When Emeril’s Tchoup Chop opened in Universal’s Royal Pacific Resort in Orlando a few years ago, it was one of my go-to restaurants for Asian-inspired dishes. Recently I popped back in and surprisingly found one of Orlando’s best chefs running the kitchen: Greg Richie.
A recent overnight at the inimitable Fontainebleau on Miami Beach proved remarkably memorable. It remains the essence of glam—from the lobby’s gorgeous chandeliers and marble everywhere in the Lapis spa (plus deluge rain showers like you wouldn’t believe) to hot shops for bathing beauties with haute taste. On this occasion, my visit comprised of a snazzy dine-around experience—thanks to the Fontainebleau’s participation in the Miami Spice restaurant event, happening now through September 30th.
Sure, Miami is the Gateway to the Americas, but it seems like the Ritz-Carlton South Beach isn't only steps from Lincoln Road and Ocean Drive, but a short jaunt from the Champs-Elysees, an Abu Dhabi marketplace, and the posh outskirts of London.
It seems like just yesterday that I was celebrating the 10th anniversary of Disney World’s California Grill, the 15th-floor restaurant in the Contemporary Resort where the entertainment giant’s climb up the gourmet ladder began. Today we gathered to toast the restaurant’s 15th anniversary with a lunch prepared by chef Brian Piasecki and complemented with California wines selected by sommelier Bridget Sherren.
Arriving at Miami's new Baru Urbano, a destination for Brickell-area hipsters, my first reaction was 'cool.' The bohemian interior is quasi-industrial and graffiti-filled with colorful compelling Latin-inspired street art. It works, especially with the rich dark-wood-filled décor set against gold-hued banquettes. Immersed in the scene, I imagined this was a café in Buenos Aires or perhaps Bogota!
I was among the rousing crowd of amateur cooks donning aprons and toques at the SoBe Wine & Food Festival’s FT+L-sponsored Barilla Interactive Luncheon last Saturday at the Biltmore Hotel. Leading the show was chef Scott Conant (scottconant.com) The American-Italian chef (remember him from Top Chef, Chopped and 24 Hour Restaurant Battle), whose Scarpetta restaurant recently opened at Miami Beach’s Fontainebleau Resort, teamed up with Barilla chef Lorenzo Boni.
I’m a Food Network junkie. I admit it; I love to watch chefs on TV. My senses go into overdrive when I’m glued to the tube, so imagine my joy at being in the thick of things at the foodie and star-sated hot ticket in town, the annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Despite attending year after year, I’m always excited at the prospect of who I’ll see, what I’ll taste and what I’ll imbibe (flowing Perrier Jouet, no less).
Last week at a kick-off dinner to the South Beach Wine & Food Festival I joined meat-loving foodies at Red, The Steakhouse. Rightly so, the star of the show was the beef and more specifically Certified Angus Beef (certifiedangusbeef.com); however there was some tough competition for the limelight.