Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Cobaya Carlos Garcia at Obra Kitchen Table

Cobaya  Experiment #77 was a seven course feast from the talented Chef Carlos Garcia at his Miami spot Obra Kitchen Table.  I've enjoyed several great meals at Obra and his Cobaya dinner did not disappoint.  True to form, it featured fantastic Venezuelan-esque flavors that popped with each bite along with flawless execution.  

Chef Garcia is from Venezuela but trained at the prestigious Spanish spots El Bulli, El Celler de Can Roca and Mugaritz before returning home.  In 2007 he opened Alto in Caracas, which was ranked as one of the best in Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants.  

At Alto, he was cooking high end modern dishes that showcased his creativity and finesse.  Fast forward to Obra and he has reversed course.  At Obra, he is cooking traditional Venezuelan dishes with familiar flavors but with an elevated and creative twist.  It's his take on comfort food and it's delicious.

The horseshoe shaped kitchen table invites diners into his kitchen and it's fun to watch him and his team hard at work plus you get to interact with them as well. The setting combined with the flavorful food is an enjoyable way to dine.  

If you haven't been to Obra yet I highly recommend paying Chef Garcia a visit.  You can read about some of the dishes I enjoyed on his regular menu here or check out my Instagram feed.  

First up for Cobaya was a trio of tasty snacks. I've been craving Chef Garcia's arepa with sea urchin ever since.


Fried Pork Puff Skin + Caviar + Cauliflower

Arepa + Sea Urchin + Guasacaca

Cava Hola Barcelona 2017

Eggplant + Goat cheese + Red wine

The first course was a beautiful bite.  Another winner and a great start.

Tuna Toast/ton + Spicy Guava Sauce

Pinot Gris Spatlese 2017

That was followed up with a wonderful combination of oysters, coconut rice and a phenomenal piri piri sauce.  

Coconut Sticky Rice + Grilled Oysters

As good as that piri piri sauce was, Chef Garcia managed to top it with a green sauce paired with a perfectly cooked red snapper. 

Roasted Red Snapper + Grilled Shishito Butter + Green Sauce

Ribeiro Finca San Cibrao Carlos Moro 2017

The last savory course was a crowd pleaser.  Chef Garcia introduced the guinea pigs to his ossobuco before plating it,  

Ossobuco + Arracacha Puree + Winter Truffles

Alpasion Vintage Blend Owners Selection, Argentina

The night ended on a sugar high thanks to pastry chef Maria Laura Aguirre's riff on a club sandwich.  Chocolate ganache was surrounded by caramelized tuiles and paired with a passion fruit mousse.  

Sweet Club Sandwich

Oppenheimer Herrenberg Riesling Auslese 2015

Thank you to Chef Garcia for participating in one of our experiments.  And to his Kitchen team, 
Estefania Andrade and Mauricio Morales, pastry chef Maria Laura Aguirre, GM Maria Alejandra Felizola and the sommelier who did a great job with the pairing.  

And of course, thanks to the guinea pigs for your continued support and interest over the past ten years.  

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Cobaya Kamayan Dinner with Paul Qui at Pao Faena

Cobaya Miami underground experiment #76 was a fun Kamayan Feast prepared by Chef Paul Qui and his team at Pao located at the Faena Hotel in Miami Beach.

I'm a big fan of Paul's creative and flavorful food. Thus, this was our second Cobaya dinner with Paul and one of many dinners I've enjoyed from him.  His first Cobaya dinner was a real home run.  For that dinner, as encouraged, Paul deviated from the restaurants regular menu and decided to cook a Filipino inspired feast (see link below for recap).

For his second voyage into the Cobaya Kitchen, he once again opted to tap into his Filipino background.  This time he went full Filipino on us and treated the guinea pigs to a traditional Kamayan Feast.  What is a Kamayan feast? In a nutshell, it's an intimate no holds barred communal dining experience a/k/a a "boodle fight." Long table, banana leaves, mounds of white rice and loads and loads of delicious treats.

Traditionally, there are no plates or utensils and diners dig in with their hopefully clean hands. Perfectly acceptable for the Cobaya crowd.  But this was at the swanky Faena Hotel so plates and utensils were placed around the table for those inclined to be "proper."

