In 2005, Emeril and I hosted a winemaker dinner and served it beneath the stars. Fabulous! This was the most popular starter. With its tropical influences, it really reflects the Floribbean-Latino heritage of Miami, as well as the diversity of our ingredients. (Local farmers hand-selected the lychees for me, to be sure they were just perfect!) If you can’t wait a week for your vanilla oil, simply warm the oil with the vanilla in it and let it rest for two hours before using.

MAKES 10

6 ounces dry-pack scallops, cut into small dice

4 ounces lychee, cut into small dice 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives

1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro

¼ teaspoon chopped shallot

1 large egg yolk

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons Vanilla Oil (recipe follows)

¼ teaspoon sherry vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a bowl, combine the scallops, lychee, chives, cilantro, and shallot.

In a separate bowl, combine the egg yolk and mustard. Slowly drizzle in the vanilla oil, whisking constantly until it reaches a light mayonnaise consistency. Add the vinegar.

Mix the mayonnaise and the seafood combination together until well coated. Season with salt and pepper. Serve ice-cold in mini martini glasses.