Top Chef Elizabeth Falkner is completely a hands-on chef. At her first pop-up dinner and cooking demonstration at the Miami Culinary Institute last evening, Falkner encouraged questions and interaction while she showed a group of about 50 guests, most of them fans, how to make gnocchi, pesto sauce, and arancini. Afterward, the personable chef mingled, signed copies of her new book, and posed for pictures.
A multi-course dinner was served family-style, with Falkner herself helping pass the gnocchi and focaccia. "Did you get some meatballs?" she asked our end of the table, clearly worried that we didn't get enough to eat.
We assured her that we had, in fact, gotten the meatballs, as she raced to get a heaping plate of couscous for the table.
The chef is in town on her way to Brooklyn, where she is opening her new
restaurant, Krescendo, featuring dishes inspired by her time in
southern Italy. The pop-up features items both from the new restaurant
and dishes that she prepared in the earlier cooking demo.
returns to the Miami Culinary Institute tonight and tomorrow and a
limited number of tickets are still available for the events.
Dinner with wine pairings and cocktails costs $90
(including taxes and gratuity), available through LivingSocial. Each intimate dinner starts at 8:30 p.m., with cocktails at 7:30 p.m. The VIP cooking demonstration
starts at 6:30 p.m. and includes a copy of Falkner's book, Cooking Off The Clock. The VIP event is $130 (including taxes and
gratuity) and includes dinner at the pop-up.
In the meantime, Short Order wants to give away an autographed copy of
the chef's new book (which hasn't even been released in stores yet).
Just become a fan of Short Order on Facebook and post your favorite
Italian dish. Are you a pasta person? Do you want to make some gnocchi
at home? We'll choose one random person and announce the winner Monday
Falkner plating the finished gnocchi with pesto sauce.
Beautiful roasted vegetables graced the communal tables.
Meatballs served family style.
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Dessert was accompanied by a take-home bag of Italian cookies. They never made it home.