Nina Compton / Compère Lapin

Prior to filming Top Chef: New Orleans, Nina Compton, the Saint Lucia native and former Chef de Cuisine of Scarpetta had never been (but always wanted to go) to NOLA. While her original honeymoon plan to visit the French Quarter fell through, a different kind of passion landed her as runner up on Top Chef Season 11 and in the city she’d always yearned for. Obviously the rest is history as it’s no secret that Compton packed her knives in February in search of a Creole cooking future, which brings us to her new venture and little unknown secret: Compère Lapin.

We’ve got an exclusive on what she’ll be serving at her frst solo endeavor at the new Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery, and we’ve got an exclusive on what she’ll be serving up. Conch Croquettes with pickled pineapple tartar sauce, Orecchiette with pork cheeks and arugula and Banana Zeppoles with salted rum caramel. As well as her final ode to Miami: Her pasta dumpling recipe from the queen of gnocchi herself. 

Mash 5 potatoes. Add 3 egg yolks. Season with a pinch full of salt and a hand full of flour. Work the dough but not too much. It just should come together and feel soft and not breaking apart. And work it while its hot so it doesn’t get gummy. Roll it out, chop it up and cook it right away.

We’re gonna go ahead and safely say an iteration will find its way onto Compère Lapin’s menu, so should you not want to make it at home there’s always road tripping to New Orleans for a taste of the real thing. 

Via Chat Chow TV

Dena Marino / MC Kitchen

Veritage Miami 2015 is just a few days away and Chat Chow TV got to sit down with one of the event’s marquee cooks, Dena Marino of Design District’s MC Kitchen to find out more about her restaurant, its popular dishes and what to expect at this year’s Interactive Dinner.

Marino got her training with acclaimed chef and restauranteur Michael C out in Napa Valley after a chance meeting with him. After working in his kitchen California kitchen for 6 years, he asked her to run his concept in Aspen where she stayed for the 13 years before coming to South Florida and opening MC Kitchen — and cheer on her beloved Miami Heat.

Since opening in 2012 the restaurant has received praise across the city and the U.S., most notably making the prestigious “Top 20 Best New Restaurants of 2013” list in Esquire Magazine.

For this year’s Veritage she will be cooking alongside four other notable South Florida female chefs in the interactive dinner on Friday night, April 17, teaching a crowd of 700 how to make a signature pasta dish that she serves in the restaurant.

Curious what Marino will be making at the dinner? Or what dishes are key to her menu? Find out that and more in the video above.

Via Chat Chow TV

Fabio Viviani / Siena Tavern Miami

Last Fall, Chicago’s popular Siena Tavern opened its doors on Miami Beach in the iconic China Grill building. At the helm of the restaurant is the ever-charming Top Chef alum Fabio Viviani, who sat down with Chat Chow TV to talk all about Siena Tavern Miami location and its menu.

Viviani has been working in kitchens since he was 11 years old in his native Italy. By the time he was 28 he was the owner of five different restaurants when he decided to sell them all and come to America. Since then he has opened several successful restaurants throughout the country and has become a well-recognized and well-liked chef.

When Viviani and his partners decided bring the Siena Tavern concept to Miami, the restaurant team partnered up with local vendors like Bar Lab and Wynwood Brewing to help create the bar program. As for the menu, Viviani tells Chat Chow that he enlists his friends, family and co-workers to help narrow down the menu from 300 dishes to 35 “cravers.”

As for what deems a dish as a “craver” he notes, “we like to have the ‘wow’ kind of dishes, because if I can’t get the reaction where you want to come back for more there is some more work to do on it.”

Some of the most popular “cravers” on the menu are the house-made pastas, octopus, pizza and a meatball that’s so beloved it has it’s own Twitter account.

Curious how Viviani feels about taking over the legendary space? Or why dining is different in Miami versus Chicago? Find out those things and more in the video above.