The guinea pigs stuffed their faces with  

Chicken Inasal
Grilled Shrimp
Loup de Mer

Grilled Green Onions
Bell Peppers
Bok Choy


Nam Jim
Garlic and Black Pepper Vinegar

If you missed my recaps of Paul's killer Cobaya dinner followed by his omakase dinner two days later or his fantastic kaiseki dinner with Yoshi Okai  they are linked below.

Cobaya Qui

Omakase Chowdown

Kaiseki Dinner with Yochi Okai

Pao by Paul Qui
Faena Hotel
3201 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140

Hours of Operation
Dinner Only
6:00pm – 11:00pm (Sunday – Thursday)
6:00pm – 12:00am (Friday & Saturday)

For Information
Phone +1 786 655 5600 / + 1 844 798 9712

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Chowdown Going Down 6/21/19

Don't miss this sneak preview dinner going down in a secret spot in the South Beach vicinity.  Terrain will be opening this fall in Brickell.  Email for link to purchase tickets and location reveal.  $135 all in. byob too.  

About Terrain:

Opening in the fall of 2019, Terrain is growing roots on the banks of the Miami River in the heart of the urban enclave Brickell. Set in a lush rustic garden, Terrain is all about #firetotable cooking - in a wood burning clay oven and over fire in an asado custom cranked grill. We are meticulous and discriminating about sourcing ingredients, working closely and harmoniously with local farms, purveyors and butchers. If its not grown in our garden, we celebrate vibrant and energetic vegetables and fruits as the focal point of many dishes. Seafood is mostly local, wild and extremely fresh from our nearby waters. We also proudly support and partner with two sustainable and responsible aquaculture farms that are committed to supporting healthy oceans. Our signature 90-day dry aged rib eye steaks hail from our “local” neighborhood butcher in Brooklyn, NY. At its core, Terrain is a modern American bistro using traditional methods of cooking and nourishing ingredients to proudly serve our community at large.

Brooklyn born , Italian Roots Chef Santo Agnello cooks with a passion for flavor passed down from generations of Sunday dinners. While the rest of the boys played stickball, Santo was chopping garlic and stirring sauce with his mother and Nonna in their Brooklyn basement kitchen. A foodie at heart, Chef Santo takes the highest quality simple ingredients from Italian, Mediterranean, and Modern American cuisine to conjure unforgettable taste and presentation with each plate.

Chef Christianne

Christianne is a passionate believer in a holistic lifestyle approach to balanced eating and [overall] wellness. Always a sense of being in her element in the kitchen, creating healthy nourishing meals made 100% from love, Christianne shifted her lifelong professional career as a fitness and wellness creative director to what she believes is at the heart of healthy bodies and souls: FOOD! In addition to an undergraduate degree in psychology and a masters in journalism, Christianne graduated from the chef's training program at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City. Now based in Miami, Chef Christianne, draws from all of her wellness-minded expertise, her love of serving and building community and her signature health forward approach to curate exclusive meals and experiences for private clients and events.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Pop Ramen 9/22/19

Jeremiah Bullfrog presents PopRamen!
September 22nd | 4pm-7pm | 140 NE 39 street
Palm Court Design District Miami

Jeremiah Bullfrog presents PopRamen! A ramen battle featuring the best local bowls
slugging it out to see who will be crowned thee Pop Ramen. 

Each participating chef creates a unique spin on Japan’s beloved noodle bowl,
whether hot or cold, wet or dry, no rules with Ramen. 

A panel of celebrity judges will rate based on flavor, presentation, creativity and
execution. In addition to the judges scoring the crowd will cast it’s vote for 

their favorites as well.

TICKETS ARE $50 -$75 (VIP EARLY ENTRY) Click link

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Cochon 555 Miami 5/19/19


Tis the season!  Cochon 555 is back in Miami on May 19, 2019.   The Biltmore Hotel will play host this year and I'm sure that the competition will be tough as always.  

