Local Chefs We Love
Miami’s food scene is booming, we’ve well established that already. But the vibrant spectrum of flavors and dishes are due in all parts to the men and women who are behind creating them. These chefs are the culinary soldiers building our city’s food presence up to world-class levels. Many of these visionaries are pure-bred locals, some of them are proud transplants, and others have become synonimous with Miami’s culinary identity. As Miami’s first food hall, it’s our duty to spotlight these artists so get to know a few of our favorites:
The talented transplant has hit about every big name in the food industry, from serving as head chef at the legendary Jean-Georges, to playing a large part in Zuma’s asian-fusion creations. In Miami, he’s made a name for himself as the master of the orient, co-founding the now Wynwood staple: KYU.
What we love the most about Chef Santana is how real his culinary story is. From web developer to food hobby, he quickly soared to great heights locally jumping from Freehand and The Broken Shaker to opening his own, incredibly popular taco spot: Taquiza. Taste his unparalleled blue corn at our food hall this fall.
Chef Beltran is one of those people who instantly makes you feel like a friend through his food. He’s been behind many local favorites, working with local heavy-hitter Michael Schwartz and playing a key role at Cypress Room, Beltran is now the powerhouse behind Baby Jane in Brickell and Ariete in Coconut Grove.
She’s of local Cuban royalty, her family being the powers behind the Miami pantheon Islas Canarias. After successfully running her own Cuban food truck concept along with her brother Jon, CubanCube, she brought her talents to Kendall with a fusion of Cuban, Peruvian, and Korean with the now local go-to: FINKA Table + Tap.
But most locals know him as the moniker behind some of Miami’s most delicious Thai food: Cake Thai Kitchen. After having a successful neighborhood joint in Miami’s Eastside, Chef Cake partnered with restauranteur Javier Ramirez to expand the concept and bring it to our arts district for the now staple: Cake Thai Wynwood.
A man of many talents, Chef Rapicavoli catapulted into national acclaim after winning an episode of “Chopped,” easily one of the most addictive culinary shows ever. After running the successful Eating House pop-up which became a full-time spot (unsurprisingly), his Coconut Grove venture Glass & Vine has expanded his gastronomic talents while sticking with his trademark homegrown flare.
Another international powerhouse, Chef Bachour has been named one of the top 10 pastry chefs in America and with good reason. Working at big name spots like J&G Grill at the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort, and Quattro, Bachour headed the Bachour Bakery + Bistro and is now going to lead our sweets and desserts department at The Citadel.
Chef Kilgore quickly rose to culinary royalty in Miami after opening and successfully executing the now world-famous Alter in Wynwood. But many Miamians know him for his long-standing commitment to helping Miami’s underprivileged youth and also acting as the culinary director at The Adrienne Arsht Center.