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Alexandra Figueredo is founder of Mission Based Branding Institute, a full-service communications agency dedicated to helping mission-driven businesses and entrepreneurs. She enjoys speaking and writing about topics related to social good and cause marketing. Prior to her communications career, she worked in banking for nearly a decade, most recently as an officer at a private bank in Miami. During her years in the corporate world, she realized her legacy was to give back to others, which drove her to resign and work with philanthropic measures and ultimately create her agency. In 2011, she released her first book Sculpt Your Life From Sketch to Masterpiece(TM), a practical and inspirational guide helping readers discover their mission and create a mission-based business. She has been involved in singing, musical theater and dance performances her whole life and is particularly passionate about giving back to causes that use arts for therapeutic means to help under-served youth. Alexandra completed her master’s in Global Strategic Communications at Florida International University, and obtained her bachelor’s in Business from University of Florida. Born and raised in Miami, she’s an avid traveler and has already checked off 5 continents and dozens of amazing landmarks from her bucket list. She may be found on Twitter/Instagram: @OnAMissionAlex

Recap: COCHON Chef’s Course Dinner Series At Miami’s EDGE Steak And Bar

Feathers and Foie Event at Edge Steak & Bar (Photo Credit: Sebastian Rusk)

Feathers and Foie Event at Edge Steak & Bar (Photo Credit: SebRusk.tumblr.com)

To kick-off the COCHON Chef’s Course Dinner Series, Executive Chef Aaron Brooks from EDGE Steak & Bar and COCHON founder Brady Lowe hosted the Feathers and Foie dinner and reception (#FeathersandFoie) Friday, February 7, 2014. The sold out event was held at the prestigious Edge restaurant in The Four Seasons Hotel Miami, making for a truly fine dining experience.

Winner of the 2013 COCHON 555 Miami event, Chef Brooks invited four other renowned Miami chefs including Jeremiah Bullfrog of GastroPod and Subatomic Subs; Todd Erickson of Haven and Huahua’s Taqueria, Richard Hales of Sakaya Kitchen and Blackbrick Chinese, and pastry chef Antonio Bachour of St. Regis Bal Harbour. This special, one-night-only culinary experience featured the best of “feathers”: duck, quail, turkey and other fowl, paired with Hudson Valley Foie Gras. With the combined creative genius of the chefs represented at the event, it would be difficult to top the “feathers and foie” dinner served.

To sweeten the evening, a portion of the proceeds from each chef’s course card went toward the James Beard Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that supports initiatives for aspiring chefs and food enthusiasts including educational programs, food industry awards, an annual national food conference, Leadership Awards program, culinary scholarships, and publications.

Foie truffle (Photo Credit: SebRusk.tumblr.com)

Foie truffle (Photo Credit: SebRusk.tumblr.com)

The evening began at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception at The Edge’s poolside  dining area. With a clear sky and Miami winter breeze, this was the perfect outdoor setting to open up the palette with freshly prepared hors d’oeuvres and aperitifs. Four bites were passed around for tasting, each with its own unique infusion of foie, including: a foie “truffle”, foie-strami, foie and char siu pork laobing, and foie gras butter and jelly brioche with kumquat and blood orange. Each bite was specially designed by the chefs and complemented by an impressive offering from Prosciutto Di Parma, including hand-crafted cocktails made with bourbon from Breckenridge Distillery, beers from Goose Island Beer Co and select wines from Elk Cove Vineyards.

Miami Fried Quail prepared by Chef Todd Erickson

Miami Fried Quail prepared by Chef Erickson (Photo Credit: SebRusk.tumblr.com)

The dinner feast began with a first plate prepared by Chef Bullfrog. His “Suprematist Plumes,” a study of Turkey blanc de blanc, featured rolled, cold slices with a dash of foie sauce, paired with COCHON Rose from Elk Cove Vineyards. Second course by Chef Erickson consisted of his famous M.F.Q. “Miami Fried Quail” with an assortment of flavors and garnishes, including gourmet potato salad, quail deviled egg and brussel sprout coleslaw. The plate was paired with Sophie, a Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale. Host Chef Brooks then brought out his unique platter, a breast of squab roasted with tupelo honey, assorted seeds, croquette of corn, porcini and foie gras puree. The light plate complimented the Matilda, Belgian Style Pale Ale.

Peking Duck (Photo Credit: SebRusk.tumblr.com)

Peking Duck (Photo Credit: SebRusk.tumblr.com)

The featured plate of the night was prepared by Chef Hales from Blackbrick Chinese and Sakaya Kitchen. In a modern twist to traditional family style dining, each diner selected from a platter of peking duck. This selection was then rolled into a roti prata pancake and topped with chili bean hoisin and house-made “MSG”. The meal blended seamlessly with a provocatively spicy cocktail prepared with Breckenridge Bourbon, macerated raspberries and habanero syrup.

For the grand finale, guests were presented with two delectable desserts that doubled as mini masterpieces. For Chef Bachour, it was clear that presentation matters. The first was an exotic fruit verrine that artistically combined a palette of flavors, colors and textures. The second treat consisted of a foie gras crema catalana with compressed apples, apple cider foam, mandarin gel and Granny Smith apple pudding. To complete thie evening of culinary indulgence, the chefs complemented the last course with a Miami-style “cortadito” coffee cocktail blended with Breckenridge Bourbon, coriander seeds and walnut bitters.

Exotic Fruit Verrine (Photo Credit: Sebastian Rusk)

Exotic Fruit Verrine (Photo Credit: SebRusk.tumblr.com)

Foie Crema Catalana & Apples Dessert (Photo Credit: SebRusk.tumblr.com)

Foie Gras Crema Catalana & Apples Dessert (Photo Credit: SebRusk.tumblr.com)

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