SOBEWFF Dinner at Novikov Miami hosted by Chef Charles Phan

Food Network Cooking Channel and South Beach Wine and Food Festival (SOBEWFF) are doing a fantastic job with their dinner series, I love their tag line – Eat, Drink, Educate.  Guest chefs from all over the States are matched with Miami restaurants who share similar cuisines. Having dined at both Novikov Miami and The Slanted Door, Charles Phan’s San Francisco restaurant at the Ferry Building back in 2004, I was curious to see how their dishes complemented each other. Seamless and flawless are two words that come to mind! 

I got a chance to chat to Charles Phan before the craziness started and glad we took our photo then, cause I noticed some splashes of what looked like caramel sauce from his delicious Spanish Mackerel, ha, ha!

SOBEWFF just celebrated their 18th year!  It started as a one day affair and now spans over 5 days with 100 events.  Food lovers gather in South Beach from all over the world, so it’s not surprising most events were sold out. 

About Charles Phan in a nutshell…
Phan was an architecture student for 3 years before dropping out to help his mom at her sewing shop prior to becoming a restauranteur with NO KNOWLEDGE of running a restaurant or cooking professionally, the closest thing he did was bussing tables. 1995 was when he opened The Slanted Door in its original location in the Mission, San Francisco.  24 years later, Phan owns and operates 5 restaurants with one opening soon in Las Vegas.  I see he has applied his architecture into styling and cooking his food and into his restaurants.  He enjoys merging modern Chinese, Vietnamese, French food using classic techniques to tell “stories” about his dishes. 

About Novikov
Head over for the full scoop of my Miami Spice lunch at Novikov here.  

Nothing is ordinary at Novikov Miami, this unique sculpture greets you as you enter!

The ambience with the curved outdoor patio and pendulum lights, the gorgeous breeze coming off Miami River made for a perfect setting.

Top: Phan’s Mung Bean Dumplings and Gau Choy Gow Pan-Fried Wild Shrimp & Garlic Chive Dumplings. I could’ve devoured 100 of them! Paired perfectly with Ferrai-Carano Dry Sangiovese Rose 2017.

From Novikov: Marinated & Grilled Chilean Sea Bass Skewers with Ginger, Jalapeno & Cilantro. I probably had six of these, so good. Paired  with Ferrai-Carano Dry Sangiovese Rose 2017.

From Phan: Refreshing Green Mango & Cucumber Salad, Thai Chile & Garlic Fish Sauce Dressing paired with Ferrari-Carano Fume Blanc 2017.

From Phan: Spanish Mackerel with Caramel Sauce paired with Ferrari-Carano Pinot Noir 2016.

From Novikov: Tender morsels of Wagyu Skirt Steak, Yuzu Chimi, Garlic Crisp & Micro Herb Salad. Paired with Ferrari-Carano Cabernet Sauvignon 2015. We sat next to pescatarians so they gave us theirs, ha, ha. Oh our tummies and taste buds were so happy.

From Novikov: Dessert – Crunchy Sesame Ice Cream Cone. Gorgeous end.

NOTE: this was a media dinner but doesn’t sway my judgement.

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