Wednesday, December 20, 2017

experiment #71 - Cobaya Ariete with Chef Michael Beltran

We took some time off, but WE'RE BACK. Experiment #71 took place Monday night at Chef Michael Beltran's restaurant Ariete in Coconut Grove, hosted forty of us for a white-tablecloth, eight-course, classically inspired dinner. You can read a full recap at Food For Thought and see all the pictures in this Cobaya Ariete flickr set. Here's what was on the menu:

Cocktail "El Sueno"
Pineapple, dark rum, Pavan, prosecco

herb butter, truffle butter

stone crab beggars purses, cherries and chicken liver, tostone smoked fish rilletes

Quintero Farms egg, malanga, sugar cane, herb, caviar

foie gras and eel, confit plum, white bread

oxtail, carrot, zucchini, bone marrow, consommé

heirloom tomato confit, ravioli of tomato and salt cod

roasted stone fruit and sauce Diane

honey, apple, frangipane

Tea service
Tibetan tea, Ya'an city, Meng Ding Mountain

As always, a big thank you to Chef Beltran, for finally pulling off so successfully a dinner that's been a long time coming, to all of his crew in the kitchen and front of house at Ariete, to JoJo Tea for a nice nightcap, and as always, to all of the guinea pigs whose interest and support make these events possible.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

experiment #71 - 12.18.17

Sorry, we're having email issues - please send seat requests to - not the other address. If you've already sent a request to the other address, please re-send to - sorry for the inconvenience.

It's been a long hiatus, but WE'RE BACK! Greetings Guinea Pigs – it's time for another experiment!

Quick Details:
Date: 12.18.17 (Monday)
Price: $125 (inclusive of tax and tip)
Start time: 6:45pm

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.

You will be advised by Saturday 12/9  if your request has been confirmed. You'll then need to book your seats by noon on Tuesday 12/12, 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 should also be available. BYOB ought to be OK, but please check to confirm.

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 #71 - choose # of seats

Thursday, April 20, 2017

experiment #70 - Cobaya Olla with Chef Scott Linquist

After a month's hiatus, we're back. Experiment #70 brought us to Olla, Chef Scott Linquist's restaurant on the west end of Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, a Mexican restaurant that's both traditional and contemporary in its ways. We brought fifty guinea pigs to take over the place, and Chef Linquist brought fifteen dishes that highlighted the varied flavors of Mexican cuisine.

You can see all the pictures in this Cobaya Olla with Scott Linquist flickr set, and stay tuned for recaps coming soon. Here's his menu from last night:

A Mexican Romance with Cobaya
A menu journey through the multifaceted culinary landscape of Mexico

Snacks - served with cocktails and mezcal

warm chips with four salsas: pasilla Oaxaca and roasted pineapple, charred tomatillo habañero, salsa fresca, and salsa verde

freshly fried pork skins, salsa borracha, roasted garlic aioli, cotija, cilantro

Oaxacan toasted grasshoppers, golden raisins, marcona almonds, Mexican chocolate dust

jicama, cucumber, pineapple, watermelon radish, tajin

Welcome Cocktail
Oaxacan Burro - Alipus "San Juan" single village mezcal, ginger epazote shrub, ginger beer, lime

Mezcal Tasting
Espadin Agave - Alipus "San Juan," "Santa Ana Del Rio," "San Luis" compliments of XXI Wine and Spirits

Picpoul, Bonny Doon Beeswax Vineyard, Arroyo Seco, California 2015

La Mar

oysters on the half shell, sea urchin, tomatillo cucumber serrano mignonette, lemon olive oil

house smoked salmon and 3 eggs – Siberian Osetra caviar, smoked trout roe, chicken eggs – Mexican crema, poblano salsita, bolillo bread

razor clams, cured chorizo, toasted garlic, chile morita, roasted tomatillo, shrimp head aioli

Chardonnay, Gerard Tremblay, Chablis, France 2015

Pato y Patas

fresh nixtamal sope, duck three ways – cured and seared breast, carnitas leg, foie mousse – mole coloradito, pasilla Oaxaca and kumquat marmelada

menudo, rich broth made from 3 different patas (feet), tripe, hominy, guajillo chile, Mexican oregano, sunny side egg

Brut Rose, Antoine Muller Methode Traditionelle, Alsace, France NV

Cochinita, Carnitas y Cachete

Cochinita Pibil
pork shoulder slow roasted in banana leaf with achiote and habañero pickled onions

Michoacan style confit of pork leg and shank, salsa verde, pickled jalapeños and vegetables

slow cooked Niman Ranch pork cheek, pork belly, charro beans, roasted tomato salsita, chipotle

Garnacha/Cariñena, Buil & Giné, Giné Giné, Priorat, Spain 2014


slow roasted Colorado lamb shoulder, recado de pasilla, roasted jalapeño mint salsita, salsa borracha, roasted cauliflower with pumpkin seeds and poblano crema

slow roasted long bone angus short ribs, Oaxacn mole chichilo, piloncillo roasted butternut squash, crispy Brussels sprouts

Malbec, Fabre Montmayou, Gran Reserva, Mendoza, Argentina 2012

Dulce de Leche

Cajeta Flan
goats milk dulce de leche custard, muddled raspberries, smoked Maldon sea salt, whipped cream

Weber Blue Agave, ArteNom, Seleccion de 1146 Añejo, Highlands, Jalisco, Mexico

A big thank you to Chef Linquist for putting together a great dinner, to all of his team at Olla for helping to make it happen, to XXI Wine and Spirits for the delicious and educational mezcal samplings, and as always most of all, to the guinea pigs whose interest and support makes these events possible.