In a city as diverse as Miami, a melting pot of cultures comes to life during the holidays. From meals to celebratory traditions, no family holiday is the same. Our local Miami chefs and restauranteurs are no different. As they are constantly turning out eclectic new recipes for diners to savor; it’s their cultural roots and holiday meal traditions that keep us coming back for more.
If you take German and Vietnamese heritage mixed with an upbringing in Puerto Rico, the holiday dinner table is bound to have a unique mix of dishes. Phuc Yea's Aniece Meinhold describes just that holiday scene with memories of growing up in a food-centric, hospitality family.
For the holidays, a dining table that could fit ten comfortably was covered with German, Puerto Rican, and Vietnamese dishes for her family of four. Occasionally, if the family entertained guests that just meant even more food. So, what covered this rather large table for a small family?
Meinhold remembers back to age six, "Think roasted duck or goose, roast pig, spring rolls, and even caviar." And, the Puerto Rican tradition of indulging in coquito was a must, even at a young age.
What she recalls most is a recipe from her mom: foie gras torchon with a champagne jelly. "She would take champagne, duck or chicken broth, and add seasoning to make the jelly. Butter brioche would accompany the dish where the family would gather around and enjoy. If feeling a bit fancy, caviar was served with all the traditional garnishes."
For Meinhold, whether the holidays or entertaining guests, presenting food and gathering around is “how we show affection to people and relish in moments where you can serve and share with your guests. It is the number one reason you do what you do."