Don't you just love it when chefs team up and host collaborative dinners? That's the premise behind Tongue & Cheek's Kitchen Collab series. Past events have showcased Clay Conley and Lindsay Autry, who joined Tongue & Cheek's Jamie DeRosa in cooking multi-course meals.
This Wednesday marks the end of the season for the series. And to say farewell, Paula DaSilva, former executive chef of 1500 Degrees at the Eden Roc Miami Beach, and DeRosa will be cooking up a storm.
We interviewed both chefs about the series and their upcoming event.
Short Order: When did Jamie approach you about this collaboration?
Paul DaSilva: He gave me a call and talked to me about the Kitchen Collab concept and asked if I would like to be a part of it. I thought it was a really cool idea and figured it would be a fun experience.
How are you preparing for the big day?
Jamie and I have been back and forth several times planning and tweaking the menu. Now, we're in the process of dividing the work and who's going to prep what parts of the dishes. I've got to make a run to a Brazilian market to pick up some ingredients for one of the dishes!
What do you want guests to walk away with?
A unique experience that they wouldn't have had otherwise. Our styles couldn't be more different so when it all comes together on a plate, I want people to really be wowed at how it can all work.
Describe Jamie in three words.
Whimsical, adventurous, and creative.
Short Order: Why did you launch this series?
Jamie DeRosa: We wanted to work with some other industry partners who share similar philosophies on cooking and that we were fans of as well. Initially, it was important to position ourselves with chefs outside of Dade country: Palm Beach, Orlando, and Tampa to name a few, and bring in amazing chefs who aren't as involved geographically with our local events as Miami chefs are. It's rare that we would get an opportunity to work together, let alone cook with one another. We thought it would be fun and so far the feedback has been awesome. We are getting calls to do more Kitchen Collabs so stay tuned for the 2014 line up.
What's been your favorite moment in the series thus far?
Experiencing first-hand Ms. Lindsay Autry's "old school 90's rapping" skills during the dinner. I'm pretty sure she knows every song from that genre.
In your opinion, what's the best dish from the series?
One of our favorites is the octopus Bolognese, ricotta gnocchi, uni, and bottarga. Also a fan favorite was the live uni chowder served in its own shell.
Are there any special surprises planned for the finale?
Paula and I are going to do our first "heritage" dish. Something from her roots that's served table-side and really shows the ethnicity of a dish with the look and style of the Cheek.
Why did you pick Paula for this collaboration?
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She's amazing. We love who she is, her professionalism, personality and passion for what we do is contagious! With so much focus lately on the "God of Cooking" article that came out recently in Time Magazine, it's not by coincidence that two of our three Collabs were female chefs. They're just bad ass!
Kitchen Collab ends this Wednesday, November 20th and is priced at $75 per person (excluding tax and gratuity). The price includes welcome cocktails and passed hors d'oeuvres, followed by a five-course meal.
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha