Carrot Tartare with Microgreens, Fried Carrot Tops, and Edible Flowers

Carrot Tartare with Microgreens, Fried Carrot Tops, and Edible Flowers

Carrot Tartare with Microgreens, Fried Carrot Tops, and Edible Flowers

This carrot tartare plays with your senses, surprising and delighting you. On first glance, you might mistake this dish for beef tartare; the ground red carrots closely resemble raw ground beef. The presentation is visually striking; the colors draw you in, seducing you. It’s beauty on a plate and it’s so much fun to create.

Layering and textures play a critical role in this carrot tartare preparation, both in aesthetics and taste. The bottom layer of the carrot tartare consists of diced avocado with a squeeze of lemon juice, to prevent discoloration, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. The avocado provides a lovely creaminess to the tartare. read more

White Chocolate-Matcha Frog Princes with Gum Paste Crowns

White Chocolate-Matcha Frog Princes with Gum Paste Crowns

White Chocolate-Matcha Frog Princes with Gum Paste Crowns

Chocolate frogs are popular these days, especially among Harry Potter fans. However, today I want to reference a fairytale that’s been in the public imagination for quite a while, “The Frog Prince”—a story about a prince transformed into a frog by an enchantress, who is waiting for a princess to come and break the spell. Hence, the inspiration for these white chocolate-matcha frog princes. Aren’t they cute?

These chocolate frog princes are a great Valentine’s Day treat for kids and grownups alike. Matcha—a green tea powder—gives the frogs their green color and imparts a subtle tea flavor to the sweet white chocolate. To make the golden crowns, I used icing color to tint the gum paste orange—then painted the sculpted crowns with an edible gold luster dust to give them a shiny, lustrous quality befitting a prince. You can even add white pearl sprinkles between the ridges of the crown for further decoration. read more

Churrasco with Avocado-Chimichurri Sauce and Mexican Cesar Salad

Churrasco with Avocado-Chimichurri Sauce and Mexican Cesar Salad

Churrasco with Avocado-Chimichurri Sauce and Mexican Cesar Salad

When I left home for college, my family gave me a collection of recipes to take with me. It was a touching gift; each member handwrote their favorite recipes on pieces of paper and put them in protective sleeves. Each recipe reminded me of the person and the meals we’ve shared over the years. Whenever I’m craving a dish from my childhood, I go to that folder and cook something from it. It goes to show that the best gifts come from the heart. read more

The Magic of Wynwood: Artists, Brewmasters, and Chefs Embrace Creativity

Me on Graffiti Staircase Surrounded by Art in Wynwood

Me on Graffiti Staircase Surrounded by Art in Wynwood

Wynwood—a neighborhood in Miami known for its street art—stimulates your senses and taps into your creative energy. It’s an exciting place with larger-than-life murals, bold imagery, and eye-catching designs. Everywhere you look, art surrounds you; it covers the walls, sidewalks, stairs, and railings, and it’s constantly changing and metamorphosing into something new.

One of the beautiful things about street art is its ephemeral nature. It’s made for people to appreciate in the moment, knowing that it will not last, much like a chef prepares a meal; it’s designed to evoke feelings that people will remember long after the mural is gone. This constant regeneration of art and ideas invigorates Wynwood, challenging artists to keep producing and engaging with their art. This atmosphere draws innovators and fosters their creativity. It’s why Wynwood has some of the best art, restaurants, and breweries in Miami—this continual push to take risks and produce something unique and different. read more

Biking Among Alligators in Shark Valley, Everglades National Park

Alligator Swimming in Shark Valley, Everglades National Park

Alligator Swimming in Shark Valley, Everglades National Park

Some of my favorite memories occur in nature and visiting national parks. There’s something calming about the natural world; life seems to slow down and you tend to focus more on the present. You can watch the wildlife and appreciate the beauty of the space around you. Studies show that spending time in nature reduces stress and improves our overall health. That’s part of the reason we should protect and treasure our national parks. They benefit us, the world, and the living creatures that inhabit them. read more