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Showing posts from February, 2014

Cobaya Divino with Chef Julian Baker of Toscana Divino

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Chefs, like actors, can get typecast. Do a certain thing well, and often enough, and people will start to think that it's all you can do. Chef Julian Baker is the chef at Toscana Divino, a restaurant in Brickell that, as the name suggests, operates in a mostly traditional Tuscan vein. Before Toscana Divino, he'd helped open Bice restaurants around the world. Though Baker's an Englishman, his resume would lead you to expect classical Italian through and through.


We like when our Cobaya events defy expectations - when chefs recognize it as an opportunity to venture outside of their, and their regular customers', comfort zones. Chef Baker did that with his Cobaya dinner, which we've been working on coordinating nearly since the restaurant first opened. Baker's culinary background happens to be much broader than the Italian cooking he's done lately, and other than a pasta course, I don't think anything he served at his dinner last week would immediately re…

CSA Weeks 1 through 11 (a/k/a "What Happened to the CSA Posts?")

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This is now my third year doing a CSA with Little River Market Garden, and while the quality of the products keeps getting better and better, the frequency of my posting on them has precipitously declined. I managed only two posts all of last season, and here we are halfway through this season, and not a single report yet.

Part of the reason, honestly, is that in our home cooking we mostly sacrifice creativity for simplicity, if not expediency. And while a simple salad or some braised greens may make for good eating, I'm not convinced it makes for exciting reading. Still, it's one of the small highlights of every weekend to pick up my bag of vegetables from Farmer Muriel every Saturday. So here is a glimpse of what I've been doing with it.


Shaved kohlrabi and turnip salad. I think kohlrabi is a vastly underappreciated vegetable. It's got a satisfying snap to its texture and a flavor that reminds of broccoli, but sweeter and less farty. So I was excited to see kohlrabi a…