Wine & Food Fest Preview: Ming Tsai

Asian-fusion chef & TV personality Ming Tsai talks dim sum, disco, Miami dining and the best parties in town during the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Tsai rolls back into town next month to host the SoBe Wine & Food Festival’s first Dim Sum & Disco bash Saturday, Feb 27 from 11pm-1am at the Setai. Dumplings, disco, drinks & the din of the Setai at night – we’re thinking potential party of the weekend…

Why Dim Sum & Disco?
We just did a smaller version of this at the NY Food & Wine Fest but it was a brunch on a much smaller scale – a much tamer venue & party than disco at the Setai starting at 11pm. Plus, the name is half the battle – what a great name.

Any predictions for the night?
I think it’s going to be crazy. Being a part of the festival, we already have thousands of people who love food & wine and chefs. Couple that with being in South Beach, which is the hot, sexy food capital of the country, add in the Setai, one of the sexiest hotels in Miami, add in the chefs and two of the best mixologists in the country – great food, great place, great music, great cocktails.

What will you be cooking?
I’m doing a bunch of stuff –most of it’s passed and/or in steamers. Panko shrimp balls, braised oxtail and foie gras shu mai, Island Creek oysters from Massachusets with wasabi mignonette and sesame macadamia tarts with toasted coconut cream.

What’s the best party of the weekend?

I’ve never been to a bad party at the festival – they’re all ragers. There is something extra special about Bubble Q – walking in the sand at night in Miami with a glass of champagne and great food just does it for me. Burger Bash is a close second because everyone loves a burger

How often do you get to Miami? And where do you eat while you’re here?
I come at least twice a year. My in-laws live in the Keys, I love the food scene in Miami. It’s always been really good, but it’s grown leaps & bounds in the past few years. Michelle Bernstein is one of my favorites – Michy’s is just awesome and I love Michael Schwartz – deviled eggs I think is brilliant. I love the crispy bacon in pint glasses at Prime 112 – what are you going to drink after you each 6 pieces of bacon? It’s just brilliant. I’ve also always had great meals at Azul, probably one of the more beautiful restaurants in Miami. And of course at 2 in the morning you go get a cubano – there’s not a better late night snack out there.

The South Beach Wine & Food Festival runs Thursday-Sunday Feb 25-28. Catch Ming Sat, Feb 27 at Dim Sum & Disco, 11pm-2am at the Setai, $150.


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