Food & Drink

December 26, 2010

South Florida Food and Wine in the Spotlight

Today’s Blogger in the Spotlight is the last in my yearlong series and it’s about me. All about me. I vacillated about this post for quite some time because this is not a personal blog but one about very public topics, “all things food, wine, and events.” So once I decided to be a part of the series the next step was the introduction and questions, how can I possibly write an intro about myself? (well I could but…) and question myself? I do that every day as it is, and it’s not pleasant. So I turned to those who do it best, other bloggers and writers. The introduction has been penned by my girl Maria De Los Angeles, A.K.A. Sex and the Beach, A.K.A. ViceQueenMaria, whom I endearingly refer to as VQM.

I had been following VQM for months on Twitter before I met her, I was introduced to her and Soul of Miami at the same time by Carlos Miller. This was quite a moment, three high profile Miami social media types all at the same time, let me tell you they are one lively bunch! We all attended the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival last Spring at the Raleigh Hotel. And it was here as only women can do, that VQM and I bonded over a restroom incident. The security guard whom we affectionately refer to as the “rent-a-cop” forbade us to use the ladies room because the event was over and they were in “lock-down.” Suffice it to say after a “conversation” with rent-a-cop’s superiors we did use the ladies room and have been partners in crime ever since. Anyone who is familar with Maria’s work knows she is a linguist and wordsmith extraordinaire not to mention an all around brilliant thinker and it just thrills me that she agreed to do my introduction. So my valued readers I present to you the final Blogger in the Spotlight.

Click logo to visit VQM’s blog

Today I have the honor of penning an introduction to the last of a great series in food and wine blogging. The person being interviewed is none other than Christine Najac, founder and publisher of this fine blog. I’ve known Christine for less than a year, and I will tell you she is a ray of sunshine in my life. We’ve enjoyed conversations ranging from the banal to the sublime. We’ve wined and dined at South Florida’s finest and not-so-finest. Christine is my kinda gal she can kick back with a beer or regale you with stories about some rare vintage wine. But no matter what, she’s never a food snob. Of all the foodies I know, Christine is one of the most devoted and passionate. Christine and I have also picked each other’s brains on professional advice. I admire her commitment to the cause. She is persistent and resilient as a self-publishing entrepreneur, even in these tough times. Christine has spent the past twelve months bringing you a Blogger in the Spotlight every Sunday, but now it’s her turn to take the stage. Most questions come from a blogger who has been featured in this column. So without further ado, get to know the wonderful woman behind South Florida Food and Wine Blog.

Burger Beast asks: If you were on a deserted island and could only save either your favorite meal or favorite drink, which would you save? This is of course assuming you saved a human being first. Please mention what your favorite meal and drink are.

South Florida Food and Wine: Favorite Meal: Pasta anything. Favorite Beverage: Champagne. They say, a human being can live for weeks without food but only 3-4 days without “liquid” (supposedly water). Since I’m stranded I’ll have to say that I can live off the fat of the land or body in this case, so I would save my beverage. asks: knowing that Jeff Eats was the brightest and best blog interview. That said, who after Jeff Eats was the best interview and why?

South Florida Food and Wine: I have to say very much like a parent; since I am the mother of great food and wine bloggers in the spotlight I love them all for what they bring to the table. asks: What wine do you personally feel goes best with pizza?

South Florida Food and Wine: as a rule I don’t drink wine with pizza. I’m beer girl. However, if you read about my dinner with Paul Castronovo at Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza then you know I’ve been converted.

Cuvée Corner Wine Blog asks: Like Napoleon Bonaparte did, if you had only to choose just one wine to drink as your final quaff, what would it be and why?

South Florida Food and Wine: 2005 Black Coyote Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. It’s fragrant and lofty, with a big, big mouthfeel of elegant velvet, it’s a California Cab at its finest moment. The 2005 doesn’t need food to compliment it, it just is; and sometimes you just need to be alone with the bottle, like the final quaff.

