♦ First up, congratulations to Hedy Goldsmith, pastry chef at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, on being named a finalist for this year’s outstanding pastry chef James Beard award. It is a well deserved nod. Unfortunately, the other semifinalists from Miami did not fair so well (unless you count former Miamian and current Californian Michael Chiarello, who is a finalist for best chef in the Pacific region). Winners are announced May 7th. You can download a PDF of all of the finalists here.
♦ Eater.com interviewed several chefs about the need to expand, including Miami’s own Michelle Bernstein. It is a fascinating interview that should be read in its entirety, at times revealing (she declares a theoretical interest in opening a Mexican restaurant) and at times perhaps a little insulting (she criticizes Miami diners as a “fickle crowd” and does not think Miami diners would get an authentic Mexican restaurant). She also claims to be “among the first to do the half-portion concept,” although I have on good authority that at least one of the folks asked for a half portion at the last supper.
♦ In what sounds more like a murder mystery than a pop-up, the Harding Dinner Series is kicking off on March 30th with a week-long stint by Chef Jeremiah of GastroPod. The Harding Dinner Series is hosted at the old Chow Down Grill space in Surfside (new home of Josh’s Deli and Appetizer) and is a dinner-only pop-up that will rotate between visiting chefs.