Nina Compton's Breaking Bread Pop-Up Is Caribbean Cool
Conch and abalone croquette with pickled mango gribiche: first course at Nina Compton's pop-up.
All photos by Laine Doss
Ever since her appearance on Top Chef, Nina Compton's life has changed. The former Scarpetta chef de cuisine has been traveling around the world for the past six months. Compton has hosted a Top Chef Alaskan cruise and has visited England, Canada, and St. Lucia, to name a few. But, with all the adventures, the Bravo television "fan favorite" missed two things: Miami and cooking.
Compton explained that last evening's pop-up came as sort of a work of serendipity. As she and her husband were strolling in SoFi, they passed the intimate Cafe Mistral and thought it would be a great venue for a pop-up dinner. It obviously took little convincing for the talented toque to take over the space for an evening.
The dinner, a five-course tasting menu, merged Compton's Caribbean roots with her tenure at Scarpetta (and forever sealed her reputation as the "gnocchi queen"). The dinner was well attended and had diners wondering when and where Compton will open her own restaurant.
If you missed the dinner and want a second chance at Compton's culinary skills, she is co-hosting a pop-up dinner with Brad Kilgore, who is set to open Alter in Wynwood.
The dinner, taking place Friday, December 5, at 7 p.m. at Wynwood's Miam Cafe, will feature a five-course dinner, with Compton preparing the first and third courses and Kilgore presenting the rest. The dinner is $79 and the menu includes wahoo tartare with tomato, caper, and Mediterranean flavors (Compton); parsnip, shallot, cured duck, green apple, and pomegranate marmalade (Kilgore); scallops with cauliflower and little neck clams (Compton); grouper cheek with grains, shoyu, hollandaise, and nori emulsion (Kilgore); cajeta pot au creme with chocolate soy gelato, apricot jame, and candied nori (Kilgore).
Yellowtail snapper ceviche was served with a spicy, sassy aji amarillo sauce.
A deconstructed Florida seafood boil with potato crema and jerk corn that puts the elote craze to shame.
Curried baby goat and sweet plantain gnocchi was the clear winner of the evening. Compton shared that she picked every ingredient out by hand for this dish -- including the goats straight from the farm.
Roasted pineapple with egg crema and rum jus was a light and fragrant ending to the meal.