With springtime in full bloom, Wynwood favorite Chef Jah will host his second pop-up with the help of Om Nom Nom Cookies and local artists.
The dinner will be composed of four courses and centered around seasonal spring produce. "I consider myself a serious messenger of love," the 28-year-old self-taught toque tells Short Order. "And this is a way I can give back to the community."
He says a friend bought two tickets knowing full well she couldn't make the dinner. "Do what you want with the tickets, Jah. Use the money, donate them -- I don't care. I just wanted to help out," she told him. So he donated the tickets to a young boy who has been wanting to take his mother out for dinner. Jah told the boy: "Now go take your mom out on that date."
The four courses of locally sourced ingredients include honeydew gazpacho with pickled cucumbers, sriacha, and micro-cilantro; beef tartare with herbs and crispy shallots; lemon-poached cobia with orange and ginger Brussels sprouts; braised short ribs with parsnips two ways and spicy arugula oil; and, for dessert, an Om Nom Nom ice-cream sandwich with an orange-zested chocolate chip cookie, vegan pistachio ice cream, and bittersweet chocolate sauce.
As a chef who considers himself vegetarian-friendly, there is also a main course option of deep-fried tofu with cilantro-lime marinade, avocado purée, and spring relish.
Jah, whose real name is Justin Hamel (but goes by his initials, JAH), grew up in Maine and moved to Miami a few years ago. He has been cooking "seriously," as he puts it, for the past seven years. "Nobody can become a somebody very quickly; my life coach will be DJing the dinner, and this is my way to give back," he says proudly. "I was lost for a very long time, but these people have changed my life, and they're changing other lives too.
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"This dinner is all about the love."
The pop-up dinner will be held this Friday, May 3, from 6 to 10 p.m. at 59 NW 29th St., across from O Cinema. It can be accessed by the Rubell Family Collection entrance. There will be live music by Inga Ambrosia. You can bring your own beer and/or wine. Tickets cost $40 per person for the prix fixe meal. You can RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow Alex on Twitter @ARodWrites.