The Royal Treatment on Oasis of the Seas

A ship with its own super highway.

Oasis of the Seas might just be the exception to the rule when it comes to something being too big for its own good.  Six years in the making and with not even a year at sea since its maiden voyage from Turku, Finland to Miami, Royal Caribbean’s $1.5 billion vessel is the largest passenger ship in the world, standing 16 decks tall, 1,200 feet long, and 220,000 gross tons, with a capacity of 6,200.  And that’s just the passengers.

It all became clear on a clear Saturday morning in August when we were invited for a private tour with Frank Weber, vice president of food  and beverage. The ship was turning over for a new voyage that day, with the hustle and bustle of boarding and provisioning.  The energy was palpable.

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Chief Justice of Pie: Blueberry Takes the Cake

@hedygoldsmith tweeted her preparations for the role of "Chief Justice of Pie" the night before. Yep, she now has her own gavel!

Slow Food Miami served up a slice of history Saturday afternoon.  Make that 22 times two slices — and that was just the judges’ table!

The occasion was “Pie on the Porch,” an event to celebrate the 100th birthday of the Coral Gables House, George Merrick’s former home.  Merrick (1886–1942) was the real estate developer who is credited as the planner and builder of the City of Coral Gables in the 1920s.

Festivities included Boy Scout Troop 7’s flag-raising ceremony and the planting of a “Heritage Garden” designed by Jackie and Carlos Touzet of Touzet Studio.  Booths from Whisk Gourmet and Teena’s Pride peppered the lawn.  Despite rain showers, the community turned out, sporting their patio best.

We were there for the sweet centerpiece, a local pie-baking contest presided over by another Gables resident — our very own Hedy Goldsmith, who traded “Executive Pastry Chef” for “Chief Justice of Pie” for the day.

22 pies, six sugar-shocked judges, a dozen San Pellegrinos and maybe twice that in #pieontheporch Tweets later, Summertime Blueberry Pie (Marlin Ebbert,) Monctezuma’s Delight (John Carr,) Lucila’s Fruit Bomba Creme Brûlée Pie (Lucila Jimenez,) Longan Walnut Bolaraisin Pie (Robert Barnum,)
Yam I Am – Hedy’s personal favorite (Carol Garvin,) and Passion Fruit Pie (Jana White) came out on top!  Here’s how it all went down.

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Hello My Name Is… Ingrid Schlichtmann, Manager

It’s a special thing when both customers and employees look forward to seeing a manager on the floor.  Such is the case with Ingrid.

She’s one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet… and one of the most dedicated. Able to light up a room with her smile and command respect at the same time.  Tough when she needs to be, and always fair.  These are rare gifts in this business.  But when you got it, you got it.

We all need an Ingrid.  At least, that’s what I always say :)

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Farmer Update: Margie Pikarsky on the Seasonal Transition

Yesterday was summer’s last hurrah.  In the parking lot, I caught foraging server Gabe Price who had picked up a slew of fun product like snake and loofah gourds, and organic eggs on his Homestead run (he’s filling in for Ali and Chris while they’re on their honeymoon.)   The garlic chives, eggplant, and peppers came from Bee Heaven Certified Organic Farm, and we were curious to check in with grower Margie Pikarsky to find out how exactly she gets her farm ready for the cooler months and main growing season here in South Florida.

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