Ralph Pagano's Ferris Pops-Up This Saturday: We Get a Kitchen Preview
Chef Ralph Pagano's Ferris pop-up at the Sole on the Ocean in Sunny Isles launches this Saturday evening complete with a drum circle, fire dancers, a DJ, and a belly dancer.
All photos by Laine Doss Chef Ralph Pagano displays his meat.
Before that show, there's work to be done in the kitchen. Grape leaves must cook overnight, pita must be baked, and giant skewers of lamb and chicken must be fired on the grill. Chef Pagano, who says this is his most personal endeavor yet, has prepared a menu that explores the Lebanese half of his family tree.
In fact, the entire concept of the pop-up is a tribute to Pagano's family. The restaurant is named after the chef's grandfather, Ferris, and the recipes were handed down from his great grandmother, "Grandma D," Aunt Sylvia, and his mother, Christine. "My Aunt Seeya [Sylvia] makes the best mumhumara and my mom is the queen of all things tabouli. She goes by the name Chrissy tabouli. Truth. This restaurant is all about girl power."
During a recent test run of some recipes, Pagano checks on a simmering pot of grape leaves and frowns. The leaves are falling apart, so he calls an impromptu meeting of his staff, demonstrating the correct grape leaf-rolling procedure to ensure a perfect batch next time.
Pagano then proceeds to plate some grape leaves for me to try. As I reach for one, the chef intercepts me to squeeze lemon on them. "Now they're finished." Grape leaves ($10) can be served hot or cold.
Stuffed grape leaves, finished with lemon juice.