Philip McDaniel / St. Augustine Distiller

Florida is having a spirits renaissance thanks in part to the St. Augustine Distillery. Chat Chow TV sat down the distillery’s president and founding partner Philip McDaniel to found out more about the new craft distillery, its historic location and how it is stepping up St. Augustine’s “cool” factor.

The distillery is the brain child of McDaniel and his fellow founding partner Ryan Dettra who were looking for new projects to take on in their adopted hometown of St. Augustine. They were intrigued by the idea of bringing a distillery to the area and went around the country researching and discovering the best practices on how to do so.

They partnered up with Master Distiller David Pickerell, who has more than 30 years of experience in the distillery industry under his belt with brands like Maker’s Mark, and used some of Florida’s abundant produce like sugarcane, corn and wheat, to create their spirits. The first one created was vodka, followed by the recently released gin along with rum that will be coming in early 2015. Bourbon is also in production and once released will be Florida’s first bourbon.

The distillery is housed in the historic FP&L Ice Plant right in the heart of the historic St. Augustine beach area. It is easily accessible by trolley and tour buses and provides free tours daily where guests can learn more about the plant, its process, sample some product and purchase it if so desired.

Curious who Ella and Bessy are? Or what goes into the distillery’s signature Florida Mule? Find out all that and more in the video above.

Via Chat Chow TV

Josh Capon / Lure Fishbar

With ocean views, a celebrity chef and the freshest seafood available, Lure Fishbar inside the Loews Miami Beach Hotel has quickly gained a large following since its opening in December 2013. Chat Chow TV sat down with Josh Capon, the Executive Chef and partner, to learn more about Lure, how it stacks up to the NYC outpost and what he has in store for Miami.

Lure Fishbar has been an institution in NYC for more than 10 years — it’s so popular in fact that their was a social media outcry when rumors circulated that it may be closing. While the original outpost is still very much in business, the owner of the Lowes had been a big fan of the restaurant and convinced Capon and his team to come down to Miami.

“We thought the space, the timing and location was perfect,” notes Capon. “And I think we’ve created something really special here.”

While the restaurant’s menu has many similarities to its NYC sister location, such as fresh seafood towers, sushi and its famous Bash Burger, the menu also features unique dishes that showcase European and Latin flavors like Seared Diver Sea Scallops with Steamed Clams and Chorizo and Steamed Red Snapper with served Veracruz style.

Heading up the bar program is bartending veteran Robert Ferrara, who has created a menu featuring creative cocktails filled with fresh ingredients that are perfect for its Miami Beach setting. Capon himself is a big fan.

“He’s constantly coming up with new, inventive seasonal cocktails that blow people away,” adds Capon. “He’s a huge talent, an absolute pleasure, and we’re very lucky to have him.”

Capon has plenty of exciting projects in the works, most notably his new half hour food competition show titled “Frankenfood” which just began to air on Spike TV this month.

Want to learn the secret to Capon’s award-winning Bash Burger? Or find out how to get yourself a (possibly) complimentary drink? Watch the video above to find out all of that and more.

Father’s Day “Man’s Man” Giveaway

Father's Day Giveaway

Father’s Day is right around the corner and we want to celebrate the Man’s Man. So Chat Chow teamed up with Mandarine Napoléon for an Old Fashioned Gift Pack which includes a bottle of Mandarine Napoléon (750ml), a bottle of Wild Turkey Rye (750 ml), Stirrings Simple Syrup (12 oz), Angostura Bitters (4 oz), Cocktail Stirrer, Boston Shaker Set, Two Rocks Glasses and yes, even the citrus. And if that wasn’t enough, we are also throwing in a “Hot Shave Service” from our favorite barbershop, Junior & Hatter. All you have to do is follow/like us and our awesome buddies below and enter to win. Good Luck and cheers to fathers everywhere.

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#NegroniWeek 2014

Negroni WeekAt Chat Chow TV, we are big fans of the Negroni. We are even bigger fans of giving back to the community while drinking a Negroni — and during Negroni Week (June 2 – 8, 2014) everyone will have the opportunity to do both.

For Negroni Week, more than ten different restaurants and bars around Miami, and hundreds more around the country, will feature a Negroni Week special. A portion of the proceeds from each sale of the Negroni during that week will go to the charity of the venue’s choosing.

But the it doesn’t stop there. If you check in via social media using the hashtag #NegroniWeek, Campari will donate an additional $1 per mention, up to $10,000, to charity. Plus the bar or restaurant that has the most #NegroniWeek mentions at the end of the promotion will get another $10,000 donated to their designated charity.

We’ve highlighted some of the Negronis we are most looking forward to below, but if you want a cheat sheet of where to find special Negroni Week drinks around town make sure to print out the Negroni Passport and get it stamped knowing you’re drinking a delicious drink and giving back to a good cause!