At the heart of all Cochon555 events lies a culinary competition of five local chefs each presenting one whole, heritage breed pig to promote local family farming. Think of a 40-course gourmet tasting menu taken standing up. Spend Sunday afternoon feasting on 1500 pounds of heritage breed pork and ethically sourced foods during our signature three-hour experience. A portion of all sales will benefit our sister charity Piggy Bank.

General Admission is our signature three-hour experience filled with culinary wonderment! Feast on culinary creations, enjoy endless rounds of beverages -- and vote for your favorite bite of the day. From farm-to-table to Michelin star - all participating chefs share one core value: they source locally. If you like tasty pig, Cochon555 buys 1500 pounds of the "best breeds" from farmers doing it the "right way" and we serve up an intimate experience for 450 guests (you do the math).

Splurge on the VIP area and get an extra hour of extravagance. Get up close to the chefs and farmers who made it all happen, without waiting in line. Chefs will serve a preview of two dishes during VIP, enjoy exclusive access to the Punch Kings (whole bottle tequila punch competition featuring top barkeeps), and sip allocated wines and spirits that don’t last the entire event.

This year’s competing chefs include Jorgie Ramos of BARLEY, Karla Hoyos of The Bazaar by Jose Andrés, Fernando Desa of Goya, Daniel Bouza of PokéBao and Jimmy Lebron of 27 Restaurant & Bar. 

This year’s fourteen notable judges include a lineup of local luminaries such as Chef Brad Kilgore of Alter, Chef Aaron Brooks of Edge Steakhouse, Gio Gutierrez of ChatChow TV, Chef Jose Mendin of La Placita, as well as the headline all-star butcher, Andres Barrientos of Miami Smokers and of course ME!!!



Sunday, May 12, 2019

Cobaya Le Zoo Makoto

video courtesy of Wolfpak Images

Cobaya Experiment #75 was a collaboration from two spots that I highly enjoy visiting, Le Zoo and Makoto which are both owned by restaurateur Stephen Starr and located at the luxurious Bal Harbour Shops.

The guinea pigs were seated at one long table almost connecting the two restaurants inside the mall and directly over their koi pond. Chef Julian Baker from Le Zoo and Chef Anthony Micari prepared a menu that highlighted Le Zoo's French fare and Makoto's Japanese side.

The flavor combinations worked well together and their execution was spot on. The cocktail and wine parings were great too. Stephen Starr's Executive Pastry Chef, Sarah Magoon, ended the evening with a delicious dessert.

Big thanks to Julian for making sure this dinner went down and to the entire team at Le Zoo and Makoto for a fun night in a great setting and most importantly great food.

And thanks to the Guinea Pig Nation for your continued interest and support. Stay tuned for some great upcoming 

Toro Niçoise
toro zuke, pickled haricots verts, szechuan egg yolk, kabocha tempura, niçoise olive

Tokyo 75
armagnac, yuzu, champagne, absinthe spray

Japanese Bouillabaisse
aka miso, fumet, tsukiji market fish, saffron aioli, rice puff
Chardonnay, Louis Latour, "Grand Ardeche," Ardeche, FR 2015

Cervena Red Venison Loin
cauliflower purée and roasted, lardo, belgian endive, juniper jus
Hitachino Nest White Ale

Duck Confit Kabayakirobata royal trumpets, grilled garlic, beurre noisette
Pinot Noir, Domaine Danjean-Berthoux, "La Plante," Givry 1er cru, Burgundy FR 2015

Dark Chocolate Cremeuxyuzu, banana, sesame
mezcal and champagne

Monday, April 8, 2019

Duck Duck Goose IV 5/26/19

Duck Duck Goose is a culinary festival by Chef Jeremiah featuring Miami's top chefs each of which will be tasked with preparing locally raised and pastured fowl. 

DDG is an all-inclusive food and cocktail celebration of everything winged and delicious, with lots of live fire cooking over embers. It's also a chance for local foodies to taste one-of-a-kind creations from some of the region's top chefs all under one roof, and patio, and parking lot, and tiki bar. Expect a mouthwatering selection of all of you can sample food and drinks.

