EyeSwoon

My partnership with The Miami Beach EDITION, for their celebrated opening during Art Basel, was quite the experience. I have been attending the week-long art show for the past 5 or 6 years. It’s not only a great excuse to escape the NYC chill in early December, but also where I have trained my art world eye and begun a modest personal collection. Days are filled meandering through the various fairs while evenings are punctuated by dinners, artist gatherings and fashion events. All of this is glamorously dreamy but, admittedly, a little exhausting.

This year felt very different, as I was there purely to cover The Miami Beach EDITION property for EyeSwoon. I knew that I needed to immerse myself in all it had to offer: delicious design, décor and food. It was a challenge happily accepted, tasting every dish and exploring every swoony inch of the impeccable property!

When I discovered that Jean-Georges Vongerichten was the celebrated chef behind the hotel’s two amazing restaurants, I decided to reach for the stars and ask to cook with the man himself! Being shy as I am, I asked meekly, believing it would probably never happen. “It won’t take long, I promise!” I assured. Shockingly, none of that bashfulness was necessary—my wish was granted right away!

I barely slept the night before—having just returned from Africa, my time zones were totally off. By the time noon rolled around I was seeing sideways! But I was about to meet an icon, someone I thought of as nearly unreal—an all-mighty and powerful food-world OZ. The sheer excitement of it all snapped me into shape: wide-awake and quite nervous, but so ready to go.

We met at Market, The Miami Beach EDITION’s modern take on the classic diner. Heavenly light floods the 3,400 square-foot space, which is fully loaded, complete with a charcuterie station, raw bar, dessert bar, coffee bar and a wide open kitchen lined with the swooniest copper pots. You want to spend all day in there, and since it’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you actually can!

Jean-Georges immediately made me feel at ease, welcoming me into his kitchen with a warmth and openness that I wasn’t expecting from such a high-profile chef.  As we started to cook, he passionately explained his vision behind Market and his tips for achieving the lightest pizza dough for our creation. Like a schoolgirl, I was totally enthralled. Hanging on his every word, we whipped up a deliciously cheesy margarita pizza in just twenty minutes—short, but oh so sweet. It might just be my favorite cooking moment yet!

Still in awe, I went on to try everything else the diverse menu had to offer: kale salad with the perfect pinch of lemon and heat; tuna tartar swirled with zesty ginger and avocado; the creamiest burrata paired with a charcuterie plate that was as beautiful as it was delish.

I kept bumping into my new friend and cooking comrade Jean-Georges throughout the week, as he hurried about his kitchen and restaurants, greeting guests, speaking to servers and, one day, surprising me with cookies and a sweet espresso yogurt to try. He was just like the rest of us when we’re in our domain: totally comfortable, making sure all runs smoothly, and noticeably proud, even stepping back to snap pictures…for Instagram, perhaps? We were all swooning for the world of EDITION…even the great JG!

Photography by Masha Maltsava

Jean-Georges Swoon-isms

  • From the master himself!

    • What was your vision for the food at the Miami Beach EDITION? 

      The menu at the Matador Room was developed with the culture and flare of Miami in mind. Matador is a modern interpretation of Latin cuisine influenced by Spanish, Caribbean, and South American flavors. The seasonal menu, composed of small and large plates, utilizes a bounty of the freshest Floridian ingredients. The inspiration behind Market stems from the Boqueria and other outdoor markets found in Barcelona, and Madrid. Market is a ‘marketplace-inspired’ restaurant & patisserie, featuring open counters and kitchens that serve eclectic and international fare, utilizing fresh and seasonal Floridian ingredients.

      Most flavor-building ingredient? 

      Chilies! I put them in everything.

      Do you have a different approach to cooking at home than at work? 

      I like to serve larger platters of food, meant to be shared at home with my family and friends. I spend most of my time plating during the week, so by the time the weekend comes I want everyone to dig in and serve themselves.

      Guilty pleasure food? 

      Chocolate and gummy bears

Kale Salad with Parmesan and Lemon

Jean Georges Vongerichten

  • INGREDIENTS

    • 4 tablespoons fresh juice and 1 tablespoon zest from 2 to 3 lemons
      1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
      1 small clove garlic, minced (about 1/2 teaspoon)
      1 anchovy filet, finely chopped
      1 tablespoon dijon mustard
      1 egg yolk
      1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
      2 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano, grated on a microplane grater (about 2 cups)
      3/4 cup neutral oil (such as safflower or canola)
      1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
      Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
      2 cups finely cubed sourdough bread
      12 ounces kale leaves, large stems removed, sliced into thin ribbons
      1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, sliced into thin ribbons
      1 serrano chili, thinly sliced

  • THE PREP

    • Combine lemon juice and zest, vinegar, garlic, anchovy, mustard, egg yolk, chili flakes and cheese in the bowl of a food processor. Process until homogenous, about 10 seconds. With the processor running, slowly drizzle neutral oil through feed tube, stopping the processor to scrape down sides as necessary until a smooth emulsion is formed, about 20 seconds.

      Transfer to a medium bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup olive oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.

      Heat remaining two tablespoons olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add bread cubes and cook, tossing and stirring constantly until golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt and pepper.

      To serve, combine kale and mint in a large bowl with about 1/2 cup dressing (more or less as desired). Toss to coat well and let sit around 3 minutes. Transfer to a large serving bowl and top with croutons and sliced chilies. Serve immediately.

Kale Salad with Parmesan and Lemon

Jean Georges Vongerichten

  • Ingredients

    • 4 tablespoons fresh juice and 1 tablespoon zest from 2 to 3 lemons
      1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
      1 small clove garlic, minced (about 1/2 teaspoon)
      1 anchovy filet, finely chopped
      1 tablespoon dijon mustard
      1 egg yolk
      1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
      2 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano, grated on a microplane grater (about 2 cups)
      3/4 cup neutral oil (such as safflower or canola)
      1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
      Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
      2 cups finely cubed sourdough bread
      12 ounces kale leaves, large stems removed, sliced into thin ribbons
      1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, sliced into thin ribbons
      1 serrano chili, thinly sliced

       

  • The Prep

    • Combine lemon juice and zest, vinegar, garlic, anchovy, mustard, egg yolk, chili flakes and cheese in the bowl of a food processor. Process until homogenous, about 10 seconds. With the processor running, slowly drizzle neutral oil through feed tube, stopping the processor to scrape down sides as necessary until a smooth emulsion is formed, about 20 seconds.

      Transfer to a medium bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup olive oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.

      Heat remaining two tablespoons olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add bread cubes and cook, tossing and stirring constantly until golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt and pepper.

      To serve, combine kale and mint in a large bowl with about 1/2 cup dressing (more or less as desired). Toss to coat well and let sit around 3 minutes. Transfer to a large serving bowl and top with croutons and sliced chilies. Serve immediately.

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