Miami Tastemaker – Matt Kuscher

We’re starting a new series this week on #MMTM that parallels our Chef’s Corner series. Aptly named Miami Tastemaker, this series will showcase the people in Miami who are sometimes behind-the-scenes but have equal culinary force as some of the more renowned chefs in our town. As Miami continues to experience a rising and promising food scene, these people are the drive behind some of our city’s most innovative food concepts.

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If you’re not slurping, you’re doing it wrong…

As a lover of Ramen (and, no, I’m not talking about the microwave stuff we all used to eat in college), Momi Ramen had been on my radar for a while. Maybe it was the mixed Yelp reviews or the somewhat inflated prices, but for some reason the place just never made it to the top of my list. Subconsciously I think I didn’t want to be let down by another faux-Japanese restaurant in Miami. I mean, what’s with all the Thai-Japanese restaurants in this town anyway? Those cuisines and cultures have nothing to do with each other! But, I digress…

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Foodie Friday – St. Patrick’s Day Edition

You made it to Friday! And the entirely good news is that this Monday won’t suck nearly as much as other past weeks because it’s Saint Patrick’s Day (a.k.a let’s all pretend we have Irish roots and drink insane amount of booze). We’re pretty much on board with all drinking holidays (responsibly, of course!) To celebrate the luck of the Irish, we’ve dedicated this week’s Foodie Friday to all things St. Patrick’s (and a few events taking place this weekend around Miami) enjoy!

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Jumpin’ Jive

The food truck craze seems to have hit a point of saturation. We see them everywhere and as Mitch mentioned here, it looks like the trend seems to have plateaued. So when I came across a food truck that actually caught my attention and had me inspecting the menu with utter detail, I knew I had hit turkey jackpot…. sans Thanksgiving.

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Chef’s Corner – Carlos Navarez

Carlos Navarez, Head Chef, Imperia
Chef Carlos Navarez has been named the head chef at the newly launched Imperia Miami. The restaurant hosts a hybrid concept that caters to the hustle and bustle of Downtown Miami during business hours, but also offers the coveted nightlife experience that Miami is so famously known for. He was trained at the culinary program at Monroe College in Bronx, NY in 2004, and after a few years of culinary experience, Chef Navarez landed the lead Grill Chef at Peter Luger Steakhouse, which was acclaimed by Food Network at one point “Americas Best Steakhouse.”  Other notable gigs for Chef Navrez include Lead Cook at David Burke & Donatella and Sous Chef at one of the top 5 grossing restaurants in America by Zagat, Blue Water Grill.

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Foodie Friday

Fridays always make everything brighter and better. It’s the same way we feel about food. Food always makes life easier…tastier. Do you have any fun plans this weekend? We’ll be roaming the streets of our dear city in search of an awesome restaurant to share with you.

Here are a few links from around the web to get you excited.

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Lekoké is A-OK

Let’s be honest here people. Contrary to popular belief, Calle 8 is not a hotbed of modern culture. Sure they’ve got some historical mainstays (i.e. Versailles), artistic activities (i.e. Viernes Cultural) and even some up-and-coming hotspots (i.e. Azucar Ice Cream Company), but those are few and far between compared to the joyerias, check cashing stores and peluquerías. Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some Calle 8 (and don’t want any hate mail), but the perceived hub of Latin society in our city could use an upgrade.

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Dinner at The Dome

The Dome is a quiet, quaint and unassuming spot in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Miracle Mile. If you’re not looking, you’re bound to miss it. The concept is based on sustainability, and it is the first and only LEED Certified restaurant that you’ll find in Coral Gables. To go along with its green accolades, The Dome hosts an impressive menu of Latin fusion cuisine and bespoke cocktails. When visiting The Dome, you’ll find menus on iPads and a plethora of weeknight specials (think Wednesday’s Art Night with a selection of $5 bar bites or Karaoke Fridays with $1 champagne for the ladies and reverse happy hour, among many more.)

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Foodie Friday

Kids, that’s a wrap for February. Can you believe that tomorrow is March 1st? WTF! For our friends up north that means spring might finally come to the rescue. For us in Miami, that means we can officially start thinking beach and summer, and even better, summer food! Perhaps we’re being a tad bit premature, but in no time our weather is bound to get really, really warm. We’ll try not get ahead of ourselves, and maybe hone in on March holidays like St. Patricks Day, where we find an excuse to drink green beer for our non-Irish ancestors. In the meantime, here’s link of fun foodie links around the internet.

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Chef’s Corner – Nina Compton

Nina Compton, Chef de Cuisine, Scarpetta
A native of St. Lucia, Chef Nina Compton has trained in French, Caribbean and Italian kitchens (and she’s also a  fellow Sandals alumna). She has worked under renowned Chef Daniel Boulud and now lives in Miami where she is the Chef de Cuisine for acclaimed chef Scott Conant at Scarpetta at the Fontainebleau on Miami Beach. A self-proclaimed “gnocchi queen,” Nina always keeps Maldon salt, good olive oil, lemon, calabrese chilies, and either pancetta or guanciale on hand. Nina strongly believes one should enjoy the moment whenever they are cooking, a belief that was recently put into practice during her time on Bravo’s hit cooking competition show, Top Chef. Nina did Miami extremely proud, coming in as the first runner up as well as being named the show’s “Fan Favorite.”

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