Jose Mendin, leader of the Pubbelly empire, now known as Food Comma Hospitality Group, will kick off his annual Mendin & Friends series with chef Massimo Bottura Wednesday, January 24, and Thursday, January 25.
Bottura, who owns the three-Michelin-star Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, which has been named the second-best restaurant in the world on theworlds50best.com, will join Mendin in the kitchen at Habitat in the 1 Hotel South Beach to create a six-course feast.
"For a chef, cooking with him is like a musician playing with the Stones... amazing and surreal," Mendin says. "I’m very excited about the dinner and what we have in the works for this year‘s Mendin & Friends."
But rubbing shoulders with Bottura will cost you. January 24, the two will host an affordable cocktail event catered to community members, local chefs, and industry vets for $50 a ticket. In Habitat's second-floor lounge, attendees will receive a welcome drink paired with a selection of passed bites curated by Mendin.
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Return to Habitat for dinner with Bottura January 25. Limited to 100 guests, the collaborative meal between the two chefs will set you back $650. Each course will be paired with a selection of premium Italian wines. The menu has not yet been released.
The event's lofty cost can be attributed to logistical issues, such as flying Bottura to Miami, hosting him, and purchasing ingredients, according to Mendin. Holding an informal happy hour is a way to offer an experience to those who can't afford the dinner, he says.
Bottura's two-night event marks the third Mendin & Friends. In the past, gatherings have taken place at Mendin's other local restaurants, such as Pubbelly Noodle Bar in Sunset Harbour, and have included local, national, and international toques.
Mendin & Friends With Massimo Bottura. Wednesday, January 24, and Thursday, January 25, at Habitat in the 1 Hotel South Beach, 2395 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-604-6700; habitatmb.com. Tickets cost $50 to $650 via exploretock.com.