Miami's Notable Celebrity Chefs And Restaurateurs

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By: Shayne Benowitz

The talent pool runs deep in Miami when it comes to celebrity chefs. From international superstars to homegrown heroes, there are plenty of Miami restaurants helmed by some of the hottest chefs in the culinary world today. Make your reservations now for a dining experience you won’t forget.

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Michael Schwartz

When Michael Schwartz opened Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in the Design District in 2006, he single-handedly ushered in Miami’s farm-to-table movement, earning him a James Beard Award. The cozy, yet chic restaurant specializes in a well-rounded seasonal menu featuring everything from dry aged black angus bone-in ribeye to oven whole roasted snapper and pesto pizza. The fashionable neighborhood grew up around the restaurant and Schwartz went on to open Harry’s Pizzeria a few blocks away with additional locations in Coconut Grove, where he’s also opened the café Tigertail + Mary.

    Jeremy Ford

    With a Top Chef win under his belt and a run as chef de cuisine at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Matador Room at The Miami Beach EDITION, Chef Jeremy Ford is at the helm of South Beach’s Stubborn Seed, an intimate 74-seat restaurant in the SoFi district boasting elaborate tasting menus. Inventive plates include blackfin tuna tartare, confit duck, and iberico ham & roasted beets. For a more casual introduction to Ford’s cuisine, you can also sample his flavors at the newly opened Time Out Market near Lincoln Road.

      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 Miami. Specializing in inventive fusion cuisine with a Latin flare, Mendin has gone on to open the wildly popular Pubbelly Sushi in neighborhoods stretching from Aventura to Kendall. The James Beard Award semifinalist’s latest project La Placita draws inspiration from his native Puerto Rico.

        Bradley Kilgore

        Named Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine, Bradley Kilgore is one of Miami’s most original culinary stars. His sophisticated  Wynwood eatery Alter was a semifinalist for the James Beard Award’s Best New Restaurant. 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. He’s recently taken the Design District by storm with the Japanese cocktail lounge Kaido and the wood-fired American bistro Ember. Kilgore also helms the Arsht Center’s onsite fine dining restaurant Brava.

          Jeff McInnis & Janine Booth

          Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth are both Bravo Top Chef alum and the power couple behind the wildly popular Stilstville Fish Bar in South Beach’s Sunset Harbour neighborhood. Drawing on Southern hospitality roots, they dish up fresh-caught, local seafood and hearty, crave-worthy dishes like sweet corn spoon bread made with buttermilk cream and lobster lumache & cheese. Booth is a James Beard Award Rising Star Chef of the Year semifinalist and the couple’s next project is a forthcoming Italian eatery in South Dade.

            Niven Patel

            An alum of Michael’s Genuine, Chef Niven Patel originally opened Ghee Indian Kitchen in Dadeland with a second location in the Design District soon to follow. Sourcing produce from his restaurant-owned farm, dubbed Rancho Patel, and working with local fisherman, the menu changes constantly to reflect the freshest ingredients. A sophisticated take on Indian cuisine, menu highlights include crispy cauliflower, chicken tikka masala and roasted pork vindaloo. A great way to enjoy a meal here is with the three-course, family-style chef’s tasting menu.

              Adrianne Calvo

              A South Dade institution since it opened in 2007, Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar marries the eponymous chef’s Miami-Cuban heritage with her passion for farm-to-table cooking gleaned from an apprenticeship in Napa Valley early in her career. 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. Her extensive wine list highlights California estates including Duckhorn, Newton and Coppola and Zagat dubbed the spot Miami’s Most Romantic Restaurant.

                International Celebrity Chefs

                José Andrés

                The flamboyant Spanish chef and activist José Andrés has long had a footprint in Miami with The Bazaar by Jose Andres 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. Think, tacos made with Iberico ham and caviar, tiny, light-as-air Cubano sandwich made with molecular techniques inspired by Little Havana’s iconic Versailles restaurant and smoked oysters.
                Photo of Chef José Andrés is courtesy of Scott Suchman.

                  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.

                    Michael Mina

                    San Francisco-based celebrity Chef Michael Mina has put his Midas touch on a pair of restaurants at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. Stripsteak by Michael Mina is your classic fine dining steakhouse inside 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 Pizza & Burger with a more laidback vibe and casual fare that’s equally delicious. You can also enjoy his signature chops and duck fat fries at Bourbon Steak at the JW Marriott Turnberry in Aventura.

                      Daniel Boulud

                      Bringing a Mediterranean twist to his classical French cuisine, French Chef Daniel Boulud recently introduced Boulud Sud to 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.
                      Photo of Chef Daniel Boulud is courtesy of Kirchberger Photography.

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