with the distinctive twist that Hales has built his reputation on.
The food at Blackbrick is inspired by Hales’ Filipino, Irish and Italian heritage, along with his travels throughout Asia and his time spent in New York City’s Chinatown. He tells Chat Chow TV that his main goal of his restaurants is to bring good Asian cuisine to Florida.
He stresses that Chinese food should posses a whole palate of flavors — not just spicy and sweet — and that is what he tries to showcase in his cuisine. While his other restaurants are more fast casual, Blackbrick Chinese is a return to Hales’ roots offering full service and bar.
The menu offers an array of dishes from the classic egg rolls, dim sum, homemade noodle dishes, along with a newly launched brunch featuring breakfast fried rice, hot pockets, and fortune cookie waffles served with Korean fried chicken. For desserts, Hales enlists his wife to make homemade fortune cookies and pastries, served with a side of Azucar Ice Cream.
The funky interior, designed by Hales himself, showcases portraits of his heroes in Russian general attire, graffiti walls, and bright red light fixtures hanging from the ceilings. A nod to the fun, laid back vibe of the restaurant.
Wonder why the restaurant goes by Midtown Chinese? Or want to learn more about his chefs “Real Deal” and the “Chili Master?’ Watch the video above for all the delicious details.