see more
  • Share
By: Shayne Benowitz

When it comes to celebrity chefs, the talent pool runs deep in Greater Miami and Miami Beach. From international superstars to homegrown heroes, there are plenty of local restaurants helmed by some of the hottest chefs in the culinary world today. Here are some spots throughout Greater Miami and Miami Beach from those top chefs, guaranteed to serve up memorable dining experiences.

Amara at Paraiso banana leaf cobia
Banana leaf cobia at Amara at Paraiso

Local Talent

Michael Schwartz

When Michael Schwartz opened Michael's Genuine® Food & Drink in the Miami Design District in 2006, he brought attention to the use of farm-fresh produce in his seasonal menus, helping to earn him a coveted James Beard Foundation Award. The cozy-yet-chic restaurant offers a well-rounded menu featuring everything from dry-aged black angus bone-in ribeye to whole-roasted snapper and pesto pizza. The restaurant is closing for renovations in summer 2021, but it is expected to reopen soon. The tony Design District neighborhood grew up around the restaurant. Schwartz has since gone on to open Tigertail + Mary in the Coconut Grove neighborhood, Amara at Paraiso near the Edgewater area just north of Downtown Miami, and several locations of Harry’s Pizzeria.

Stubborn Seed
Experience a tasting menu at Stubborn Seed

Jeremy Ford

With a “Top Chef” win and a run as chef de cuisine at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Matador Room at The Miami Beach EDITION under his belt, Chef Jeremy Ford is at the helm of Stubborn Seed, an intimate, 74-seat restaurant in South Beach’s South of Fifth district boasting elaborate tasting menus. Ford’s menus are ever-changing, but some of his inventive dishes have included truffle chicken with brussels sprouts, creamy heirloom grits and crispy pork belly, and smoked prime ribeye. For a true fine dining experience, opt for the eight-course chef’s tasting menu. For a more casual introduction to Ford’s cuisine, you can also sample his flavors at the Time Out Market food hall near Lincoln Road.

Pubbelly Sushi table spread
Pubbelly Sushi has multiple locations from Aventura to Kendall

Jose Mendin

When Chef Jose Mendin and his team opened the original Pubbelly in South Beach’s Sunset Harbour neighborhood, he kicked off a modern day food renaissance of local, homegrown eateries in Greater Miami & MIami Beach. Specializing in inventive fusion cuisine with a Latin flair, Mendin has gone on to open the wildly popular Pubbelly Sushi in neighborhoods stretching from Aventura to Kendall. The James Beard Award semifinalist’s La Placita draws inspiration from his native Puerto Rico. With his latest project, Casa Isola, he brings Italian flavors to Sunset Harbour.

Camouflage Lasagnette at Alter
Camouflage lasagnette is an example of the artful menu at Alter

Bradley Kilgore

Named Best New Chef by “Food & Wine” magazine, Bradley Kilgore is one of Miami’s most original culinary stars. In fact, his sophisticated Wynwood eatery, Alter, was a semifinalist for the James Beard Award’s Best New Restaurant. The restaurant has temporarily closed, but it is expected to reopen soon. Specializing in artful, chef-driven tasting menus, Kilgore’s daring dishes include bahn mi with bacon pate, smoked ham and fresh pickled vegetables, as well as ceviche of pink shrimp with green tomato aguachile, mango, avocado and tostones. Kilgore also helms the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts’ onsite fine-dining restaurant, Brava, with a menu of playful, modern European dishes such as beef tar-tar-tlet with oyster, rye and olive, and a black truffle “croissant” with eggplant, brussels sprouts, charred onion and miso-pumpkin puree.

Scallops at Stiltsville Fish Bar
Sample local seafood like scallops at Stiltsville Fish Bar

Jeff McInnis & Janine Booth

Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth are both alumni of Bravo’s “Top Chef.” They’re the power couple behind the wildly popular Stilstville Fish Bar in South Beach’s Sunset Harbour neighborhood. Drawing on their Southern hospitality roots, they dish up fresh-caught, local seafood and hearty, crave-worthy dishes such as sweet corn spoon bread made with buttermilk cream, and lobster lumache (shell-shaped pasta) and cheese. The couple have expanded their reach to the mainland, in South Miami, where they run a pair of side-by-side restaurants that share a courtyard seating area. Root & Bone showcases Southern flavors, while Mi'talia Kitchen and Bar offers a modern twist on Italian cuisine.

Ghee Indian Kitchen
Ghee Indian Kitchen has a frequently changing menu of dishes

Niven Patel

Chef Niven Patel, who previously worked with Chef Michael Schwartz, owns Ghee Indian Kitchen in Kendall’s Downtown Dadeland complex, with a menu featuring ingredients grown on his own farm, dubbed Rancho Patel. The frequently changing menu features Indian dishes such as spicy papaya salad, chicken tikka masala and turmeric-marinated local fish with creamy coconut curry. Sample many of the menu highlights with the three-course, family-style chef’s tasting menu. Chef Patel recently opened Mamey Miami in the THesis Hotel Miami, right across from the University of Miami in Coral Gables. At this restaurant, he uses produce from Rancho Patel and focuses on flavors from Asia and the Caribbean.

