Miami's culinary community has been bowed by the ongoing stay-at-home dictate, but it's far from broken. Every day, its members demonstrate they refuse to go down without a fight. With equal parts talent, ingenuity, and moxie, they're working to keep locals fed, to keep as many employees on the payroll as possible, and to show their appreciation and support for those on the frontlines.
In an effort to show our appreciation, New Times is reaching out to our friends in the hospitality industry and inviting them to engage in some fun self-promotion while sharing their less obvious talents.
Welcome to the New Times Isolation-Era Video Promo Challenge!
Got a bartender who does bar tricks? A chef who plays the violin? A kitchen crew that can strut its dance moves? (While maintaining a safe social distance, of course.)
Send us your best stuff, and we'll share it with our readers if our discerning staff finds the production and entertainment values to be up to snuff. Videos should not exceed three minutes in length and, in addition to amusing or otherwise impressing our jaded sensibilities, must explicitly promote your establishment in some form or fashion.
Kind of like a free ad — but it must be a creative one. And no ringers!
Email videos of your stellar efforts to firstname.lastname@example.org by attaching a file or including a link.
Atchana and Steve Capellini knew their kitchen crew was talented when it came to making food, but the owners of Atchana's Homegrown Thai in Coconut Grove had no idea they employed singer/songwriters.
Steve Capellini says that when he mentioned New Times' video challenge to prep chefs (and roommates) Mara Guzman and Demi Davy, he had no idea they'd go home and cook up a coronavirus anthem for Miami. When the duo sent him a video of them performing it in their kitchen, he spiced it up with some iMovie effects and submitted it to our discerning jury.
"Bored in the House" speaks to all of us in self-quarantine. Don't be surprised if you find yourself singing it all day. It's downright catchy!
Capellini reports that the lockdown hasn't gotten the team down. "Our spirits are great," he says. "Everyone at the restaurant is hard at work, providing takeout to the community, which is working well for us."
He says he installed a window so customers can order and pick up their food without having to enter the restaurant. "It's sort of a Thai ventanita," he says. Atchana's is equipped for contactless credit-card payment, and each team member is equipped with a personalized mask bearing their name and the Atchana's logo.
The restaurant is handling all orders by phone, but Capellini, who handles the deliveries himself, hopes to have online ordering available by next week.
"I'm the delivery guy and the kitchen people are writing songs," he quips. "It's amazing how quickly we got used to this new normal."
Atchana's Homegrown Thai. 3194 Commodore Plaza, Coconut Grove; 305-774-0404; atchanas.com. Open for takeout and delivery daily from noon to 9 p.m. (last order accepted at 8:30 p.m.)
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