Showing posts from August, 2014

Cobaya 1826 with Chef Danny Grant

At Cobaya, we love when chefs have passions they wish to pursue. When we first started talking to Chef Danny Grant about doing a dinner, he told us his passion was truffles. Initially I was puzzled when he said he wanted to do a truffle-themed dinner in the dead of August, when I'm accustomed to only seeing – and being disappointed by – summer truffles.[1] But Danny said he was bringing in Australian black Perigord truffles, and that they were great.

Grant is the chef at 1826 Restaurant & Lounge, a restaurant, bar and lounge in the heart of South Beach that opened last year. Before coming to Miami to open 1826, he had made a name for himself in Chicago heading the kitchen at the now-closed RIA, which garnered two Michelin stars during Danny's tenure in 2011-12 (and during which time he also earned a "Best New Chefs" recognition from Food & Wine magazine). Danny's resume – and the samples of his cooking I've had from a visit to the restaurant and the …

Cobaya Brasel at Meat Market

I'm not really sure what happened. I know Sean Brasel is a talented chef: I've had good meals at the restaurant of which he's chef and owner, Meat Market on Lincoln Road, and I've seen some interesting menus that he's put together for wine dinners there.[1] But if I'm going to be brutally honest – and I am – our Cobaya dinner at Meat Market just wasn't as good as dinners I've had at the restaurant, nor as interesting as other special event menus I've seen them do.

This puts me in an incredibly awkward position. As one of the organizers of these Cobaya dinners, I'd like nothing better than to tell you how fantastic every meal is, and heap praise on the chefs who work with us. Fortunately, I almost always get to do that, and through 44 events over the past five years, I think we've got a pretty great track record. But if I'm going to maintain credibility, I have to tell you when I think we miss the mark – and as a paying customer myself (…