The new year is just barely one month old, but it’s already time for a vacation – a six month Latin American vacation, that is. The best part is that you won’t even need a passport.
In 2012, Executive Chef Randy Zweiban from Province, located inside the Westin Phoenix Downtown launched The Latin Passport Dinner Series. Since it was so successful, the series has been extended for another six months.
From February to the end of July, Chef Zweiban will feature dishes that represent one of six countries. The series begins on the first Saturday of the month and the cuisine from that month’s country will be highlighted each subsequent Saturday throughout the month with a mouth-watering four-course meal. For only $35 per person guests will get to taste authentic food from the featured region. Supplemental beverage pairings will be available for an additional charge. The pairings will highlight cocktails and wines from the featured regions.
Here is the six month Itinerary:
Brazil – February 2, 9, 16, 23
Nicaragua – March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
Panama – April 6, 13, 20, 27
El Salvador – May 4, 11, 18, 25
Mexico – June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
Chile – July 6, 13, 20, 27
In February, the Latin Passport Dinner Series will explore Brazil, where the country shares many similarities with its South American neighbors, yet its cuisine is uniquely distinct. Brazil is the largest country in South America and borders every other South American country except for Chile and Ecuador. The food is an interesting mix of heritages with the original population contributing popular ingredients like cassava, acai and other tropical fruits, as well as rice, black beans and root vegetables.
To celebrate Carnival that takes place in February, an annual Brazilian festival held 40 days prior to Easter, guests can learn how to make Caipirinha’s, Brazil’s national cocktail made
with cachaça, sugar and lime, watch videos of previous Rio de Janeiro Carnival parades, and listen to live Brazilian jazz music on Province’s patio each Saturday night from 7 to 10 p.m. Brazilian Latin Passport Dinner Menu for February 2013
- Acaraje – black-eyed pea and shrimp fritters with blood orange aioli, and blood orange and chayote salad
- Hearts of palm salad with molho apimentado
- Mixed grill that includes chicken sausage, beef, pork tenderloin, confit fingerling potatoes and Swiss chard with a salsa trio
- Quindim – coconut custard cake with roasted pineapple-vanilla sauce
Chef Randy Zweiban graciously shares the recipe for a Cherry Caipirinha - Caipirinha is Brazil’s national cocktail and is typically made with cachaça, sugar and lime.
Locally, you can find the liquors needed for this cocktail at Aspen Liquor Store in Broken Arrow.
- 1 1/2 ounce Cabana Cachaça
- 1/2 ounce Luxardo Marascino
- 1/2 ounce mint syrup
- 1/2 ounce lime juice
- 1/2 ounce lemon juice
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- Soda water
- 3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
- Handful of fresh cherries, pitted
- Mint leaves
- Mint sprigs
Muddle 6 cherries with mint leaves in a water glass. Add ice and other ingredients, fill with
soda water and stir. Add a mint sprig to garnish.
Makes 1 cocktail