Via Chat Chow TV

Steve Santana / Taquiza

Taquiza has become the go-to spot for authentic tacos and late night eats on Miami Beach. Started by Eating House and Freehand Miami alum Steve Santana, it serves up tacos on house-made masa that has everyone buzzing. Chat Chow TV sat down with Santana to find out more about them and the concept behind them.

The fast casual restaurant, located on the first floor of the Eva Hotel, is a no-frills taqueria serving up seven different types of tacos to a standing-room only crowd. Santana emphasizes that everything in Taquiza is homemade right down to its masa corn tortillas, which uses corn grown in small heirloom farms sourced by Masienda. Other popular menu items include the guacamole with hand torn chips, dry rubbed beef jerky, and its take on the popular ice cream treat the choco taco.

But Santana hasn’t always been a chef — he actually began his career doing digital work, but always had a passion for food. After helping coordinate one of the first-ever Cobaya dinners, he met chef Jeremiah Bullfrog and began assisting him on his food truck. His passion grew from there and before long he left the digital world and became a chef full time.

Curious how Santana learned how to master the masa tortilla? Or what tacos are his favorite on the menu? Find out all that and more in video above.

Via Chat Chow TV

Corsair / Scott Conant

Chopped judge, TV personality and the man behind plenty of the country’s top restaurants, Scott Conant, is back in South Florida with his newest concept, Corsair, inside Aventura’s Turnberry Isle Hotel. Chat Chow TV sat down with the charming chef to learn more about Corsair, its inspiration and what rituals he has for his restaurants.

The welcoming restaurant located close to the property’s massive golf course plays off its maritime-inspired name with a warm palate and interior tones designed by popular designer Meyer Davis.

“It’s a celebration of sorts of this area,” Conant adds about the design.

The restaurant serves a blend of Mediterranean and local flavors to create its unique spins on dishes like a deconstructed lasagna, polenta waffles and porcini braised veal. For the beverage program he enlisted California’s Rob Floyd who has set up bar programs for the SLS in Hollywood, CA and several of Conant’s restaurants.

As for his other popular restaurant on Miami Beach, Scarpetta, that has produced some of Miami’s top chefs including Macchialina’s Mike Pirolo and Top Chef’s Nina Compton, he says they are all good friends still and enjoy getting in the kitchen together.

“It’s nice to know we can bring the band back together and play some cover songs,” Conant says with a slight laugh.

Want to know what Conant’s favorite indulgence is? Or what ritual he has at every restaurant of his? Watch the video above to find out.

Via Chat Chow TV

Threefold Cafe / Teresa Sharp

Threefold Cafe, Coral Gables’ newest all-day breakfast spot, serves up a unique combination of Australian dishes with a Florida twist. Opened this Summer by two Melbourne transplants, Teresa and Nick Sharp, they offers diners a taste of their native Australia dining philosophy with fresh local food. Chat Chow TV sat down Teresa to find out more about the restaurant, its extensive coffee offerings and some of the restaurant’s top dishes.

The pair relocated to Coral Gables after Nick was transferred for work. Missing Melbourne’s “off the charts” coffee the duo decided to open Threefold Cafe. All the coffee is sourced locally from Panther Coffee with all the baristas professional trained on-site by their coffee “Yoda” from Panther Coffee.

The menu encompasses their love of breakfast featuring dishes made with plenty of free range eggs, Zak the Baker bread and lots of creativity. Some top sellers according to Teresa are the “Pope Benedict” served on top of hash browns instead of English muffins; the “Smashed Avocado” bread and the “Not So French Toast” — a savory take on a classic breakfast dish.

Curious what lunch offerings Threefold offers? Or where they source their products from? Find out all that and more in the video above.

Via Chat Chow TV

Ashley Danella / L’echon Brasserie / Provencal Sour

Provencal Sour
Contributed by Ashley Danella

• 2 oz Bulleit® Bourbon
• 1 oz Lavender Infused Honey Syrup
• ¾ oz of Fresh Lemon Juice

Add all ingredients, give it a good shake, strain over an old fashioned glass with ice and garnish with a fresh piece of lavender.

Via Chat Chow