Jose Mendin and Conley Battle in the Kitchen, Valentino Hosts Cooking Class

While Palm Beach County is speeding along the Foodie Highway much like Brightline (and its horns!) is barreling down the tracks, we can’t forget the amazing dining playground that is the Fort Lauderdale-Miami area.

It’s not that far away, folks. If you haven’t explored the wonderful venues to our south, then it’s time to do that, just as the departing snowbirds are freeing up reservations. In fact, one of our own is featured in a friendly food battle on Miami Beach. Read on.

Award-winning Chefs Mendin, Conley in kitchen battle

You really can’t lose with this competition. James Beard-nominated Chefs Clay Conley (Grato, Buccan, Imoto) and Jose Mendin (Pubbelly Noodle Bar, Miami Beach) are dueling in an eight-course battle, Noodles vs Pasta, on April 24.

Mendin (pictured left) hosts “Mendin & Friends,” a guest chef series, and this is one of the special nights, starting at 7 p.m. at Pubbelly Noodle Bar. Dinner costs $70 per person, excluding tax/gratuity, and reservations are required.

Each chef will prepare three dishes. Conley (pictured right) will include a version of his famous agnolotti, Mendin’s will include gumbo black fettucine, and much more. Pubbelly Noodle Bar, 1418 20th St., Miami Beach; 305/532-7555, or OpenTable

Two-day event features Italian dinner, cooking class

Chef Giovanni Rocchio
Chef Giovanni Rocchio

Chef Giovanni Rocchio, of Valentino Cucina Italiana, and Chef Felix Lo Basso, a Michelin Star restaurateur from Puglia, Italy, will host both a cooking class and a dinner at Fort Lauderdale’s Valentino on April 29 and 30th. Rocchio is known for contemporary Italian food, Lo Basso for creative dishes based in Italian tradition.

The cooking class tickets, for 4 p.m. on April 29, start at $125 per person; the dinner on April 30 costs $185 per person. Valentino Cucina Italiana, 620 S. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale; 954/523-5767


Lynn Kalber was raised in Boca Raton and has always worked in Palm Beach and Broward counties. She is a career journalist, with 26 years at The Palm Beach Post alone, where she wrote feature and food articles, edited the food section and wrote about wine as part of the Swirl Girls. She lives in West Palm Beach with her husband, writer and author Scott Eyman.

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