Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Cobaya at Home! Thursday 3.26.2020

Greeting Guinea Pigs! As we all navigate our way through this epidemic, Cobaya is looking for ways to support our local restaurant community, and also to still eat well. Obviously we can't host an event right now, as gatherings are off the table and restaurants are only open for takeout and delivery. But ... what if you could shelter in place and still participate in one of our Cobaya dinners? And, what if you could help restaurant industry workers affected by the COVID-19 crisis at the same time?

We want to make it happen. Here's the idea:

DATE: Thursday, March 26, 2020

PRICE: $100 (for 2 people)

WHAT'S INCLUDED: Dinner for 2: a very special main course, two sides, and dessert.


  • Email cobayamiami@gmail.com once you've booked and we'll provide details for pickup location.
  • Pickup only in Coconut Grove between 6-8pm on Thursday; we'll stagger out pickup times to observe social distancing.
  • Link to video feed for final prep instructions and virtual dining experience.
  • Ask about wine options! Prices from $20-$60 / bottle.
  • Please get your orders in quickly, as there's a limited supply. We'll be doing this first come first served.

20% of proceeds will go to an in-house employee relief fund.

Interested? Click this PayPal link to book:

Not to give away too much, but here's a little hint of what to expect:

If you're not up for dinner, but still want to support Miami's restaurant employees who have been put out of work by the COVID-19 crisis, please consider a contribution to the Miami Restaurant Employee Relief Fund, which has already raised nearly $50,000 to fund $250 grants to qualifying individuals, with 100% of the proceeds going to affected workers.

Thanks, stay strong and stay healthy.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Miami Restaurant Employee Relief Fund

Hello. We hope all of you are doing OK in these incredibly challenging and scary times.If you and your families are healthy and safe, you may be wondering how you can help others. Given what we do here at Cobaya, our thoughts and concerns go out to the many food and beverage industry workers who have been laid off as a result of the disruption and closures caused by COVID-19. As you probably already know, yesterday Florida's Governor has ordered all restaurants in the state to close their doors to the public; the CIty of Miami Beach and then Miami-Dade County had already done the same earlier in the week. As a result, restaurants have had to let go thousands of employees, most of whom live paycheck to paycheck.

At Cobaya, we've have been looking for ways that we - and you, our extended family of guinea pigs - can help. We've got some more ideas coming, but here's a start. Several restaurant industry folks have joined together to support a Miami Restaurant Employee Relief Fund GoFundMe campaign to provide grants to assist restaurant employees disrupted by the COVID-19 closures. We've been told that 100% of donations will go directly to affected employees and that funds will start to be distributed as soon as next week. The Fund is supported by Brad and Soroya Kilgore, Michelle Bernstein, Michael Schwartz, Zak Stern and others - and hopefully by you, too.

Here's what we are proposing to do: if you make a $250 contribution to the fund, we will make sure you have two GUARANTEED seats at our next Cobaya event (or another of your choosing), whenever we are all done sheltering in place and can resume dining together again. We'll do this for the first 25 people who make a $250 contribution and send us confirmation by email. That's roughly the cost of a couple seats at one of our events, or a really nice dinner for two. [FINE PRINT: you'll still need to purchase your seats to the event, but this will guarantee you a spot; given that we usually get about ten times as many requests as we're able to fulfill, and we know that's a source of much frustration for everyone, that's surely worth something?]

Even if you can't contribute $250, every contribution in any amount helps. The link is here:

We've got some other ideas in the works, too (if the words "Cobaya at Home" intrigue you, please let us know). Wishing all of you health and strength.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

cobaya experiment #81 - Cobaya Amarilla with Chefs Santiago Gomez and Carlos Garcia

Cobaya Amarilla with Santiago Gomez and Carlos Garcia

Another experiment successfully completed! This time, our chefs were Santiago Gomez of Cantina La Veinte and Tacology, and Carlos Garcia of Obra - but we weren't at any of their restaurants. We were at La Casa Amarilla, Santaigo and his wife Camila's home, where they hosted thirty of us in their back yard while Santiago and Carlos cooked at a wood and charcoal fired open kitchen. It was a perfect night for it and a great dinner. You can read a more detailed recap at Food For Thought, and see more pictures in this Cobaya Amarilla flickr set.

Here's what we had (with links to pictures):

(vuelve a la vida with tostada and grilled shishito)

(heirloom tomatoes, radishes, basil, chicharrones)

(vegetable paella)

4. Los Vegetales

(roasted lamb leg with salt-roasted potatoes)

(beet ice cream sandwich with chocolate sauce)

A big thank you to Chefs Santiago Gomez and Carlos Garcia, to Camila Basmagi, to all of their crew helping out for the evening, and most of all, to the guinea pigs whose interest and support make these events possible. And a side note: we encourage everyone to check out and support the non-profit that Santaigo and Camila formed, and which Carlos actively supports – Recipes for Change – which works to provide nourishment to local at-risk communities. Thanks and happy new year, all.

Monday, December 2, 2019

cobaya experiment #81 - 12.15.19

Greetings Guinea Pigs – it's time for another experiment!

Quick Details:
Date: 12.15.19 (Sunday)
Price: $98.00 (inclusive of tax and tip)
Start time: 7:30pm

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 reserve@cobaya.miami and let us know how many you're requesting.

You will be advised by Friday December 6 if your request has been confirmed. You'll then need to book your seats by noon on Tuesday December 10, 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.

We are still figuring out beverages, BYOB should be an option.

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 #81 - how many?