It’s no secret that Miami’s culinary scene is heating up, what with all the hotly anticipated new restaurant openings and food festivals. As if that weren’t enough, Miami’s best chefs are openly collaborating with one another—swapping kitchens as part of various ongoing dinner events throughout the city's best restaurants.
“Miami’s becoming a mecca for great restaurants with chefs who truly enjoy collaborating with one another,” explained Chef Jamie DeRosa of Tongue & Cheek. DeRosa recently launched "Kitchen Collab," an event that has drawn big names like Clay Conley of Palm Beach's Būccan, and Top Chef Linsdsay Autry into DeRosa’s kitchen. Next in line is Paula DaSilva, head chef at 3030 Ocean, who will work alongside Tongue & Cheek staff to create a special five-course dinner for guests on November 20. (More information and reservation details can be found on the restaurant's Facebook page). Though the DaSilva collaboration will be this year's last "Kitchen Collab," more dinners have already been slated for early January.
Similarly, John Kunkel—the man behind Yardbird, Swine, and Khong River House—has launched the "Midnight Chef's Table" dinner series at each of his restaurants. Like "Kitchen Collab," Kunkel's restaurants will invite guests chefs to cook in their kitchen, except this time, they'll also dine with guests afterwards at a communal table. "We wanted to create a late night place for chefs, staff, and guests to get together, and to interact and to cook whatever they wanted," said Kunkel.
On November 21, Jason Wang from New York's Biang! will head up Khong River House, followed by Trevor Kunk of Blue Hill on January 30. On January 31, Kevin Gillespie—another Top Chef alum—will travel from Atlanta to play in the Swine kitchen. (For reservations, call 305-538-5220).
Similarly, Michael Schwartz—the man behind Michael's Genuine, The Cypress Room, and Harry's Pizzeria—launched his "Chef Pop-Ups" series in 2011, almost by accident. "We had just opened Harry's Pizzeria," recalled Schwartz. "Chef Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune in New York was coming to town to promote her new memoir, and we thought, why not invite friends to cook with us? It was a hit, and so we did more. Now we're planning the 20th."
Adopted chefs at Harry's include culinary heavyweights like Jonathan Waxman, April Bloomfield, Hugh Acheson, and Paul Kahan. John Currence of Mississippi's City Grocery Restaurant Group will close out the season on November 12 (tickets are still available here), before "Chef Pop Ups" returns in early 2014 with Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette of New York's Toro on January 21.
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