Editor's note: In the hunt for what to do about the various mix of invasive species found in Florida, we are running a series that not only describes the problems caused by these plants and animals but, well, offers a culinary solution. Tweet us (@WLRN) your ideas and tips or email us a recipe: WLRNMIA@gmail.com.
Love or hate Miami, the subject inspired so many beautiful, thoughtful and sometimes even funny verses for our "That's So Miami" project. It was impossible for us to pick the best. So we asked you to do it!
Based on your online votes, here are the five category winners and their poems:
Best Ode to Miami Spanglish - Lauren Fernandez, Miami
Exciting and Extravagant. Guajiros in Bentleys. Tostones and Champagne. That’s so Miami.
Best Ode to Miami Food - Cristina Rodriguez, Miami
I was sitting on the verandah of a hotel overlooking Waikiki beach waiting for a lunch menu. The mighty Pacific Ocean purred like a Lamborghini in the distance. I'd spent hours walking in Chinatown from early morning looking for beautiful and unique dishes I love to use for the thematic ‘Tasting Menus’ at our restaurant. But I had little luck and a keen hunger was rising up in me.
This weekend, you might notice that the humble coaster beneath your drink has a surprising message. Unlike the fool sitting next to you at the bar, the verses on your coaster are lucid, articulate and wise.
There was a real man in Key West who used to sell his homemade banana bread out of his bicycle nightly at the famous sunset celebration on Mallory Docks. I never saw him leave there with any bread leftover. Down in the Caribbean Banana Bread is considered a “man’s bread”. Perhaps the reasons are related to anatomy or maybe it’s the hefty dose of rhum included in the recipe.
We were invited to El Paso, Texas to cook at a gathering of ‘Oldways Preservation’, a non-profit organization based in Boston, Massachussetts. ‘Oldways’ is one of the premier educational forums for focusing on healthy, culturally diverse and historically respectful eating. They put on conferences around the world and invite scientists, farmers, professors, chefs and food/wine media to promote positive lifestyles.
Who's growing cocktails in their gardens? In a manner of speaking, Blackbird Ordinary and Broken Shaker are. The two Miami-Dade bars are growing plants they use to make simple syrups, infusions and garnishes. You can also grow your own "cocktail garden." Amy Stewart, author of The Drunken Botanist, visits Books & Books this Friday, and she'll be giving gardening tips.
It may surprise some of you but I used to be quite shy when it came to going into restaurants and trying dishes and ingredients I had not known growing up, (as I had) in a small town in Northern Illinois. Now I am known for being “all in” when it comes to that… but we all have our ‘earlier selves’...don’t we?
In her March 22 article in the New York Times, Liesl Schillinger wrote that she wanted to capture the Miami restaurants and tourist haunts that are "uncool" and serve "the salty fried food, the lime-drenched cocktails."