Hello, Tallahassee. I’m Rochelle Koff. I love to eat and tell.
I’ve spent a lot of my life eating in restaurants. I critiqued them for The Miami Herald for more than 20 years, dining out three to four times a week. I also was the Broward County writer/editor for Zagat’s Miami/South Florida Restaurants guides for eight years.
When I wasn’t eating, I was an editor and reporter at The Miami Herald, the South Florida Sun Sentinel or, most recently, a legislative reporter for The Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times capital bureau.
My kids were tots when I started this obsession, and are now avid diners themselves. My husband expanded his boundaries past grits, and rejoices they’re so stylish now. Our lives still revolve around food, we all still eat off each other’s plates and we all save something to take home.
I’ve been fortunate to savor some fantastic dishes from a great many cuisines in my travels and right at home. During my years in South Florida, I’ve slurped bird nest soup in Lauderdale Lakes, gorged on yuca fries and cafe con leche in Little Havana and chomped deep-fried chicken feet in Plantation. I’ve devoured pupusas and dosas and Indonesian fare so hot I cried, all in Tallahassee.
I’ve tried culinary trends like dining in the dark (just use your hands), and have supped on experimental dishes at underground (and close to illegal) dinners. I’ve seen trends — portobellos, balsamic vinegar, polenta, beets, brussels sprouts and others — come and go, and come back.
I love taking cooking classes and learning new recipes. (I hope we can share our favorites.) I’m grateful to have friends who are really good cooks.
I’m originally from Philly, lived most of my life in South Florida, and now call beautiful, friendly and oh-so-green Tallahassee home. I’m exploring new culinary turf here and while we may not yet have as many choices as some other locales, there is a vibrant food and food culture here, and it’s growing.
I have some favorite haunts — Cypress, Mimi’s Table, Mayuri, Tan’s Asian Cafe, Mo Betta B-B-Q, Bird’s Aphrodisiac, Kool Beanz Sage and Korean BBQ & More to name just a few — and I want to eventually try every restaurant and experience every food trend in and around the Capital City.
I hope you’ll join me on this journey, and I welcome your suggestions and critiques. Let’s eat.