Interview: Andrea Curto-Randazzo Gets The 10

Now here's a gal who really knows her way around a kitchen: Chef Andrea Curto-Randazzo of Talula. She co-owns and co-cooks with husband Frank Randazzo and has been since June 2003, dishing up eclectic eats inspired by Italy, Asia and the Southwest. They labeled their style "creative American cuisine," but we just like to refer to it as "delish." 

This Vero Beach-bred gal once waited tables, then eventually worked her way up to the Culinary Institute of America, where she graduated with honors. Cupid stepped in when she worked at New York's Tribeca Grill (meaning, that's where she met her future hubby) and the Fates got their way in 1996 when they convinced her to return to South Florida. A few years after the move, she became Wish's executive chef, garnering a top 10 ranking from Food & Wine Magazine.

Wanna know more about this sassy, unapologetic carnivore with an affinity for Cake and an aversion to Tofurky? Read on:

New Times: What food/utensil/technique still confounds you? 

Andrea Curto-Randazzo: Fakin' Bacon or Tofurkey.

NT: If you came back in your next life as a food item, what would it be and how would you like to be served?

ACR: A meatball sandwich on crusty semolina with a little mozzarella and Parmigano-Reggiano and fresh basil. Saucy and delicious! 

NT: Which chef, alive or dead, would you like to challenge in "Iron Chef" fashion and why do you believe you could kick his or her ass in the kitchen? 

ACR: The list is so long.  

NT: What's your favorite soundtrack/song to cook to? 

ACR: Something soulful - Aretha, Al Green, Barry White. Funk works as well: Q-Tip, The Roots, G-Love. Maybe some Jay-Z or a little Led Zeppelin, Beatles, Cake...  It all depends on what I am cooking

NT: If you could be slathered head-to-toe in one food item--without fear of getting an allergic reaction--what would it be? 

NT: Which famous chef, alive or dead, would you like to shadow for a day (assuming you haven't already had the chance)? 

ACR: Top two - Charlie Palmer & Thomas Keller

NT: If you weren't a chef, you'd be...?
ACR: A music critic or a New York Yankee sportscaster or a lounge singer. 

NT: What's your favorite junk food and where do you get it? 

ACR: Tostitos cheese dip served hot with "hint of lime" Tostitos chips. Popcorn with Raisinettes and crispy bacon.  Reese's Mini Peanut Butter Cups (in the freezer) or chocolate pudding with Cool Whip. Publix - you can get all of that!

NT: How would you complete this sentence? When I'm in Miami, I simply have to eat __lechon asado cubano____ because ____it is a delicious whole roasted pig (no brainer)__and my favorite place to get it is___ homemade by a very close Cuban friend of mine___.

NT: Never trust a chef who/that ...?

ACR: ...doesn't eat meat.  Sorry to all my vegan friends, I still don't get it. I'll respect it but I don't get it.

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Riki Altman