Thursday, December 8, 2016

experiment #67 - Cobaya Smokers with Andres Barrientos and James Bowers

Another experiment successfully cojmpleted! This time around, we paid a visit to Miami Smokers, Andres Barrientos and James Bowers' "urban smokehouse" and sandwich shop in Little Havana. You may have seen their house-smoked bacon on any number of menus around South Florida, since they supply several restaurants. Or you may have had one of their sandwiches, either at the counter deli attached to the shop or at their new spot in the American Airlines Arena.

They've recently expanded the shop on 27th Avenue to add some more seating, and we filled it all up with forty guinea pigs while Andres and James and crew turned out a menu which set out to make full use of the heritage pigs they raise in Clewiston, Florida and then break down here in the shop. Here's what they served, along with a welcoming and closing cocktail, and self-service local beers all night (you can see all the pictures in this Cobaya Smokers with Andres Barrientos and James Bowers flickr set; more detailed recaps to come eventually at Food For Thought and The Chowfather):

Charcuterie Board
Cured and Smoked Hams, Coppa, Salumi

Bacon Croquetas with Guava Sauce

Pig Skin Noodles in Pig Head and Mushroom Broth with Spicy Thai Sausage

Kale Salad, Green Goddess Dressing, Toasted Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds,
Shaved Filetto, Parmesan, Lemon Zest

Chuleta Can Can with Mofongo and Caramelized Fennel

Salty Donut Bread Pudding with Azucar Sweet Corn Ice Cream

A hearty thank you to chefs Andres Barrientos and James Bowers and their crew (including all the waitstaff graciously on loan from Threefold Cafe!), and as always, to all of the guinea pigs whose interest and support make these events possible.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

experiment #67 - 12.7.16

Greetings Guinea Pigs, and Happy Thanksgiving – it's time for another experiment!

Quick Details:
Date: 12.7.16 (Wednesday)
Price: $75 (inclusive of tax and tip)
Start time: 7pm-ish

We will be doing a drawing for seats from all requests received over the first 48 hours. Please get your requests in quickly, and if you get a spot, please book it quickly.

To request spots, please send an email to and let us know how many you're requesting. (Please note: we're in process of consolidating our various mailing lists, and so you may receive a couple different notices for the same event. First: we're sorry. Second: it's not necessary, indeed it just complicates things, if you respond more than once. One email to the above address is sufficient.)

You will be advised by Sunday 11.27  if your request has been confirmed. You'll then need to book your seats by noon on Wednesday 11.30, or we will need to release the seats to the wait list to ensure all spots are filled. Note the tight schedule: please make your request quickly, and if you get a spot, please book quickly.

We have limited seating available, and while we try to accommodate everyone who is interested, that is usually not possible - most events fill up fast. Due to space limitations, we will limit people to 2 spots per request, though if you're interested in more let us know and your request will be added to the waitlist.

When your seat request has been confirmed, please book it using the PayPal link which will be set up on this page. Please do not book unless and until you've received a confirmation. When you do receive the confirmation, please book your seats through PayPal promptly. There will be a short window of time to book before seats need to be released back to the waitlist to make sure they're filled.

There will be an optional beverage pairing (price to be determined); a la carte beverages will also be available. We're still checking on BYOB (please confirm in advance).

Confirmed and paid-up attendees will receive an e-mail the day before the event, confirming the location and other details.

A brief, but important, refresher course on the whole Cobaya thing: there is no "menu". There are no choices. You'll be eating what the chef chooses to make for the night. If you have food related allergies, strict dietary requirements, religious restrictions; are salt sensitive, vegetarian, pescatarian, or vegan; don't like your meat cooked medium rare, or are pregnant: this meal is probably not for you. Do not expect white-glove service. Don't ask for your sauce on the side. Just come and enjoy.

Plus some legalese: please note that if you're requesting a spot, you understand that any food or beverages you consume are at your own risk, that you voluntarily assume any and all risks, known and unknown, and voluntarily release the organizers of the event from any claims, including personal injury and wrongful death, resulting in any manner from your participation in this event, whether caused by negligence or otherwise. Hopefully it won't come to that.

Look forward to seeing you there. As always, thank you for your support.


experiment #67 - choose # of seats

Thursday, November 3, 2016

experiment #66 - Cobaya Byblos with Chef Stuart Cameron

Another experiment in the books! Last night for Experiment #66, we paid a visit to Byblos restaurant in Miami Beach, whose head chef, Stuart Cameron, had come down from Toronto to cook a meal for us. It was a good one, faithful to the restaurant's contemporary Middle Eastern theme but still something of a shake-up from the regular menu. (You can see all the pictures in this Cobaya Byblos with Chef Stuart Cameron flickr set). Here's what we had:


Foie Gras, Rose Jam, Cotton Candy, Nuts

First Course:

Crispy Artichokes, Herb Tahini Tarator

Grass Fed Steak Tartare, Argan Oil Aioli, Mint, Red Chili, Crispy Shallot, Barbari Bread

Salmon Nayeh, Jalapeño Dressing, Pickled Radish, Squid Ink Chips, Green Schug

Second Course:

Manti Dumplings, Lobster, Yogurt Sauce, Fennel, Paprika Butter

Swordfish, Chraine Sauce, Persian Lime Powder, Crispy Vine Leaf

Creamed Spinach Pide, Goat Cheese, Toum, Dukkah

Third Course:

Braised Veal Breast, Preserved Lemon, Israeli Couscous

Grilled Broccolini, Tomato Fenugreek Sauce, Crispy Garlic

Mejadra Rice, Lentils, Labneh, Fried Shallots


Middle-Eton Mess: Halva Parfait, Rose Meringue, Yogurt, Sumac and Strawberry Granita, Ajeel Crumb

Strawberry Cheesecake Qatayef, Sumac Strawberry, Honey, Pistachio

A big thank you to Chef Cameron, to all of his crew at Byblos, to Kimberly Nolan and Alexandra Fulton for their assistance in coordinating the dinner, and as always most of all, to the guinea pigs whose interest and support make these events possible.