May is here, and that means VeritageMiami is right around the corner. Our wonderful Wine and Food Experience is just two weeks away on May 17 at historic Dinner Key in Coconut Grove. If you want tips on getting the most out of the experience, just check out my last blog post, filled with ways to discover new wines and celebrate favorite restaurants and this exciting event.
In addition to pulling together a lot of fun wineries and restaurants for the Wine and Food Experience, the VeritageMiami team has been working overtime getting ready for the next event on May 19, our signature Interactive Dinner with Chef Brad Kilgore. Chef Kilgore has been with us before but always with a group of other chefs, so we are very excited to welcome him as the singular star of the show, preparing three dinner courses plus dessert with our insightful donors.
As we prepare for this unforgettable culinary experience, I want to reveal what Chef Kilgore is making or rather, what culinary secrets he’ll be sharing with our guests since, at this event, you cook your own meal with a star chef’s guidance. We will start with a playful combination of tuna and watermelon – think aguachile with a few modernist twists, like curing the tuna, using a sour orange marinade (very similar to the liquid in a ceviche) and compressing the watermelon to give it added texture. I’ve often thought a big difference between a good home cook and a restaurant pro like Brad Kilgore is that his plates always look stunning, so we’ll get some presentation coaching with the first course.
Next up will be Ribiolina Tortellini, a dish where InterContinental Executive Chef Jhonnatan Contreras and his team will make the pasta in advance, but at the tables, our dining chefs will fill the pasta with a ribiolina cheese mixture, then cook the pasta and sauce it with pistachio crema. This will be epic, and amazingly we can make it in about 20 minutes.
The dinner’s main course is a soy and espresso-cured short rib cooked with a soy-based glaze with maitake mushrooms and one of the signature dishes from Chef Brad’s restaurant Marygold’s Florida Bistro, pan-seared baby leeks. Wine pairings for all the dinner courses are made with the wonderful Veneto producer Masi Agricola – we have Masianco, a lovely white blend of pinot grigio and friulano, to go with our aguachile, Masi’s classic Ripasso-style red blend called Campofiorin to go with the tortellini and to accompany those amazing shortribs, Masi’s gorgeous Amarone Costaserra.
In between these wonderful dinner courses, we have some important work to do – raise money for United Way Miami! While Chef Kilgore rests between his culinary labors, my friend Nick Weir and I will lead a series of short, four- or five-lot auctions. I’m excited about what we have to offer this year as well as we turn to our roots and feature some dazzling wine lots, like a trio of three-liter bottles (that’s the equivalent of four regular bottles) of Dom Pérignon 2004, Dom Pérignon Rosé 2004 and Louis Roederer Cristal 2005. You will never find bottles this size in stores – this is about as exclusive a VeritageMiami lot as you can get. But wait, there are more dazzling bubbles, like a quartet of prestige cuvée magnums – Piper Heidsieck Rare 1998, Dom Pérignon 2006 and 2009 and Cristal 2006! We also have a cool magnum of Veuve Clicquot with a battery pack in the punt (the indentation in the bottom of a Champagne bottle), so when you push a hidden button, the label illuminates, we have wonderful collections of Bordeaux reds, Burgundy whites, magnums of Brunello and a trio of wines from Colgin in Napa Valley that will make any wine lover sit up and raise a paddle.
We’ll be putting part of the auction online, and I’ll have more details as we get closer to the event. And I still need to fill you in on our amazing Bubbly Brunch on May 21 with guest Chef Amaris Jones. She has the coolest Southern-influenced menu, but I’ll wait to tell you about that in my next post. Stay tuned for more news for wine lovers and VeritageMiami!