These past few weeks have been crazy for me! Between the culinary competition, school, the website, and interviews, I have barely had any time to sit back and relax (although I’m definitely not complaining). Last week along with my camera crew I went to film the first Cookisode™ with a chef. We traveled to South Beach in Miami and met with Executive Chef Sean Brasel of Meat Market.
The restaurant is a steak house but “bringing it to the next level” as Chef Brasel puts it. When you walk into the restaurant you would not think of it as a steak house but rather a cool and “chic” place to dine. With its sleek and modern decor, its no wonder why its a hit in the Miami Beach scene with both diners and critics.
The Crudo Bar at Meat Market
The main dinning area at Meat Market
However a restaurant and it’s Chef doesn’t get a great reputation based on its looks, its about the food. Meat Market’s menu offers dishes like White Truffle Kobe Tartar, Cedar Paper Wild Salmon, or a 16-ounce ribeye steak. One of their most popular appetizers is Ceviche which is a cold appetizer of fish (almost any kind), herbs, lots of seasoning and lemon and lime juice for it’s acidity (this is it’s most important ingredient, keep reading to see why). If you like sushi you will definitely love Ceviche (however Ceviche is cooked, not raw). Chef Brasel started out by setting up his station in his small but very organized kitchen. (it’s amazing that no one kept crashing into each other). He then proceeded to gather his ingredients. Bay scallops (yum), scallions, chiles, limes, chives, oranges, etc... He asked me to juice and zest the limes for the scallops.
Chef Brasel preparing Ceviche with me listening carefully
The interesting thing about Ceviche is that it’s cooked in a way that you wouldn’t normally think of. The acidity from the lime juice “cooks” the scallops, and when I say cooks I mean the acidity tightens the proteins within the scallops so they are no longer raw. (it’s really cool to watch the slimy raw Scallops turn from grey to a beautiful white). We segmented oranges and juiced them. Next we cut the chives paper thin, then our scallions and finally skinned and sliced the chilies. Chef Brasel added multiple seasonings ranging from sweet to spicy. He added vanilla bean to it rather then vanilla extract (used in baking) because the bean adds a totally different sweetness to the Ceviche and is not as strong as extract. He also added a spicy chili sauce (like sriracha) to the ceviche. In the end the Ceviche tasted superb, it was light, sweet and spicy, the scallops were tender and definitely not slimy. You just wanted to sit on the beach and have more.
Chef Brasel giving me a few tips
I also picked up a few tips from Chef Brasel while I was there. Always season with salt and pepper last so you don’t drown out the other seasonings, keep your space organized and clean, and definitely wear the appropriate attire. My appearance wasn’t exactly chef like, my t-shirt was hanging out of my chef jacket and I wasn’t wearing the appropriate pants or shoes. I was wearing jeans and converse sneakers trying to look cool, after all, I’m only 15. I will definitely be better prepared for our next Cookisode™. Thanks again to Chef Brasel for volunteering his time to teach me and my audience great techniques and in the end an amazing dish. The next time your in Miami, make sure you stop by Meat Market and try some of Chef Brasel’s amazing creations.
Me and Chef Brasel after we finished preparing the Ceviche
Make sure to go and check out my Cookisode™ and watch Chef Brasel and I make the Ceviche, while he also teaches me some new culinary skills and techniques. Hopefully by watching it you will gain some new vocab, skills and a new found liking for Ceviche.
Keep on cooking!