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Catching Up in February

I may be biased because it was my birthday month but it has been a fantastic February.  I got started on a couple of new projects that I’ll have more details about soon, spent a lot of time with friends, and saw some great performances and shows including Balanciaga: Spanish Master at the Queen Sofía Spanish Institute and El Bulli: Cooking in Progress which just had it’s New York premiere at MoMA.  When my head wasn’t in Spain past and future, I was flipping through the latest Saveur and thrilled that they featured Leticia Moreinos Schwartz’s Brazilian Kitchen in Dorothy Irwin’s Taking Root.  I was also taking vicarious tours of Chile, starting with the New York Times 36 Hours in Santiago, Chile and ending with the Atlantic’s In Chile, Molecular Gastronomy and Locavores Collide.  While the latter was a fun read, I was disappointed that it didn’t describe an actual chef rumble where no one gets hurt but everyone eats.

I did see some real locavore fireworks when the latest Park Slope Food Co-Op expose – At a Food Co-op, a Discordant Thought: Nannies Covering Shifts –  hit the stands (and share buttons).  I’ve always thought of the Co-Op as hippie/hipster high school and was serving detention this month (aka making up shifts before my grace period was up to avoid suspension) so I got to hear a lot of buzzing in the halls about the issues it raised.  While I can’t really comment on the substance of the article not having encountered that problem there – a little self-contained scandal does makes the time go by faster.

I’m sure there was plenty of drama, gossip, fun, at the 10th Anniversary for the South Beach Food and Wine festival held in a parking garage.  Designed by the same team that did the Tate Modern, it’s not just any garage that makes you actually enjoy parking on South Beach (seriously, I used it this past December and was ready to move in).  A great festival for everything up and coming, I was so happy to read they included el Mago de las Fritas, Ortelio Cardenas.  Though not exactly undiscovered – he has served President Obama after all – it is one of those Miami institutions, local favorites that can be taken for granted so it’s nice to see it get some recognition.  On a sadder note, the Mexican restaurant Zarela, closed after more than twenty years.  I’m sorry to see it go but excited to see its new incarnation somewhere in downtown Manhattan.  In the meantime, I’ll keep checking her website for tips, sources and recipes.

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