Showing posts from February, 2013

CSA Week 9 and its Uses

I have been seriously derelict in reporting on my CSA garden shares from Little River Market Garden this season. There are no excuses: my farmer, Muriel Olivares, somehow managed to keep things going even while giving birth to a beautiful baby girl right smack in the middle of the season. And she's even added more variety to this season's harvest, including new items like edamame and fresh ginger along with the usual panoply of greens, cabbages, heirloom tomatoes, root vegetables and herbs that we got last year.

So why haven't I done a single CSA post yet this season?

Well, it's partly because when you have tomatoes like these, there is no recipe that can possibly improve on them. You wash them, and then you pop them in your mouth like candy. Maybe halve them and salt them, drizzle them with olive oil if you must. Sure, I could do something more clever than that; but I don't. Even when I cook lately, it's been pretty simple stuff. Assembling a salad or braisin…

Odd Couple Dinner - Daniel Serfer and Brad Kilgore at Blue Collar

@bluecollarmiami @thechowfather @joedoechef Is it possible to plate a tasting menu with 36" tongs??Guess we will see on 2/6
— Bradley Kilgore (@brad_kilgore) February 1, 2013 That's just an example of the good-natured ribbing going on between chefs Danny Serfer and Brad Kilgore in the week leading up to their "Odd Couple" dinner at Serfer's Blue Collar restaurant. Why "Odd Couple"? Well, Kilgore is the culinary Felix Unger: before coming to Miami he worked at high-end Chicago places with a constellation of Michelin stars: Alinea, L20, Boka and Epic. When he was sous chef at Miami's Azul, Andrew Zimmern dubbed him "Wall Street" for his slick style and slicked-back hair. Yes, there are probably tweezers in his knife bag.

That would make Serfer the culinary Oscar Madison. His style is exactly as the name of his restaurant, tucked into the still-slightly-dodgy Biscayne Inn on Biscayne Boulevard, suggests: it's upscale diner food, straigh…

Cobaya Khong

I have never been to Thailand. I've not had the chance to eat from a floating market vendor or a Bangkok street stall. But when Chef Piyarat Potha Arreeratn (a/k/a "Chef Bee") talks about preparing the food he grew up eating as a child, I feel pretty comfortable using that dangerous buzzword - authentic.

Chef Bee is the chef at Khong River House, which played host to our latest Cobaya dinner the Thursday before last. As always, our marching orders were simple: cook the dishes that get you excited, that you don't otherwise have a chance to serve at your restaurant. Chef Bee's response was as passionate and heartfelt as any we've ever experienced.  The result was a rewarding meal that provided a view of Thai cuisine we aren't often afforded by Miami's Thai restaurants.

Our dinner started with a trip up the stairs of Khong, named for the Mekong River which winds its way through China, Burma, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. In the comfortable upstairs hideaw…