Meet Your Miami Food Blogger is back, with a very special start to 2013 featuring who is perhaps the closest there is to a real food critic in our beloved Miami: Mr. Frodnesor from the www.foodforthoughtmiami.com blog.
Enjoy his interview,
Gj: How long have you been blogging about food?
F: It will be four years this month.
Gj: Where does your passion for food come from?
F: My parents were good enough to bring my sister and I on trips to Europe at a fairly young age and we were in restaurants a lot. Not necessarily super-fancy places, but it was exciting to order dishes when you didn’t know what they were – and sometimes, anyway, I’d find something great. Plus, it used to gross my sister out whenever I’d eat anything “cute” – duck, lamb, veal – and that was the ideal motivation to try different things.
Gj: What is the best meal you’ve ever had?
F: It’s difficult to pick, but it might be the lunch I had at Asador Etxebarri in the Spanish Basque Country a few years ago. Everything at Etxebarri is done on a charcoal grill, the chef sources fantastic ingredients from nearby and around Spain, and cooks them perfectly.
Gj: What is your favorite restaurant in the whole world?
F: I always struggle to pick “favorites,” and I’m breaking my own “Fight Club” rule here by mentioning it, but Sushi Deli (a/k/a Japanese Market) probably fits the bill. I’ve been going there for years, it’s only a couple miles from my house, I’m there nearly every week, and every time Chef Michio serves me something wonderful. I can’t think of any other place that has so consistently made me happy.
Gj: If you could live in another food city which would it be
F: Of the cities I’ve been to: San Sebastian, Spain. From modest tapas bars to Michelin three-stars, it is a gastronomic paradise. Of those I’ve not yet been to: Tokyo – I think I could eat very well there.
Gj: What can’t you go on a week without eating?
F: Lately, it’s the ramen at Momi Ramen. I’m mental for it, especially the takana nameko ramen.
Gj: Name one ingredient we will always find in your fridge
F: Butter. Currently, it’s this Minerva Dairy Amish butter that is ridiculously good on just about anything.
Gj: If you could add a restaurant to Miami which one would it be and why
F: I’d bring back Talula, Andrea Curto and Frank Randazzo’s place on the Beach. I’d bring back their sous chef Kyle Foster, too.
Gj: Which pop-up would you like to see come to town?
F: This is something I’m often actively involved in through Cobaya, so I’d hate to give away any surprises.
Gj: Who’s your favorite local chef
F: That’s kind of like asking which is your favorite child – even if I had one, I couldn’t answer without getting in trouble. But honestly, what makes me happy is not just one chef, but Miami’s community of chefs. For years Michael Schwartz and Michelle Bernstein deservedly have been the king and queen of Miami’s dining scene, but lately there’s much more: Kevin Cory’s impeccable bento boxes and sushi at Naoe, Micah Edelstein’s whimsy at Nemesis, Gabe Fenton’s great work at Bourbon Steak, Giorgio Rapicavoli’s playful food at Eating House, Josh Marcus’s new-school old-school deli, young talent like Brad Kilgore, plus lots more.
Gj: Do you cook and if so where did you learn
F: I’m an infrequent but enthusiastic cook. I picked up some basics from my parents, but most of my cooking is self-taught from books and TV (back in the day of the “dump and stir” cooking shows).
Gj: What’s your favorite cookbook
F: I don’t actually look up recipes from it regularly, but the Zuni Cafe cookbook may be the one that has most influenced my home cooking. Judy Rodgers does a great job of describing cooking techniques, and of providing vivid descriptions of the sensations of cooking – the sounds, the smells, the visual clues to look for. My basic reference book is the James Beard Cookbook. I find myself using several recipes out of the Momofuku book often because they’re so simple and effective, like his “quick pickles” and the salt and sugar rubbed pork for his bo ssam. Anya von Bremzen’s New Spanish Table has some great tapas recipes.
Gj: What’s your favorite food related book
F: I really love the Oishinbo series of Japanese comics that were republished in a series of compilations with English translations. The “story” is about a journalist/gourmand whose newspaper commissions him to create the “Ultimate Menu” – and along the way it provides great insights into many aspects of Japanese cuisine. I seriously have learned more about Japanese food from these comics than any other source. I only recently “discovered” Jim Harrison, whose collection “The Raw and the Cooked” is just some great, gutsy, poetic food writing.
Gj: One food trend you would like to see dissapear
F: How about food trends generally? I’d love to see more chefs who look to do their own thing and find their own voice, rather than just try to latch on to the latest trend. Sure it’s harder, and it’s riskier, but potentially so much more rewarding.
Gj: Favorite drink Alcoholic and non alcoholic
F: For hard liquor, I’m primarily a bourbon drinker. Other than a well-made old fashioned or a gin and tonic, I’m not usually big on cocktails, though I could drink the Sonny Rollins at Michael’s Genuine all day and night, and had a really nice pisco based barrel-aged cocktail my last visit to The Dutch. But I like wine at least as much if not more, especially from the Rhone and Burgundy, and pinots and syrahs from Sonoma and Anderson Valley. Non-alcoholic? Water.