Wow. It's always an adventure when we work with out of town chefs, this time particularly so. We'll spare you the details of missed flights, M.I.A. crews, Greyhound buses and shopping lists, and cut right to the important stuff: a great, really fun meal put together by Chef Brandon Baltzley. Brandon until recently was the mastermind behind the nomadic Crux dinner series, and is currently working on a new project - a restaurant and farm in rural Illinois, about an hour outside of Chicago.
For us - and in about 36 hours time total - he put together a 9+ course dinner for 40 people in the wonderfully relaxing courtyard of the Broken Shaker in the newly redone Freehand Miami hotel/hostel (f/k/a the Indian Creek Hotel).
Here's the menu for the night, with a couple add-ons noted, as well as the cocktails served up by the Broken Shaker crew:
Crispy Beet Snack
Butternut Squash Snack
Broken Shaker "Juice"
Crab, Grapefruit, Vanilla, Potato
Tequila "MSG" Cocktail
Pretzel, Gruyere, Beer
Grilled Raw Fish
Chicken Liver, Celery, White Chocolate, Black Birch
Cocoa Puff Old Fashioned
Duck Testicle, Biscuit, Mustard
Lamb Sweetbreads, Popcorn, Sunchoke, Kombucha
Rooibos, Gingerbread, Radish
Tobacco, Bourbon, Banana, Pineapple
Chocolate, Chicory, Hibiscus, Cardamom
A thorough recap
Huge thanks to Brandon Baltzley for making this happen despite the gods of travel seeming to conspire against us; to Chef Jeremiah Bullfrog for his invaluable assistance, without whom this would have been impossible to pull off; to Steve Santana for always being willing to lend an extra hand; to Brandon's mom, who rolled in late Sunday night to help out; to Elad Zvi and Gabe Orta of Broken Shaker for being such gracious hosts and making such delicious cocktails; to all the folks at the Freehand for their kind hospitality; and, as always, most of all, to the guinea pigs whose support makes these events possible.