What’s Cooking: January & February

As I have mentioned before, keeping Michael’s calendar straight is one of my biggest challenges.  But it sure feels good to have it updated and in a good spot.  At least for now!  Here are some highlights of what’s cooking for Chef and the whole MGFD team over the next couple of months…

Best in Glass Competition (Yesterday, January 9): The last I heard from sommelier Eric Larkee on Sunday was via text at 1:53 p.m. Omg. Flight 23. With up to 7 wines per flight, we’ve got to hand it to Eric for surviving the physically and mentally exhausting First Annual Best in Glass Wine Competition.  Affiliated with the upcoming Miami Wine & Food Festival (4/14-17,) the event brought together Miami’s top sommeliers, representing the best restaurants and wine programs, for a judging panel to select outstanding wines by the glass. Dozens of wineries, many of them boutique and artisanal producers, submitted their wines for judging. The organizers have dubbed Mid-March to Mid-April Winning Wine Month, where Eric’s picks will be poured by the glass @MGFD_MIA.  Can’t wait to hear more about it when Eric resurfaces from his bender.

Cayman Cookout (Thursday, January 13 to Sunday, January 16): Chef, Charles, Hedy, Eric, and I will be on-island for three events during the Cayman Islands’ annual food festival.  Our responsibilities are a booth serving tastes of crispy sweet & spicy pork belly at the Surf and Sandcastles welcome event on the Ritz-Carlton beachfront (1/14,) the Guest Chef Dinner with Michel Nischan at our Grand Cayman restaurant (1/15,) and Michael’s fifth course of Pan Roasted Breast of Pheasant with braised leg, local calabaza, herb salad and black truffle for the Gala Dinner with Eric Ripert, Jose Andres, Charlie Trotter, Susur Lee, and Rachel Allen (1/16.) I’ll be reporting play-by-play on the weekend’s festivities on for Eater Miami (Thanks Lesley!) and via @MGFD_GCM.

Rosemary Chicken Salad Test at Phillis Wheatley Elementary School (January 26): In partnership with Miami-Dade Public Schools, we’ll be testing fifth grader Gerald Johnson Jr.’s Recipes for Healthy Kids Challenge entry in the cafeteria.  WPLG Channel 10 will be shadowing Michael for a day-in-the-life segment to air during South Beach Wine & Food Festival, also stopping by Teena’s Pride Farm and Roots in the City Farmers Market.

Taste of Cayman (January 29): Michael will be on-island again, this time for Camana Bay’s food festival.  Last year Hedy’s strawberry basil panna cotta won the popular vote for favorite dish…  Perhaps this year, chef de cuisine Thomas Tennant’s savory dish will bait the crowd?  Although not final, he’s thinking about doing lion fish, with a very mild, white flesh. The skin can be eaten just like snapper.  There’s a fishing tournament planned for that week to catch this tasty invasive species, so timing could be on-the-money.

Valentine’s Day (February 14):  Bar manager and mixologist (so the media says!) Ryan Goodspeed developed a recipe for Maker’s Mark, The Maker’s Heart, a lip-licking combination of blackberries, POM 100% pomegranate juice, lemon juice, sweet vermouth (he uses Carpano Antica,) simple syrup, and Maker’s 46.  My fingers are crossed that Ryan’s bloody valentine will show up as a specialty cocktail for brunch on the 13th, too.

Cookbook Release week!!! (February 15-19): Michael’s debut cookbook Michael’s Genuine Food: Down-to-Earth Cooking for People Who Love to Eat, hits store shelves on Tuesday, when we leave for NYC for a week of media appearances including CBS Early Show and Michael’s third Beard House dinner (2/17.)  Launch activities in Miami include a Cookbook Potluck Party at Books & Books Coral Gables (2/19) where Michael will share recipes and stories from the making of his first cookbook in an interactive event including a feast of recipes from his book prepared at home and presented in the B&B courtyard by his friends and family. Watch the brand new cookbook promo video now live on our YouTube channel for a taste of what’s to come…

South Beach Wine & Food Festival (February 24-27): With five events this year, things are gonna get good crazy and crazy good!  The line up includes Burger Bash (2/24,) Cookbook Signing at Grand Tasting, Wine + Dine + Design with Iron Chef Michael Symon, and Hedy at Best Thing I Ever Ate (all on 2/26,) and Brunch at Sea with Jonathan Waxman (2/27.) In true and unique-to-Schwartz fashion, Michael will be cooking at the restaurant during a busy Friday lunch and dinner (2/25.) Check the South Beach Wine & Food Festival website for ticket availability.  We’re about a month out and things are selling out fast, Brunch at Sea for one…

2 thoughts on “What’s Cooking: January & February

  1. Hi Jackie,

    Looks like a busy few weeks indeed! Is the party at Books & Books open to the public? Are reservations necessary?

    Enjoy Cayman…



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