Anne Burrell sure gets around. The Food Network celebrity is finishing up filming a new season of Chef Wanted, which has the chef flying all over the states to visit restaurants in need of a new head of the kitchen.
Burrell was relaxing with a cocktail poolside at her hotel before hopping on a plane to get back to New York -- only to fly right back for the South Beach Wine & Food Festival when we caught up with the blonde chef to find out where she's been eating while in Miami.
New Times: First of all, what's in your glass?
Anne Burrell: I'm enjoying a
vodka with fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and a splash of soda.
You've been in town for a few days. Where have you been eating?
In the past few days, I've been to Sugarcane
Raw Bar Grill twice. We also ate at Pubbelly. It was the last day of shooting and my whole
crew went to Pubbelly for dinner. We were like 25 people. I'd go back there in a heartbeat.
What did you have?
We had every
dumpling on the menu. The standout was the pastrami, which was kind of
like a mini Reuben sandwich in a dumpling. What didn't we have? We had pork belly and chorizo stuffed
dates. We started out with croquettas, and some fried rice. I
think we had almost the whole menu.
Where are you eating tonight?
We're a little late getting a
reservation somewhere, so maybe we'll do a little drive-by at Michael's
Genuine Food & Drink. I'm a big fan of Michael Scwartz but I realize it's Valentine's
Day, so maybe we can at least sit at the bar.
Anyplace else on your radar?
I'm dying to eat at MC Kitchen because I've heard it's so
good. I'm also dying to eat at Mandolin because I've heard it's also
delicious. Yardbird is a great choice because I like their chicken. Last
year I ate at Barcelonetta three times in a row. The Pubbelly guys are
really cleaning it up. I heard from Lee Schrager that their Italian restaurant, Macchialina, is doing good things.
In your opinion, how does Miami stack up against other cities, food-wise?
I've been traveling a lot these days and I've been really pleased with the quality of food all around. I have been really pleasantly surprised by what I've been eating.
You've been coming down for the South Beach Wine & Food Festival for years. How has Miami grown food-wise?
This is either my fifth or sixth year coming down for the festival. Every year there are more restaurants on my list to try. It used to be, I would come down here and it was Michael's Genuine or Michy's and maybe Prime One Twelve. Now the list is so long I feel like I need to stay extra days just to try all the new restaurants.
You're drinking a cocktail, so that leads me to the next question -- what bars do you like here in Miami and Miami Beach?
Of course, always and forever, I love Mac's Club Deuce. It's my favorite dive bar -- probably anywhere. I brought my crew there and they thought it was great.
Any other bars besides the Deuce?
Usually when I come down here it's for the food and wine festival, and outside of that I need a day off from drinking. Every once in a while that happens in my life.
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Speaking of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, what are you looking forward to this year?
Every year I look forward to seeing everybody. It's kind of like spring break for chefs. I just love this festival. The crowd, the people, the energy is so great. I always look forward to doing my demo at the Grand Tasting Village. The work part doesn't seem like work at all because it's so much fun.
This year you're general manager of the team of women chefs at this year's Delta Diamond Dishes. So what does a chef GM do, actually?
I think I just get to go around and try the food. I've got a great team, so this is going to be a really good job.