No one can get me out of my bed with the Palm Beach Post and the New York Times on a Sunday morning for anything less than a buy-one-get-one-pair-of-shoes-free sale at Macy’s--and probably not then. Sunday is for pajamas until 11 a.m. and coffee and watching the light change on the palm fronds outside the bedroom window while you pretend read the national news section but are really itching to get to the The New York Times “Vows” column. However, on a recent Sunday I was persuaded to actually get out of bed, don civilian clothes, get behind the wheel of a car and run down to 50 Ocean for brunch and a viewing of Emeril in Delray. Seems the CVB and the Visit Florida kids (this is getting to be a dangerously fruitful combination, if you ask me) finagled celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse to do regional cooking spots throughout Florida on his show “Emeril’s Florida” on the cooking channel and our own 32 East and 50 Ocean were two of them!
There are 17 episodes in the season and we are on the 7th episode, which airs several times; the first was last Sunday.
So we all gathered in the Hemingway Lounge at 50 Ocean with Bloody Marys in hand and there he was, the man himself, tasting 50 Ocean’s Chef Blake Malatesta’s expertly wrought seafood delight, while we watched the whitecaps on a deep blue ocean outside the window. Chef Blake grew up in a big family in Louisiana so the connection was natural. He’s worked in kitchens throughout Provence, London, Italy and now we have him pan-searing swordfish caught right here for Mr. Bam Man himself. And, although the restaurant was certainly the star, I cannot stress enough what that ocean looked like that morning, that dark winter blue, boats way off on the horizon, the sea grapes and palms rustling outside. This is why you live here, I thought to myself, as I dug into my 50 Ocean Omelet with its baby spinach and goat cheese and pancetta—this may be a real reason to get out of bed on a Sunday morning.
The Emeril connection is just one more sign that the rest of the world is discovering what those of us who live here already know: Delray Beach is not only the most fun small town in America; it’s a very delicious place to live.