Beau’s Barrel Room asks: What’s the one dish that you remember from your childhood that always tasted amazing, special, or otherwise memorable. Today, if you had that dish, what wine would you pair with that dish?

South Florida Food and Wine:my favorite dish growing up was Shake ‘n Bake chicken with mashed potatoes swimming in butter and broccoli also bathing in its own pool of the golden fat. I loved Shake ‘n Bake chicken, I thought that was the greatest food group on the planet! I could have eaten it every night of the week. Quite frankly I can’t imagine anything in the free world that could possible pair with Shake ‘n Bake chicken, 7 lbs of butter with a side of mashed potatoes and broccoli, it’s actually rather disgusting now that I’m reading it so I’m compelled to say a Pouilly-Fuissé. I need a little French to class this food faux pas up!

Write for Wine asks: You’re stuck in a wine cave, poor thing, and you can only have three items with you. What would you have and why?

South Florida Food and Wine:A Snuggie, a cork screw, and a split case of Dutton Goldfield 2001 Devil’s Gulch Ranch Pinot Noir, Black Coyote 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve and 1990 Dom Pérignon Oenothèque Rosé …WELL, I may never get out, and if I’m going to die in a cave I’m goin’ happy.

Jen Karetnick asks: If you were to suddenly lose your sense of taste and smell and could no longer have a career in food and wine, what would you do (besides be depressed)?

South Florida Food and Wine:I would be a ballerina. I look great in tulle and carry dozens of roses very, very well.

Sushi.Pro asks: What is the WORST dish you’ve ever cooked?

South Florida Food and Wine:The easiest dish in the world to make is meatloaf and I screwed it up to the point of no return; it was too easy and too simple; I tried to make it more exotic than what the recipe called by adding veal, pork sausage, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, heavy cream, you get the point; the ingredients cost me $47! ….but the cliffhanger here was I was making the favorite meal of all time for whom I thought was the LOML. The one thing I can do is cook and I absolutely fell apart doing it. I fell apart making meatloaf! and so did the meatloaf. He turned out not to be the LOML and I never made meatloaf again. Coincidence? I think not.

South Florida Daily Blog asks: What one food turns your stomach without even eating it?

South Florida Food and Wine:Meatloaf. See answer to above question.

Eater Miami asks: Who’d you rather be stuck on a deserted island with, a food blogger or a restaurant critic and why?

South Florida Food and Wine:Food Blogger. Period end of sentence. Food bloggers are food enthusiasts they love food, good food and bad food. Restaurant critics are just a little too tense about everything; they make food procedural. And if I was stuck alone on an island with an edgy food critic just who exactly would be climbing up the banana tree to get dinner? I’ll tell you right now it won’t be me, because I’ll probably have a damn dress on the day the ship hits rock bottom.

French Fry Fairy asks: If you were given a chance to travel to the past where and when would you go and why?

South Florida Food and Wine:I would go back to 1950, any town USA. I want to know if women really cooked and cleaned and in taffeta dresses, high heels and pearls with perfectly coiffed hair.

The Chowfather asks: One night, one city, one chef, one dish, one bottle, one person (dead or alive) where are you going, who’s cooking, what are you eating, what are you drinking and who are you taking?

South Florida Food and Wine: One night, here we go…..
One City: Paris
One Restaurant: Window table at Apicius
One Chef: Jean-Pierre Vigato
One Dish: The Chef’s Menu. I’m not going all that way to not be WOW’d!
One Bottle: Let the sommelier pair the wine. I don’t want the pressure of picking wine, I just flew half way around the world and am completely giddy with anticipation and excitement of what is to be

One person: Sheila Johnson. Ms. Johnson is female entrepreneur extraordinaire, just to breathe her air would be enlightenment pour moi.

JaxisCool asks: If someone wishes to utterly woo you on a date and sweep you off of your feet, what are they making and/or serving for you? Inquiring minds wanna know!

