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Francis Mallmann's Catching Fire dinner is offal-y good

Chefs Francis Mallmann, Paul Qui and Gabriel Ask collaborated on a three-course dinner at Miami Beach's new Faena Hotel as part of the 2016 South Beach Wine & Food Festival. The chefs cooked in Mallmann's "live fire" kitchen at his Los Fuegos restaurant at the hotel. Dishes included puffy "balloon bread" topped with beef carpaccio, a hot grill platter arrayed with steak and offal, stewed oxtail and sides of beef-fat rice, mashed potatoes and Mallmann's trademark "textures of potato."

Our Grade: A

What worked: The outdoor patio with its exuberant tropical decor provided a theatrical backdrop, while the wafts of smoke emanating from the open kitchen made us feel like we were in a gaucho's back yard.

What didn't work: Navigating that organ meats platter - was that kidney or sweetbreads I just tasted?

Best thing we ate: The medium-rare tomahawk steak with a flavorful charred crust.

Quote of the night: "I'm feeling offal!"  

Craziest thing we saw: The hotel's famous Damien Hirst sculpture of a nine-foot gilded skeleton of a wooly mammoth.

BY SARA LISS | sara@brandplug.com

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