Chefs You Should Know: A Taste of Downtown Miami
Miami has long since been home to a lively and spirited culinary scene. Numerous world-renowned chefs helm restaurants in The Magic City, feeding off the naturally vibrant pulse of the pastel metropolis. And with new condominiums in Brickell and the surrounding environs rising at an impressive clip, the area is exploding with culinary intrigue, and luckily, this fascination is matched by a vast array of premiere culinary talent. Here's a guide of some of the best chefs in Brickell:
Sam Gorenstein is quite the wunderkind. At only 30 years old, Gorenstein has achieved more already than most chefs do in a lifetime. With experience under his belt at prestigious eateries in New York and Miami, not to mention a James Beard nomination for Best Young Chef, Gorenstein decided to go at it alone in 2012, opening the first location of his now acclaimed seafood restaurant My Ceviche. Following the overwhelming success of his My Ceviche's first locale, in 2013 Gorenstein opened a second location in Brickell. My Ceviche is essentially a seafood shack, low-key and decidedly un-stuffy, focusing entirely on the food it serves. Gorenstein serves some of the freshest, most inventive and well-prepared fish you'll find anywhere. His impressive culinary skills landed him The 2013 Best Chef in Miami award, which is one of the first in a lauded and acclaimed career.
Australian-born Aaron Brooks is the head chef of the exceptional Edge Steak & Bar in Brickell, and is one of the most versatile chefs in Miami. Like others on this list, Brooks is highly dedicated to using the freshest ingredients available, and this farm-to-table approach lends a unique vibrancy to all his dishes. His preparations of the steak he serves is undoubtedly first-class, seared, and cooked to perfection, but what sets Brooks apart from the crowd is his skilled hand at seafood and vegetable preparation. Brooks’ unflinching dedication to freshness paired with his significant culinary acumen cements his place as one of the best chefs in Miami.
Jeffrey Chen, the owner and executive chef at Brickell's Momi Ramen, is held in high regard within the ever-expanding world of Ramen—and for good reason. Since opening in 2012, Chen's reputation—as well as Momi Ramen's—has skyrocketed, with the eatery now unanimously considered the best Ramen restaurant in Miami. Chen concentrated all of his efforts on the Ramen itself, painstakingly perfecting his dishes so every flavor is as robust or subtle as it should be. While the spotlight rightfully shines bright on the Ramen itself, Chen also serves up a limited number of nuanced and flavorful dishes that are prepared and cooked to absolute perfection. Chen's meticulous nature and skilled attention to detail results in some of the best Ramen dishes anywhere.
Every city seems to have those small hidden gems that evoke whispers and quiet excitement. Those unassuming spaces, which are set back a bit from the main strip, are the real hidden culinary treasures of the area. Kevin Cory's Naoe is exactly that: a small, beautifully intimate Japanese restaurant that serves up some of the most robust and finely-prepared seafood in Downtown Miami. Naoe is Omasake-style which means Cory chooses the lineup that comprises the menu each night, building the dishes around the freshest ingredients he is able to procure on that day. His deft hand and keen control over ingredients results in uniquely polished dishes that are sophisticated, serene and busting with flavor. As new condos are developed in Downtown Miami, there will certainly be increased demand for these small hidden utopias. Kevin Cory's Naoe fills that role perfectly.