Chamomile-Melon Soup

If summer was a soup it would taste like…

Gooseberries, red plums, kiwi, edible flowers, and balls of watermelon and cantaloupe – topped with lychee sorbet and garnished with gold leaves. Finished with chilled chamomile-melon soup… poured table side.

Spoon cheers go to Michelle from SS Park.

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samba in ‘the city’


We’re here in London!! – counting down to the opening later this month. Mere forced me to post this photo (Koji took it). As you can see, SS London has some awesome views of The City – and the Gherkin building, our neighbor. We’re here in London – counting down to the opening later this month. Hope to post some shots of the kitchen later this week… Stay tuned.


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It All Comes Down to the Ingredients

I’m a big believer of using high quality ingredients, and can always count on great results when I am confident with what I put in to a dish. Whenever I can, I shop at the farmers market – Union Square in NYC has a great one. This time of year is my favorite to explore all that the farmers markets has to offer and try different ingredients, especially when I can be in the sun!

If you’re a first-timer to the farmers market, here are a few helpful tips from the Union Square Farmers Market website.

The Union Square Farmers Market

(photo thanks to:

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from the hanger

The latest special from the kitchen of  SSPark….::tipped hat to Guille::

Grilled hanger steak with chimichurri frisée, fingerling potato salad, and cherry tomatoes – topped off with salsa criolla. The tomatoes add exciting texture and acid to the dish. The chimichurri friseé is a great ‘weight’ balance to the dish – but also a fun new pairing of chimichurri and steak, which, at Samba has been a longtime match made in heaven.


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A Summery Spin on Salmon

Now say that 5 times fast…

Photo/Execution Props to Guillermo @SSPark

Inspired by the many amazing products that Peru has to offer, this brightly-colored, refreshing salmon special reflects the summery tastes it has to offer. The salmon is cooked a la plancha [grilled on a metal plate] and served over quinoa with asian pear and apple salad. To top it off: super fresh and raw, red and yellow beets, radishes, yuzu (an East Asian citrus fruit), and olive oil. A chicha morada (typical Peruvian beverage) reduction and lemon gel are added to the plate to round out all the flavors and complete the dish. 

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dessert ‘for the table’

Alinea’s Chocolate Finale dessert is one fit for a table, literally. As a large sheet of grey silicone is draped over the diners’ table, servers gather around the table and place small bowl after small bowl of nougats, chocolates, sauces, herbs, and other sweet delicacies around the table. The servers step away as the chef walks out and approaches the table. The chef then begins to paint and create a dessert masterpiece right before the diners’ eyes.

Tastes: chocolate, blueberry, caramel, honey, peanut.

Photo Props to!

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dinner in paradise

Michael with Chefs Sean Brasel and E. Michael Reidt at Dinner in Paradise on March 11, 2012!


Dinner in Paradise at Paradise Farms features the finest chefs in Miami preparing a delicious five course meal made with local organic products and paired with fine wines. The magic and charm of our lush edible landscape coupled with the finest chefs in Miami creates a uniquely intimate dining experience under the stars. Each year, we donate proceeds to a local charity or organization philosophically in line with our vision of sustainable, healing, and healthy organic food. This year we are sponsoring Youth L.E.A.D.Slow Food Miami, and Troy Community Academy.



Jill picking flowers for the aperitivo presentation!

From Mere:

Michael, what’s the name of that flower so that we can include it on IngredientBlog?

From Michael:

That flower is called Zombie’s Claw and is indigenous to South Florida.

I just made that up.

Scholars maintain that we may never know the true name and origin of this majestic plant.

Ok, I made that up too.

I don’t know. Working on it…

10 minutes later…

It’s a Butea, which means, Flame of the Forest.


Chef Michael looking dapper at work.


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Koji’s Secret Ingredient

Koji’s secret ingredient? Extra spicy sun.

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Cocktail Sessions

A few weeks ago the Culinary and Beverage teams united for our first official ‘Cocktail Sessions.’ Drew (our Beverage Director) and I have been anxious to try out some more culinary-driven recipes and innovative styles of execution. We started things off with a housemade aji amarillo syrup for spice, cachaça for a Brazilian kick, some sweet mango – and fresh basil. I’ll start posting the recipes for you to try at home (give a shout if you have any questions!)

Stay tuned for some shots from the second sessions….

.5 oz aji amarillo syrup
1.5 oz cachaca
.5 oz fresh mango juice
.5 oz fresh passion fruit juice
.5 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz. prosecco
3 leaves, muddled fresh basil
notes: next time around – reduce passion fruit, add more spice!

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