Tickets range in price from $58.00 to $93.00 for VIP.  You can purchase them HERE

Date And Time

Sun, May 26, 2019
3:00 PM – 7:00 PM EDT

The Anderson
709 Northeast 79th Street
Miami, FL 33138


Jose Mendin, La Placita 
Steve Santana, Offsite
Brian Mullins, Ms Cheezious
Jason Schoendorfer, Babe’s Meat Counter 
Fabian DiPaolo, Cvltvra
David Sprintis, Welcome Cocktail 
Josh Gripper, The Dutch 
Alexander Powell, Market at the Edition
Andrew Zarzosa, Yuzu 
The Chang Gang, Itamae 
Jeremiah Bullfrog, Forks it 
Tom Bils & Joshua Gonzalez, Mama’s Boys
Scott Linquist, Coyo Taco 
Chef Ophus, Ebi Chop Bar 
Alex Meyer and Luciana Giandrandi, La Pollita 
Santiago Gomez, Cantina la 20 
Carlos Garcia, Obra Kitchen Table 
Clark Bowen, Boulud Sud 
Alissa Frice, Frice Cream 
Pablo Zitzmann, No Name Chinese 

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

No Name Chinese & Cake Thai Collab Dinner 4/15/19

No Name Chinese
7400 SW 57th Ct.
South Miami, FL 33143

WHEN: Monday, April 15th, 6-10 pm 
Scallion Pancakes Haianese Chicken, Jaew, Nam Prik Noom, Nam Pla Prik (Pablo) 
Hamadai Crudo with Thai Ginger Chili, Miso Pickled Celery and Cilantro (Cake) 
Moo Sadoong Condensed Milk, Chili Jam, Toasted Rice Lemongrass and Cilantro Stem Relish (Pablo) 

NUMERO DOS Tom Kha Clam Chicken Liver, Garlic Pepper and Shao Bing Bread (Cake) 
Larb Gai: Ground Chicken, Mint, Onions, Fish Sauce, Lime, Bib Lettuce and Sticky Rice (Pablo

THIRD TIME’S THE CHARM Crab Chao Fan: Holy Basil, Morning Glory, Tianjin Chilies, Szechwan Peanuts, Trout Roe (Pablo) 
Kao Cook A Kapi Bobibum It Rice, Shrimp Paste, Fruit, Sweet Pork Belly and Herbs (Cake) 

Mango Sticky Rice 
Or Thai Iced Tea Ice Cream, Condensed Milk, Tapioca, Café Du Monde Gelée 

The dinner is $75 per person. Secure seats by calling the restaurant directly at 786-577-0734 or visiting Open Table.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Ama-kase with Chef Brad Kilgore at Kaido

(Japanese: お任せ) is a Japanese phrase
that means "I'll leave it up to you"
(from Japanese "to entrust" (任せる makaseru)

a multi-course culinary tour of the senses,
through the mind of
Chef Brad Kilgore...

now serving | limited availability


TOCK Reservations Link

I've had 3 great visits so far and already booked an Ama-Kase!! No doubt that these will be must do dinners. Check out my Instagram Feed if you want to see some photos of what they are doing food and cocktail wise.  See you there!!


Design District Shops
151 NE 41st Street Unit 217
Miami, FL 33137



Tuesday to Sunday
7 pm – 11pm
Closed Mondays

Friday, January 11, 2019

Ice Cream with Love 1/12 & 1/13 at Bal Harbour Shops

            Benefitting Holtz Children’s Hospital
January 12 & 13, 2019 · 1 – 5 PM · Bal Harbour Shops

Jackson Health Foundation, South Florida’s charity of choice, has partnered with Bal Harbour Shops to host Ice Cream We Love, a fun-filled weekend featuring a curated lineup of delicious ice cream vendors from around the U.S., to benefit Holtz Children’s Hospital, one of the largest children’s hospitals in the southeast United States.

Ice Cream We Love honors the legacy and philanthropy of Stanley Whitman, the founder of Bal Harbour Shops, whose favorite dessert was ice cream. Mr. Whitman is a longtime supporter of Holtz Children’s Hospital and his generosity has helped to save the lives of children throughout South Florida. In 2018, the event’s inaugural year, over 700 people attended over the two-day weekend, to support Holtz Children’s Hospital. Get the scoop and join us in 2019 to make miracles happen for patients at Holtz Children’s Hospital.