Food and Dining Radio Show – 6.13.08
Linda Gassenheimer (LG)
Joseph Cooper (JC)
Fred Tasker (FT)
Jonathan Eismannn (JE)
LG: Well Joe, Father’s Day is this weekend. There are always lots of questions. “What to buy for Dad?” Or the way to Dad’s heart might be through his stomach. Our guest today, Jonathan Eismann, is the Chef/Owner of Pacific Time. They’ve just opened in the Design District and they used to be on Lincoln Road. And he’s brought his eight year old daughter Morgan with him today. Welcome Jonathan and Morgan.
LG: And Fred Tasker is here in his usual seat. He writes the wine suggestions for my column that you can see in today’s Herald. Fred, what are we drinking today?
FT: I’m going to talk about my idea of what to give Dad for Father’s Day and it might even include wine.
LG: What a surprise. [laughing] Chef, what’s your dream food or dish for Father’s Day?
JE: Just about anything where I don’t have to cook so I get a break. A tradition at our house is we do a Barbeque.
LG: So you’re cooking?
JE: Well they have it set up. But I man the grill. This weekend we’re going to have Wagyu Burgers.
LG: Wow. Tell our listeners what that is.
JE: Yes, Wagyu is a high-grade of beef with origins in Japan.
JC: Like Kobe?
JE: Yes, but not as exclusive. It’s very good. Has great marbling.
LG: Aren’t some people serving it in their restaurants and calling it Kobe?
JE: I don’t know. I’ve never served it in my restaurant.
Caller 1: In my house we have a tradition where we do pork spare ribs and a corn pudding recipe that we cook in a pressure cooker. For some reason that’s our traditional Father’s Day dinner in my house.
LG: That sounds very good. Thanks for your call.
FT: Have you noticed nothing Dads ever want is good for you?
LG: Like with the word “healthy.” Yeah. Well Morgan do you help in the restaurant?
LG: What do you make?
ME: Tuna Tartar and Duck Salad.
LG: Wow! Do you give lessons?
LG: How did you come to learn that?
JE: Well she started out as a vegetarian. And then we noticed that she’d eat Tuna Tartar, Foie Gras and Sweetbreads.
LG: We give them all this bland stuff. No wonder they don’t like it. They want something with flavor.
LG: Are you making something special for Dad for Father’s Day?
LG: Something with chocolate? You want to keep it a secret?
LG: Who cooks at home?
JE: My wife is a great cook. Morgan is helping us too. So it’s a family affair.
LG: What about macaroni and cheese?
JE: Yes, my wife makes it. It’s a big secret around the house. I’ve never watched all the steps. She does a topping with white bread croutons. It gives it an incredible crust on the top.
LG: It’s interesting. I was at a children’s birthday party this weekend and they all ate hot dogs and hamburgers. But there were big tins of macaroni and cheese and that went like mad.
JE: It’s a favorite American dish. Anything crispy, brown and gooey is good.
LG: What are some other tips for cooking this weekend?
JE: I think it’s great to involve kids in the kitchen. They like to come in and help with the preparation. See what goes into a dish and identify the food. We work with them so they don’t get burned. But it’s important for them to understand where it comes from.
LG: Morgan helped in the Wine and Food festival?
JE: Yes, when she was 6 she worked on her assembly line with Marcus Sameulson and she did a great job.
LG: Does she get paid?
JE: I’m not allowed to say. I think there are Federal laws…
LG: Does he take care of you?
LG: Cool. What’s the most popular thing ordered in your restaurant on Father’s Day?
JE: This year they’ll have to come to my house because we’re closed but in the past I’ve noticed steaks and lamb is very popular.
JC: I’ll get your address.
JE: Julia Child said once she couldn’t live without red meat and gin.
LG: And she died at 95.
LG: How do you have time with your family when you run a restaurant?
JE: Well it’s mostly in the morning. They help me out. We make crepes.
LG: What do you put in your crepes Morgan?
ME: Jelly, whipped cream, cinnamon and sugar.
LG: That’s so wonderful. I think if kids are involved in the kitchen they’re more likely to eat different things.
JE: I grew up in a family where food was the center and I made crepes with my mom.
LG: Does your little sister make crepes? She’s only 3 years old.
LG: No [laughing].
JE: She just makes trouble.
LG: Now let’s talk about your new restaurant. Tell us where it is.
JE: 35 NE 40th street in the design district. We have a beautiful indoor/outdoor space. We’re serving dinner only right now. As of the end of June we’ll be serving lunch Monday to Friday and then stay open through dinner to midnight.
LG: You’re going to be working really hard. I understand you’ve lowered your prices considerably. Like less than $40 for dinner.
JE: Yes, much less. Prices on Lincoln Road were a reflection of rent and everything else. But we’ve gone back to our original prices and they start at $9 and go into the low $20s.
LG: That’s great. We’re going to take a short break. We’re talking with Jonathan Eismann of Pacific Time and his daughter Morgan. We’ll be right back.
LG: We’re back. I’m Linda Gassenheimer. We’re talking with Jonathan Eismann of Pacific Time and his 8 year old daughter Morgan. His restaurant is now open in the Design District. We’re talking about tips for cooking for Father’s Day. Now it’s dinner in minutes time. You can eat now Fred.
FT: Not that I haven’t been but okay.
LG: Today’s dinner is Swordfish with a Zesty Sicilian Sauce. If you want the recipe see my recipe on dinnerinminutes.com.
JC: It’s very colorful. It’s great.
LG: It’s simple. Fred, what are we drinking?
FT: I think that finding a gift is so easy. We’re so easy you can give us the same thing every year and we’ll love it every time. If times are rough you can buy a $9 bottle of Malbec from Argentina. Or you can get us the $200 Tuscan wine and Don Shula’s. They have big porterhouses there. They’re scary.
JC: They have barbeque prawns there wrapped in apple smoked bacon.
FT: Sounds like you’re a regular Joe. Or you could pick up nice prime beef tenderloin. Google the recipe for Steak Deon and slather it with heavy cream. Then open a nice Merlot from Chile. That’s about $25. Those selections are on my blog. Get it at miamiherald.com/wine.
LG: Thank you Fred for that information. Let’s go back to Jonathan Eismann and food. We were talking about barbeque. What are some of the side dishes you have?
JE: Homemade coleslaw, a nice antipasto like mozzarella, Caesar Salad…we keep it pretty simple.
LG: That’s easy for everyone. Antipasto plates can be put together with good cold cuts and olive oil from the supermarket. Tell me about your coleslaw.
JE: White vinegar, celery salt, and a little mayonnaise.
LG: What about dessert?
JE: My mom is a fantastic baker. She makes great cakes so I’m sure she’ll be up to something.
LG: Just before the break we were talking about your new restaurant and the lower prices.
JE: Yes, it’s really the times. People want high quality, simple food.
JC: Were you just pushed out of Lincoln Road?
JE: Yes, rent went up many hundreds of percent over the years.
LG: It’s really a shame.
JE: It’s true but our reputation is strong so we packed up and went to a friendlier zone.
LG: We forgot to say Jonathan brought us wonderful paninis.
JE: Yes, it’s something we like to make together. It’s made with Prosciutto and Parmesan and arugala.
LG: Well she ate it all! Morgan and Jonathan thank you so much for coming.