Steak at Chef Adrianne's
Chef Adrianne's Vineyard Restaurant has become an institution in Kendall 

Adrianne Calvo

Chicago-born chef Adrianne Calvo graduated from the prestigious Johnson & Wales University before landing in Napa Valley to intern with famed chefs Thomas Keller and Cindy Pawlcyn. At just 22, Calvo launched Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar, which has become a West Kendall institution since opening in 2007. The restaurant marries the eponymous chef’s Cuban heritage with her passion for farm-to-table cooking. Her specialties include corvina prepared with Sicilian pistachio and truffle butter, New Zealand rack of lamb demi-glace and Niman Ranch pork tenderloin with chimichurri and au jus. Not content to stop there, she opened the Cracked by Chef Adrianne Food Truck, which later became a brick-and-mortar restaurant in South Miami in 2019. Cracked specializes in over-the-top comfort food creations. Calvo also runs Red Fish by Chef Adrianne inside historic Matheson Hammock Park in Coral Gables, with a menu centered on fresh-caught fish and seafood. The setting, in a coral rock building right on Biscayne Bay, is majestic. The chef’s latest concept is Forte, a 260-seat indoor-outdoor restaurant on Miracle Mile in Coral Gables. It’s named in honor of her Sicilian mother’s maiden name.

Macchialina dish
Macchialina serves rustic-yet-sophisticated Italian dishes

Michael Pirolo

Chef Michael Pirolo has won awards and rave reviews since opening Macchialina with his partner, Jen Chaefsky, and sister, Jacqueline Pirolo, in South Beach in 2012. The chef has been a semi-finalist for the coveted regional best chef award from the James Beard Foundation. Macchialina has developed a loyal following with its menu of rustic-yet-sophisticated Italian dishes such as cavatelli Macchialina with baby meatballs, porchetta and pecorino; veal Milanese; and rotating daily specials.

The Bazaar by José Andrés
Philippe Starck designed chandelier inside The Bazaar by José Andrés

International Celebrity Chefs

José Andrés

The gregarious Spanish chef and activist José Andrés has long had a footprint in Greater Miami & Miami Beach with The Bazaar by José Andrés inside the dazzling SLS South Beach. Crowned with an elaborate seashell-encrusted chandelier designed by Philippe Starck, the restaurant specializes in Spanish tapas with an avant-garde twist. Highlights include tacos made with Iberico ham and caviar; tiny, light-as-air Cubano sandwiches created with molecular gastronomy techniques but inspired by Little Havana’s iconic Versailles restaurant; and smoked oysters. 

Avocado pizza at Matador
The Avocado pizza at Matador Room

Jean-Georges Vongerichten

One of the world’s most successful and prolific celebrity chefs, Jean-Georges Vongerichten helms the food and beverage programming at The Miami Beach EDITION, including the fine dining pan-Latin and Caribbean restaurant, Matador Room, and the more-casual Market restaurant. At Matador Room, delight in everything from an avocado or black truffle pizza to black grouper tacos and roasted snapper. At Market, enjoy fresh pastas, salads, pizza and an excellent raw bar.

Stripsteak by Michael Mina
Dry-aged bone in ribeye at Stripsteak by Michael Mina

Michael Mina

Celebrity Chef Michael Mina has put his Midas touch on a pair of restaurants at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. Stripsteak by Michael Mina is a classic fine-dining steakhouse with a luxurious, clubby atmosphere. Start with a seafood tower from the raw bar with perfectly chilled lobster, shrimp, oysters and king crab. Then, select anything from roasted chicken to dry-aged bone-in ribeye to filet mignon. His other venture at the hotel is the subterranean lounge, Burger, with a more laid-back vibe and casual fare that’s equally delicious. You can also enjoy his signature chops and duck fat fries at Bourbon Steak Miami at the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa in Aventura.

Boulud Sud
French cuisine with a Mediterranean twist at Boulud Sud. Photo by Kirchberger Photography.

Daniel Boulud

Chef Daniel Boulud brings a Mediterranean twist to his classical French cuisine at Boulud Sud at the JW Marriott Marquis in Downtown Miami. The menu includes grilled chicken breast, Catalan grilled skirt steak, butter-poached lobster risotto and octopus a la plancha. Housed inside a chic, high-ceilinged dining room, it’s the perfect place for a power lunch or romantic dinner.

Edge Steak and Bar
EDGE Steak & Bar focuses on seasonal ingredients

Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks comes to Miami by way of Australia. Brooks has been executive chef at EDGE Steak & Bar at Brickell’s Four Seasons Hotel Miami since 2011. With a focus on seasonal ingredients, Brooks operates this all-day restaurant that’s known for its house-cured charcuterie and carefully selected filets and chops. Try the Australian Wagyu churrasco or the Aussie lamb chops with a side of truffle mashed potato.