Michelle Bernstein and Julie Loria talk baseball eats before Diamond Dishes at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival

Michelle Bernstein and Marlins Park

Gourmet eats meet the baseball field as Julie Loria, author of cookbook Diamond Dishes and wife of Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, hosts Diamond Dishes at the new Marlins Park. Diners will score a sneak peak of the new stadium (scheduled to open April 4), walk the bases and feast on eats from Michelle Bernstein (Michy’s, Sra Martinez), Scott Conant (Scarpetta), Laurent Tourondel (BLT Steak) and Hedy Goldsmith (Michael’s Genuine).  We chatted with Loria and Bernstein about the stadium, baseball eats and Miami’s foodie moment.

Michelle Bernstein
This is the first year of Diamond Dishes, tell us about it.

Honestly, I don’t know too much about it as it’s year one. But I’ve been doing the festival since inception and anytime Lee [Schrager] comes to me and says: “I have this idea and we want to use locals” It’s hard for me to say no to him. I’m dying to go in there and see the new stadium. It looks gorgeous from the outside.
What can we look forward to eating?
We’re making ham and cheese croquetas because Lee specifically requested them. Then an oxtail stew with trofie pasta, grilled octopus over a mustardy potato salad and little fried quail sandwiches on biscuits – perfect food to walk around and nibble on.
Are you a big baseball fan?
I love all sports, especially live. There’s nothing like a live baseball game – to be there and to be a part of all of it. The whole thing, the hot dogs, the popcorn
How has the Festival impacted Miami?
It’s turned Miami into a culinary destination and helped bring talent to the city. Because of that, better chefs have opened restaurants here, which in turn makes the local chefs even better.
Is Miami having its foodie moment?
I think yes. It’s not just about Latin food anymore. Now people just come for good food. If you have a craving, we can fill it. Everything but Mexican can be filled here.

Julie Loria
What do we have to look forward to in the new stadium?
Trust me when I say, this is a whole new ballgame for South Florida. Starting with the retractable roof…the views of downtown are spectacular… and the food experience will be unparalleled.
Tell us about the cookbook – what are some of your favorite recipes?
Diamond Dishes is a behind-the-scenes sneak peek into the kitchens of today’s top 20 MLB players…If you think about it, food and baseball translate across all cultures and generations… A few of my favorite dishes are Hanley Ramirez’s tostones, Derek Jeter’s Buttermilk Pancakes, Alex Rodriguez’s kale chips and David Wright’s apple pie.
What was it like working with all the baseball players?
Terrific. Whether I was interviewing each of the 20 players or organizing each of the photo shoots, they were all great and cooperative every step of the way. 
Are you a baseball fan?
I am a lifelong baseball fan. My passion for the game began when I was very young. I grew up a Red Sox fan. Some of my happiest childhood memories were watching a baseball game at Fenway with my father. Today I am a Miami Marlins fan of course, but I am and I always will be a fan of the game.

Diamond Dishes: Saturday, Feb 25; 7-11pm; Marlins Park; $250 (sold out)


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