Blackbird Ordinary
Negroni Variation (Campari, Plymouth Gin, Byrrh, Cranberry Bitters)
Charity: Lymphoma Society

Bocce Bar
Negroni Sbagliato (Prosecco, Campari, Sweet Vermouth)
Charity: Wade’s World

Broken Shaker
Garden Negroni (the classic with fresh herbs)
Charity: Humane Society of Miami

Lure Fishbar
White Negroni (London Dry Gin, Lillet Blanc, Suze)
Charity: American Diabetes Association

Macchialina
Classic (London Dry Gin, Campari, Sweet Vermouth)
Charity: ASPCA

Michaels Genuine Food & Drink
Berlioni (Cynar, Campano, Gin)
Charity: Alex’s Lemonade Stand

Radio Bar
The Smokey Silk (Campari, Cynar, Vida Mezcal, Lustau Sherry)
Charity – Jewish Federation

Heath Porter / Uvaggio

Tucked away on Coral Gables’ Miracle Mile is the new wine bar and restaurant Uvaggio. The cozy spot has garnered a lot of buzz because of its unique approach to wine and dining. Chat Chow TV sat down with Uvaggio’s Head Wine-O Heath Porter to learn more about the restaurant and its interesting take on the wine scene.

Uvaggio is part dining experience and part wine bar, carrying around 700 different bottles of wine, by 120 different labels, and prides itself on carrying uncommon wine varieties.

“Seems like everybody else wants to carry a lot of the same things, and that’s awesome if people want to go there and drink that,” Porter notes. “But I’d rather come here and try something I don’t drink sitting on my couch every night.”

The extensive wine program also features high-end bottles poured by the glass using a Coravin, a members only wine club, and wine tastings for people of all different levels.

As for the cuisine, Executive Chef and Top Chef alum, Bret Pelaggi, goes the untraditional approach and pairs the food with the wine — not the other way around. Creating interesting dishes like Braised Beef Short Rib with black licorice tea consommé and Octopus “Naranja Agria” that pair perfectly with wines on the menu.

Unlike many other wine-centric restaurants, Uvaggio doesn’t take itself too seriously. Uvaggio’s fun irreverence can be found throughout the restaurant, like its wine list separated by witty titles such as “Full Bodied, Plus Sized Wines” and “Juice Only I Would Drink” and Metallica soundtrack often heard playing in the background.

“Let’s just have fun. At the end of the day there is no ambulance coming if we screw up whatever we’re doing.” Porter adds. “It’s food, it’s booze, it’s wine, isn’t that we like?”

Erica Guzman / Aragon 101

Aragon 101 is the home decor boutique and cooking school located in the heart of Coral Gables. Chat Chow TV sat down with owner Erica Guzman to learn more about the store and its popular cooking classes.

“The idea behind the store is merging the idea cuisine and home decor,” Guzman notes. “We focus a lot on table top and how you can have a great meal with the perfect ambiance.”

The cooking classes are held once a week for a group of 14 “students” of all varying levels. The classes are as interactive as attendees want them, with some people getting highly involved while others just want to watch and enjoy their meal.

“People come in here and can be part of it but not really be in the kitchen,” Guzman says. “And there is another set of people that come here and want to be involved and get their hands dirty. We welcome both.”

Aragon 101’s cooking classes showcase cuisine from all over the world using a variety of talent to conduct the classes including notable chefs, caterers, and chocolatier’s, depending on the class theme. Some popular recent themes have been recipes based out of the popular “Jerusalem” cookbook and a Moroccan dinner.

Find out more about the store and the classes, including how to sign up for one yourself, in the video above.

Kevin D’Antonio / Dolce Italian

Dolce Italian offers a contemporary take on Italian classics in the heart of Miami Beach. Located on Collins Avenue inside the Gale Hotel, the restaurant appeals to locals and visitors alike with its refined cuisine and approachable atmosphere. Chat Chow TV sat down with Dolce’s Director of Food and Beverage, Kevin D’Antonio, to learn more about the restaurant and its recent anniversary.

Dolce prides itself on preparing its cuisine in true Italian fashion complete with pastas made in-house, mozzarella that’s pulled to order and pizzas prepared in a wood burning oven.

“One of the best things about this restaurant is the moment you walk in you get a little smell of that wood burning oven,” says D’Antonio.

The year-old restaurant just added plenty of new items to its menu to celebrate its first anniversary including a new “grill” section, revamped appetizers, an expanded wine list, and a new family style Sunday dinner with dishes meant to share between four and six people.

D’Antonio feels that the Gale Hotel is a “one stop shop” and encourages guests to have a complete night at the hotel with drinks at The Regent, dinner at Dolce and then dance the night away downstairs at Rec Room.

Curious when brunch service will start at Dolce? Or what some of D’Antonio’s favorite dishes are? Check out the video above to find out that and more.

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