Francisco Anton, Chef/Owner, Cardón y el Tirano
A native of Isla Margarita, Venezuela, Chef Francisco Anton moved to the U.S. when he was 16 years old. After growing up between Louisiana and earning a business degree in Orlando, he decided to follow his passion for cooking and went to live and work in NYC. After stints in Brooklyn and Manhattan, he came into his own under Maximo Tejada who taught him how to merge his flare for Latin cuisine with French technique. After a few years, Chef Anton moved to Miami and, before opening Cardón y el Tirano, worked alongside Michael Shikany at SHIKANY and was also heavily recruited to work with Alex Chang at the Vagabond. Instead of continuing on a path of working for others, however, Chef Anton decided to follow his dreams and open his own restaurant, offering a contemporary take on more traditional menus from all over Latin America.
Brian Nasajon, Executive Chef/Owner, Beaker & Gray
A Miami native, Brian Nasajon was born into a family where a love of food and an appreciation of culinary arts were household values. Exposed to global flavors as a young boy, Chef Nasajon’s favorite memories include observing his grandfather’s every move as he expertly grilled asado – a staple of any Uruguayan household.
Santiago Gomez de la Fuente, Executive Chef, Cantina La Veinte
Cantina La Veinte’s Executive Chef, Santiago Gomez de la Fuente, is a talented young toque who offers a playful, yet sophisticated approach to traditional Mexican cuisine. His dishes reflect his passion for taking the rich offerings of Mexico’s agriculture and transforming them into contemporary masterpieces.
Cristian Cuevas, Executive Chef, BTW
As executive chef at BTW (Burger Taco Whiskey), Cristian Cuevas has infused his culinary background and extensive experience as a member of the 50 Eggs family into the menu of classic street food at the South Beach destination. Cristian started out with 50 Eggs as a line cook and then sous chef at Yardbird before helping open Khong River House as chef de cuisine. Prior to taking the helm at BTW, Cristian also served as the chef de cuisine at Swine Southern Table & Bar.
Michael Shikany, CEO, SHIKANY Hospitality
If you’ve missed Chef Michael Shikany as much as we have since his eponymous SHIKANY abruptly closed earlier this year, don’t fret because Miami’s maven of modernist cuisine is coming back soon, in a big way. Although he’s keeping his lips sealed regarding the opening of his next restaurant venture – Algorithm – he’s dropping hints on Instagram and picking up steam on the Miami scene yet again, beginning with next month’s FLIPANY Chefs Up Front event at the Biltmore.
Kareem Anguin, Executive Chef, The Oceanaire Seafood Room
In this edition of Chef’s Corner we’re highlighting Chef Kareem Anguin of The Oceanaire Seafood Room. When we met Chef Kareem we were completely smitten by his cool Caribbean vibes. As a native of Jamaica, Chef Kareem’s Caribbean influence can be easily seen across all his signature dishes at Oceanaire, which have an exotic flair of herbs and spices.
Ryan Martin, Chef/Owner, 180 Degrees @ the DRB
Chef Ryan Martin, a native of Longmeadow, MA, began his love with food and cooking at age 13. He attended George Washington University in Washington, DC before moving to Manhattan where he received his formal culinary training at the former French Culinary Institute, which is now known as the International Culinary Center.
Najat Kaanache, Partner/Chef, Piripi
Chef Najat Kaanache was raised amid the natural beauty and pure simplicity of her family’s olive and wheat fields in the Spanish Pyrenees and Moroccan Atlas. Along her inspired journey through the world of gastronomy, Chef Najat has worked elbow to elbow with an astounding array of master chefs and artists. Trained in legendary Michelin 3-star restaurants El Bulli, Noma, The French Laundry, Per Se, and Alinea, she developed a firm conviction that food is the most important connections humans have with the Earth. Chef Najat’s magically unique and creative approach toward food and cooking has garnered international respect and, only a few short months ago, she brought that flare here to Miami when she opened Piripi at the Village of Merrick Park in Coral Gables.
Jay Lam, Executive Chef, Green Plate Asian Bistro
Remember that time we told you all about Green Plate and how it transformed Mel’s perception of Doral? Well the man behind the Green Plate menu took some time off his incredibly busy schedule to chat with us about his restaurant. The brains behind the Green Plate operation is up-and-coming Chef, Jay Lam. Chef Lam is one part Southern, one part Asian and one part Miami, making for an eclectic and exciting influence in his kitchen. He trained for almost a decade in kitchens across Asia to bring an authentic experience to Green Plate that he could then fuse with other cultures in his kitchen. His ultimate goal? Give food lovers a farm to grill, sea to table dinning experience that innovative, creative and fun. Read on to learn more about Chef Lam and Green Plate.
Nicole Votano, Executive Chef, Fooq’s
Chef Nicole Votano grew up in London, Italy, and France, and attended high school in San Francisco and Hawaii. Her lifetime of travels and global experiences have only found their way into her eclectic cooking styles, which specialize in French, Italian, and Asian flavors. Upon graduating from the French Culinary Institute in NYC, Chef Nicole moved back to San Francisco to work in the kitchens of Kimpton Group’s French brasserie Grand Café and Bradley Ogden’s restaurant One Market.