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Another ‘Top Chef’ takes Miami

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February is shaping up to be a monumental month for two-time Top Chef veteran Dale Talde, and Miami is in the mix.

Talde told the Miami Herald he will open a Miami Beach outpost of Talde, his Asian-American eatery, this summer in the Thompson Miami Beach, home to Michelle Bernstein’s new Seagrape. It will be the third Talde, following the 3-year-old Brooklyn original and a new one opening this month in Jersey City.

The chef heads to Miami Beach this month for the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, where he’ll be participating in the Morimoto & Friends event Feb. 20 and the Chicken Coupe on Feb. 21. Both are sold out, but you can see what tickets are still available to other events at sobefest.com.

In advance of his trip and restaurant opening, Talde talked about what he’s looking forward to about cooking in Miami.

We just read your recipe for making kimchi Spam fried rice, and now we’re starving. Can we get some of that at Talde Miami Beach?

Possibly! We’re still working out the menu right now, but my Kimchi Spam Fried Rice is something I usually make for myself when I’ve been drinking, and I’m feeling shameful of the night before. But if people love it and are into it, I don’t see why not!

You helped open Makoto in Bal Harbour in 2011. What made you want to return to South Florida for this new project?

First and foremost, it was the opportunity to work with such an amazing hotel group. We’ll be located inside the Thompson Miami Beach, which is such a beautiful hotel, and we’re in great company with Michelle Bernstein, so there’s no doubt we’ve made the right decision.

What are you most looking forward to about the South Beach Wine & Food Festival?

The energy. When the guys and I are in Miami, we always go to the Deuce. I also love going over to Bal Harbour to eat at Makoto, which is my favorite restaurant in Miami. Another favorite is getting a plate of oxtail and rice and beans at Puerto Sagua.

How will Talde Miami Beach compare to the original and the new one in Jersey City?

The décor will definitely be different, but we’re bringing over a couple of our signature dishes like our Korean Fried Chicken, Pretzel Pork & Chive Dumplings, and our Moo Shu Pancakes. We’re also going to lighten up the menu — our kitchen can handle more cold food so expect sashimi, raw fish and salads. We’re really drawing the inspiration for our food from the location, so we’ll be making a few changes while still sticking to who we are.

Evan S. Benn

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