Lately I’ve found myself caught in the South Florida rains quite a bit. It happened yet again yesterday at Toyota’s Los Sabores del Mercado Venza. The rain surely deterred many from coming, which in a way made it better for those who attended because we were able to watch the chefs and taste the food without fighting crowds. Still, a good amount of people showed up even with the poor weather conditions. Here are some pictures.
There were four tents, two on Lincoln Road across from Gelateria Parmalat and two on Euclid Avenue right around the corner.
The first tent I visited was handing out tiradito from Adriana Restaurant.
At the next tent, Andrea Curto-Randazzo of Talula served mango barbecue slow roasted pork with orange corn salsa with the help of her daughter Isabella. I’m glad I got a taste before the rain intensified and chef Curto-Randazzo had to stop serving her dish.
Event staff gave out potted herbs to anyone who accumulated four stamps on their Sabores del Mercado passport. I brought home some basil.
Juan Carlos Jimenez of Bella Cuba served tostones topped with avocado and tomato, and vegetable rice. Shortly after I had a bite of my toston, the rain started coming down so I had to seek cover.
While I waited for the rain to subside, I ran into Eleanor Hoh and met Dean Richardson of Tropical Treescapes who was carrying some Chinese red noodle beans he grew. He seems to be growing some interesting veggies, which we later saw featured in a deconstructed salad prepared by chef Marcelo Marino’s Cordon Bleau crew.
Chef Xavier Bonnafous served a goat cheese croquette with ratatouille.
Chefs at the tents on Euclid had to stop cooking due to the rain …
… but event organizers reacted quickly and moved the stations to drier grounds near the other tents. They should have probably done this to begin with but if more people had shown up I suspect the space would’ve been a little too cramped.
With everyone dry, the cooking and eating resumed — and the rain stopped.
The Cordon Bleau chefs under the direction of Marcelo Marino stole the show as they prepared their deconstructed salad, a composition of Malabar spinach, basil, purple carrots, candied beets, callaloo, mango vinaigrette, carrot coulis and carrot ice cream. Oh yes, they pulled out the liquid nitrogen.
The final product showcased the featured ingredients in various states. For example, the callaloo was included fresh and in a jello-type form. The carrot was present raw, in a coulis and in ice cream. You get the idea.
This is what the tasting version looked like.
Grimpa Steakhouse chef Joao Ezubio served meat croquetas with barbecue sauce and potato bolinhos (croquettes) at the next table. I think the Cordon Bleu folks next door lost a few spectators to Grimpa’s more hearty food.
I passed on test driving the Venza but I snapped a quick shot of the car behind the event.
My last bite was a Venezuelan chicken empanada with avocado and cilantro sauce from Charlotte Bakery. It was starting to rain hard again so I decided to call it a day.