I love a good food event. Simply put, I smile at the very idea of a thoughtful menu, a gathering of new and familiar faces at my table, and plate after plate of well-executed dishes. These types of dinners are becoming more frequent in Miami, and while I can’t say that they all live up to the hype, many do. Such was the case with Tongue and Cheek’s August Kitchen Collab dinner curated by chefs Jamie DeRosa of Miami’s Tongue & Cheek and James Petrakis of Orlando’s The Ravenous Pig and Cask & Larder. As each plate was presented, I found myself wondering what inspired such great dishes and how it all came to be. So I asked.
The Tongue & Cheek Kitchen Collab series began with the idea that many Miami diners haven’t experienced the talents of Florida chefs beyond the Dade County line. In its initial 2013 series, Jamie asked chefs from the Palm Beach area to join him in three collaborative dinners during the summer. The series was so popular that he decided to bring it back this summer and feature chefs from Central Florida.
I was curious to know how a menu for a collaborative event evolves. When I asked Jamie about the collaboration with James Petrakis, I discovered that the answers are not so simple or well defined. For this collaboration, the “nose-to-tail” concept presented an even broader idea than the usual, because the pork featured on the menu had been raised on and fed the discarded grains from the brewery of the beers paired with the dishes. In other words, it was a sort of “nose-to-tail…and around again” theme. They developed the menu with the consideration of finding the best way to prepare the pig in each course. Jamie explained, “Trying to balance a dish with such a heavy note is not easy when some need to be naturally lighter than others.” Without question, they found that balance with this menu:
Local blue foot mushroom and butter bean salad, stone fruit, lardo crostini, guanciale vinaigrette
Squid ink sesame ramen, trotter broth, Korean bbq pork neck, pickled vegetables, house made xo, hen egg
Sturgeon wrapped in pastrami-spiced ham, roasted peanut chimichurri, watermelon rind, tarragon honey
Chorizo verde stuffed porchetta, served with shelling beans, creamed masa, pepper relish
Sweet corn custard with bacon ice cream, chocolate mousse, bacon macaron
The opening course set the tone for a thoughtful meal that progressed from a light, earthy salad to a presentation of a beautiful porchetta made with a full suckling pig. Without question, an event like this can only be successful when two chefs commit to planning every little detail, and this meal certainly showcased the talents of two fantastic Florida chefs.
Chef DeRosa has one last summer collaboration planned for this coming Monday, September 22, with Chef Kathleen Blake of Orlando’s The Rusty Spoon. If you haven’t had an opportunity to attend a Kitchen Collab at Tongue and Cheek this year, check this one out! Click the Events tab on Tongue and Cheek website http://www.tandcmiami.com/
431 Washington Ave.
Miami Beach, Fl
305 704 2900