Thursday, June 17, 2010

Cobaya Guinea Pigs Miami (Updated)

Chef Jeremiah's shiny Gastropod roams Miami.
It took a year to build out. Often you'll see him
at Wynwood's Art Walk, 2nd Saturdays of the month.
Wonderful to pick up a yummy snack after trekking
into all the art galleries.
I'm certainly no gourmand or foodie but enjoyed seeing how this Cobaya was produced and meeting other foodies. I'm just the opposite spectrum of gourmet cooking, I focus on teaching easy, one-dish dinners using a cast iron wok. Food for Thought organizes these Cobaya Gourmet Guinea Pig dinners and did a great job! He named this one, Podzilla, mix of Gastropod and Chadzilla, and it's upscale 'streetfood'. Cobaya is an underground supper club in a secret location that's only revealed after you pay. You don't know what you're getting fed till you get there, hence "guinea pig". Subscribing is the only way to get into these Cobaya events!

Here's a bit about my own pursuit of good, reasonably priced Asian eats and cultural events in South Florida, I came up with Hoh Wok Club. I held a few gatherings but then good Asian restaurants dried up so I took a hiatus. I'm excited to work on a series of events with a few modern Asian eateries that have sprung up, so if you're interested, subscribe to my blog or visit my site for latest updates.
Chef Jeremiah Bullfrog explains Podzilla! It was fun to hop
from one station to another to pick up your next dish.
Chefs: Mike, Kurtis Jantz and Chad Galiano
(Chefs at Neomi, Trump International Beach
Resort, Sunny Isles, Florida.) Trio worked
under dim lights, sweltering heat and did a
great job! It's terrific they get a chance to
showcase their 'offbeat' side at this Podzilla
and we are eager Guinea Pigs!
Chowfather help set up!
DJ Kiko kept the energy UP! Enjoyed his music.
Lovely under the tent. It was quite humid. I slathered on Revlon's Skin So Soft to put off mosquitoes and humans (oops.) I sat with this wonderful enthusiastic foodie couple (in photo above.) Wow, they really get into it. Nice seeing blogger Paula of mangoandlime, I always enjoy reading her blog, she's written about other Cobaya dinners. Met another food blogger, tinkeringwithdinner. Take a look for his point of view!

I also sat next to a Korean/American attorney I met years ago at an APABA event. The real buzz is she's going to help prep for the next Top Chef. Can't reveal location. There was also a plastic surgeon, so you see, you just never know who you'll meet!

The problem I have with western style rectangular tables is that you only 'meet' and have conversations with your immediate neighbors. In Asia, you mostly see square tables or big rounds so you have eye contact with everyone at your table and the conversation and food can also be shared easily, all about 'community'.

It was really a lovely setting with the water and boats back
of the American Legions Park at 64th/Biscayne where
Harvey took over running the bar and restaurant. Thanks
to Harvey for hosting us. Never knew they had a view in the back.

Octo Salpicon was very tender and tasty, served with
Summer Spritzer of salted watermelon, tomato, tequilla.

Brine Fried Chicken, Big Mike's potato salad,
buttermilk-chicharrone biscuits.
French Quarter Chicken Livers with hot pepper fluid gel,
evoo-sea salt crackers.
"Baha" Fish Taco Salad: Swordfish, cabbage, chipotle,
tortillas, pico de gallo.

Bahn Mi Tacos: pulled pork in trotter jus, nuoc cham,
pickled radishes & cilantro salad
Mississippi Delta Tamales:
cornmeal tamale, tomatillo, tomato ketchup
Eddie Bragin did some incredibly intricate designs on these
stainless steel bottles used to dispense cream/foam?
Do visit Eddie's website to see his beautiful art and design.

Chefs assembling tamales.

Nice arrangement with floating candles and flower.

Steve, Blind Tastes chatting to Carla (Jeremiah's wife)
and baby Sydney. It was nice getting to know J & his
family and hear about their Pod trips.
If you live in Asheville, Weaverville, the
GastroPod is visiting July 3 & 4. Check his site
for latest schedule and his creative events.

I missed out on the Crispy White Corn Cake
(everyone raved about this dish and kept
rubbing it in just cause I missed it.) and Double
Decker Slider Burgers because everyone was
eating way too fast! Well, I couldn't fit in the
burger, I was stuffed. It got too dark to shoot
the two desserts: Root Beer & Bourbon Floats
and White Chocolate Cupcakes.

I would love to hear your personal take on an "underground" dinner in your town but keep it light.

Here are 2 reviews of 'underground' dinners. One from a reporter:
Steve Dolinsky, Adventures in Urban Eating. 12-time national James Beard Award-winner, occasional judge on Iron Chef America, currently Food/Lifestyle reporter for ABC7

And one from a food blogger and empty-nester:
She's Cookin

Here's a great listing of 'underground supper clubs" in other cities. Cobaya is listed.

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