Kitchen Inquisition: Guily Booth

Someone really, really, really, really, really likes knives.

By Stacey Russell
|  Sunday, Feb 28, 2010  |  Updated 10:33 AM EDT
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Kitchen Inquisition: Guily Booth

Wynwood Art District is known for a few things, including a surrounding that might scare you if it wasn’t full of young chic hipsters and an art walk that is giving the rest of the Magic City a run for its money. The newest kid on the block, Cafeina, is an art gallery, lounge and restaurant all in one. Named for their caffeine-infused liquors and specialty cocktails, Cafeina is not attracting Miami elite for nothing: they are the first venue launched in the neighborhood with a full liquor license.

The cocktails might be out of this world, but their food won’t disappoint either. Executive Chef Guily Booth, whose crab cakes were recently heralded by Martha Stewart as "the best she has ever had," makes food that satisfies any patron's palate. Items on her tapas-style menu include everything from mini Kobe burgers, tuna tacos to shrimp lollipops, each for around $12. The warm-hearted lady of the kitchen took time out of her busy schedule to talk to us about what Martha is fussing about -- and give us some tips to get our kitchen up to her standards.

I'm sure all the dishes on each of your menus are like your children, but if you had to choose only one dish from the menu, which ones are you most proud of?

Like you said, it is true these dishes are like my children. But I would have to say the sea bass because it is so light and refreshing and I think the flavors go a long way

Most popular item on the menu?

My crab cakes. They were eaten by Martha Stewart at an event I was working, and she said they were some of the best she’s had.

Martha Stewart called your crab cakes, "The best she had ever had." How does that feel?

I am very proud of that comment and hold it very dear to me. It’s quite the compliment to hear that from such a superstar in the culinary industry.

Whats the secret to your Martha Stewart-approved crab cake?

If i was to tell you, it would not be much of a secret. But everything is made with love...a key ingredient I use in making anything and everything.

How would you describe Miami's dining scene?
 

I think that Miami has a very demanding dining scene due to our rich diverstiy in cultures, which makes it very progressive.

What makes Wynwood so special?

I think that the rise of the neighborhood with its amazing art galleries makes it a new destination for food and art lovers, alike.

Is there a chef, famous or not, that inspires you?

I admire all Chefs for different reasons, and find inspiration from all of them when I taste their dishes. Every chef has a story and that story comes out in their cooking.
 
At what point did you realize you were destined to be a chef?

I had always loved to cook but when I went to culinary school because of a bet I made with friends, I found my true calling in life.

The 5 ingredients every kitchen should have?

Salt, sugar, carrots, onions and celery.

The 5 utensils every kitchen should have?

Knife, knife, knife, knife and a knife. I have quite the collection.

First dish you learned to make?

Asopao which a traditional chicken and rice soup from Puerto Rico.

Favorite dish to make at home?

Whatever my friends are in the mood for that day.

Favorite food-related memory?

Eating Puerto Rican crabs with my family on a long table covered in newspaper (as the tablecloth to catch the “mess”) and just having some great conversations for hours on end.
 

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