July 24, 2011

Interview with Chef Michael Shikany

Today’s Chef in the Spotlight is Michael Shikany of SHIKANY, The Nomadic Culinary & Lifestyle Series. The avant guarde Michael Shikany has bundled his flair for all things food, wine and entertaining into one neat little eponymous package, SHIKANY. Michael is the talent and host behind these clandestinesexy events in Miami that brings like-minded people together to enjoy and revel in lifes most simple pleasures; food, drink and good company. These culinary adventures are thematic so whether your enthusiasm runs from music to art to sports or fashion, a dynamic event is planned around these passions with people attending who have similar desires and interests. Today we find out more about the man behind this intriguing concept, Michael Shikany, this week’s Chef in the Spotlight.

photo credit: Hugo Lopez

SouthFlorida Food and Wine: Where do you get your culinary inspiration?
MichaelShikany: My parents worked alot when I was young so I spent most of my timewith my Mother’s Italian Father I called him “Bumpa”… I spent alotof time in the kitchen watching him and helping him make some amazing food. Ican still remember the happiness I saw on his face when the whole family satdown for a Sunday meal. Food is what brought all of us together then and it isstill what binds us together now.

SouthFlorida Food and Wine: When did you realize that cooking was your passion?

MichaelShikany: I would say around 3 or 4 years old. I know that is young, but myhappiest times were making meatballs with my grandfather or when my fatherwould make his baby back ribs or fish Fry after a day of fishing.

SouthFlorida Food and Wine: What is your favorite dish to make in your repertoire?

MichaelShikany: Can I give you two? Well here is two anyways! :) For summer I lovemaking a good seafood gazpacho: Roasted Fennel Zucchini Gazpacho with KingCrab Dill & Ice Grape Napoleon and Candied Lime Yogurt Drizzle.
In thewinter braising meats really showcases French comfort food so here is a take onone of my favorite Surf & Turf’s: “Surf & Turf” Guinness Braised Oxtail, PanSeared Halibut Cheek, Panko Crusted Saffron Rice Cake, Porcini GuinnessMushroom Jus, Thyme Oil

SouthFlorida Food and Wine: What is your favorite dish to make at home?

MichaelShikany: I would say spring rolls or dumplings are my favorite things to makeat home. They are easy and the skies the limit. I also love pickling andsmoking vegetables so I can be as creative as I want to be. Last night I madeBlue Fin Tuna Spring Rolls with Pickled Daikon Radish Apple wood smoked babybok choy, shiso leaf and a creme friache mae plaoy dipping sauce. I am gettinghungry just thinking about it! LOL

SouthFlorida Food and Wine: It’s your last day on earth, what would your final mealbe?

MichaelShikany: Take me to Eataly in NYC and give me a kitchen… I will take it fromthere!

SouthFlorida Food and Wine: Who is the one person you would love to cook with andwhy?

MichaelShikany: It would definitely be Eric Rupert. He is by far one of the bestChef’s I have ever seen and I my style of cooking is very much reflected afterhis work. He uses alot of Classic French Techniques and uses alot of seafoodwhich you can see in most of my work.

SouthFlorida Food and Wine: What is your one guilty pleasure food?
MichaelShikany: Macaroni and Cheese – My two favorites pasta and cheese together. Itis really open to your imagination and creativity there are so many ways tomake this dish. Here is myversion: “Mac & Cheese”Butter Poached Maine Lobster. Marscapone Teleggio TruffledOrzo, Coral Oil, Parmesan Crisp

SouthFlorida Food and Wine: What was the last restaurant you ate at?

MichaelShikany: The last restaurant I went to was The Palm in North Miami Beach.The Monday Night Salad a side of Blue Cheese Dressing and a For-teen Ounce Bone inFilet Medium Rare – oh and and slab of carrot cake… I say a slab because itis the size of the table… But to top it off I was with someone special andthat always makes a meal much more enjoyable ;)

SouthFlorida Food and Wine:  Who would youmost like to cook for? And why?

MichaelShikany: My grandfather, I was so busy with work when he passed away I neverreally took the time to tell him how much he meant to me. He used to watch mein the kitchen on holidays when I was older and he was always my biggest fan.Just a smile from him or a nod of approval made me feel fulfilled. I still getchoked up speaking about him and I know he has been watching over me for a longtime. I can’t explain the love I have for him, it’s the kind of unconditionallove that will last forever.

SouthFlorida Food and Wine: It’s your day off, what do you do for fun?

MichaelShikany: Well if I have the energy I like to fish. There is no better way todisconnect from the world than to be surrounded by water and nature, good musicand real people.

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