South Florida Food and Wine: This menu goes back many, many years. I was in culinary school at the time when I came across this menu and article in a magazine and was completely taken with it. It resonated with me on some higher level so much so that I still have the original article torn out of the magazine. It’s a very simple dinner but done right, yes JaxisCool I would be utterly woo’d and swept off of my feet. And just for the record it has yet to be done, and this is obviously why; two weeks ago a date cooked dinner for me. His specialty: chicken and vegetables (apparently, I tend to not date men who know how to cook) anyway this poor chicken breast was mutilated, eviscerated and maimed beyond recognition even the color was gray. I just kept looking at it “wondering what the hell did he do??” what did I do…ate it of course, I couldn’t hurt his feelings he was so proud of his work he even garnished the plate with orange slices and parsley and the conversation revolved around his penchant for the Food Network. Disfigured chicken breasts aside this would be the dinner:
Spicy Shrimp and Vodka Martini’s to start
Sautéed Wild Mushrooms
Crispy Potato Tart
Double-thick Veal Chops in a Cognac Cream Sauce
Crusty French Bread with Herb Butter
California Pinot Noir
Crème Brûlée

Miami Cocktail Examiner asks:Your “Food Porn” posts are some of my favorites. Which “Foodgasm” rocked you the best?

South Florida Food and Wine: Casa D’Angelo’s Risotto Carnaroli in Fonduta di Reggiano e Tartufo Bianco d’Alba. In English: Carnaroli Risotto with fresh white truffle and reggiano cheese fondue. This dish rocked my world, even for days afterwards. Not all risotto’s are created equal and add white truffles and fresh reggiano cheese to it, I thought this is what they must serve in the afterlife.

South Florida Beer Blog asks a two part question. (actually I think it’s 3!!, Dave you’re killin’ me! But because you were the first to list me and the nicest to me when I was completely unheard of I’ll play)

South Florida Beer Blog asks: First, when you started the blog what were you looking to get out of it?

South Florida Food and Wine: Shameless self promotion

South Florida Beer Blog asks: Second, now that you are into doing the blog for a while how do you see that initial vision changing?

South Florida Food and Wine: I need to be much more overt about shamelessly promoting myself like dancing on the bar instead of sitting at it.

And lastly, South Florida Beer Blog asks: where do you think you are headed now?

South Florida Food and Wine: To The Lodge for a beer those were grueling questions, beer guy!

MikeLaMonica asks If you had an extra hour to drink or eat anything guilt free, what would it be?

South Florida Food and Wine: Nothing I ever do is guilt free I’m Catholic. So with that said I believe I just received total dispensation, so I am free to admit, I’m a ‘carb-girl’ give me any kind of pasta, warm bread, couscous, risotto and mashed potatoes made with butter and heavy cream.

Mango & Lime asks: What was your favorite meal of 2010?

South Florida Food and Wine: The million dollar dinner at STK with my Mom and sisters. We were celebrating my Mom’s birthday this past June in Miami and the dinner at STK just rocked our world, collectively. The food and drink and service we had that night was beyond stellar. We ordered just about everything on the menu, as all of our tastes are very different and couldn’t agree on sharing any one dish. The four of us haven’t spent time together like this since we were growing up. That night and that dinner at STK seemed to highlight the best of being “The Girls” past, present and future.

Stephanie Savors the Moment asks: Since you spend a lot of your time out and about experiencing the fine dining establishments of South Florida, what is your favorite meal to cook when you are at home and what wine would you pair with?

South Florida Food and Wine: Paella. It’s that one dish wonder I love to make because I throw all the ingredients together in one pan and let it do its thing while I stand by sipping a glass or two of wine.

Soul of Miami asks: Going out on your own is a big and often scary step. Many people prefer the security of just working for someone else. What was the final tipping point where you finally just quit the regular job and went out on your own?

South Florida Food and Wine: ZOMG!! I quit my regular job??!!




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