Good food is a gift and good friends and family are a treasure, but when you come across a chef who knows the secret to crafting a culinary experience that brings out the best of both elements is a guru one should seek out as often as possible.
This is who we found in Chef Diego Oka.
From the moment he greeted us on the patio overlooking the inlet that separates Brickell from the rest of the city center, to the moment the first dish was set before us, to his care in describing the ingredients, inspiration, and process behind the creations, and every moment in between, this Chef is a hidden gem.
I’m not sure about you, but in my life, dining often happens in a rushed sense and setting. With family, time constraints, and other pressing events, I don’t savor the experience nearly as often as I should.
But, with a chef like Diego conducting the table like a maestro conducts an orchestra, you can’t help but slow down, pay closer attention, and let yourself be…just be.
Beautifully crafted cocktails? Check.
Brilliant presentation? Check.
Potatoes infused with squid ink? CHECK. (Seriously…I think one of my favorite dishes of the night.)
An experience that must be had again? Check. Check. Check.
Thank you Chef, thank you to your staff, and thank you to everyone at the Mandarin Oriental that gave us an evening, a view, and a food and drink event we will pursue over and over again.