Saturday, December 08, 2007

Slow Food, Slow Celebration, Slow Travel (hint)

I've had a lot to celebrate lately, in both my professional life as a perfumer and President of the Natural Perfumers Guild, and my personal life. After 2.5 years of grueling work, I'm able to take some time off, party more, enjoy life and just have fun. One of these events was taking my 88 year-old mother to a favorite Slow Food restaurant of mine, Michael's Genuine Food and Drink in Miami's Design District. It's practically a neighborhood place for me, being just a short drive from my house. We had reservations for a little before noon, as I knew the place gets slammed with guests and I wanted to get her settled into her seat before the place filled. When we got to the Design District, Art Basel crowds filled the streets as the galleries were open and excitement was in the air. It was very festive and a lot of fun! Michael's is set back in a treed courtyard, with the choice of indoor or outdoor seating. We choose indoor, even though the weather was nice because the cool, dark interior of the "gallery" side of the restaurant was so serene and seductive.

Started off with some champagne, and then feasted on the delicious kitchen creations. The Slow Food concept - handmade, artisan food, preferably from the farm to the back door of the restaurant delivery, no fuss, just great fresh stuff - has a lot in common with the Slow Scent philosophy and slogan of the Guild. We s.l.o.w.l.y enjoyed our lunch, relaxing for two hours of pleasure and people watching.

The next day, the following appeared in the local paper, and just confirms that Slow Food, even in a glitzy town like Miami that is not an international foodie center, draws in the biggiest foodies when they're in town. From the Miami Herald:
Star chef Wolfgang Puck was seen having lunch with dessert chef and cookbook author Maida Heatter at Michael's Genuine Food & Drink on Tuesday afternoon.

Celebrated chef Alice Waters, was spotted having a solo dinner at Michael's Genuine Food & Drink Thursday night. Waters told general manager Charles Bell that everyone told her if she had one night in Miami, she had to eat there. Which is exactly what she did. Waters, who some say is the founder of California Cuisine, ordered the wood oven roasted giant prawns with garlic and lime, the beet and tomato salad, the Berkshire pork pizza with mission figs and strawberry-kiwi sorbet.

Expected at Michael's on Friday: Martha Stewart and party of 8.

Hey, Alice, that pizza was fabulous, wasn't it? ;-) Morsels of wood-oven roasted pork, mission figs, red onions, fontina cheese, thin crust, topped with baby arugula when it was removed from the oven. Ok, I'll admit I have a vicarious thrill thinking I ate the same dish as Alice Waters within a few hours of her. I'm very lucky - I can go back for more, and I will, soon!


PS: All I have to say about my Slow Travel hint -- all you'll get out of me right now is that the Universe has a way of rewarding me when I've been slammed, either by lies or theft. Why do people do the things they do? (shrug) Don't know, just have seen some stupid, destructive things in my day, and it reflects so poorly on their character. Anyway, within days of a tempest in a teapot by someone, somebody else dropped the opportunity for me - and the Guild - to take part in someting that may turn out to be absolutely, fabulously, incredibly, unbelievably glorious! I cannot say I saw this opportunity coming, but wow, I am so ready for it, and so will 19 of my best friends ;-) Ciao, baby, let the good times roll.

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