Chef’s Corner – Dena Marino

Dena Marino, Chef/Partner, MC Kitchen
Chef Dena Marino debuted MC Kitchen in Miami’s Design District back in 2012. The cuisine speaks to her rustic Italian approach, showcasing modern techniques through the use of seasonal organic ingredients, house-cured meats and sausages as well as house-made cheeses and pastas. Hailing from Aspen, she was celebrated for her work at the hot spots D19, Ellina and Ajax Tavern, and has received accolades from the likes of Aspen Magazine, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Gourmet, and Wine Spectator. She has also appeared on a number of food TV shows, most notably as a challenger to Masaharu Morimoto on Iron Chef America.

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Chef’s Corner – Ryan Harrison

Ryan Harrison, Chef de Cuisine, Taperia Raca
New Jersey native Chef Ryan Harrison always had a hunger for impeccable food. At an early age, he set forth on a mission to become an influential part of the restaurant industry and has been on quite a remarkable culinary journey in the process. A graduate of CIA, Chef Harrison has worked alongside and received guidance from some of the country’s best chefs, including Chef John Besh, Chef  Michael Mina, and Chef Jason Cichonski.

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Chef’s Corner – Jamie DeRosa

Jamie DeRosa, Chef/Owner, Tongue & Cheek
Chef Jamie DeRosa fell in love with cooking as a child, making paella with his grandmother. Those hours spent learning her tricks and picking up the basics of simple, rustic cooking laid the groundwork for a passion that would take him as a young adult to Johnson & Wales University in Miami. In addition to his formal schooling, Chef DeRosa has also received some amazing on-the-job training from many of the country’s best chefs, including James Beard award-winners Allen Susser and Wolfgang Puck; Master Chef Joachim Splichal; and Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian. Chef DeRosa opened Tongue & Cheek on South Beach in April of 2013 and, just over one year later, thanks to the approachable, ingredient-driven, American menu it continues to be one of the city’s go-to culinary hotspots.

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Chef’s Corner – Alan Hughes

Alan Hughes, Chef/Owner, The Embassy of Well Being and Debauchery
The passion for food has been inherent in Alan Hughes since childhood; from the early beginnings working as an apprentice with Argentina’s premier chef Francis Mallmann to the international kitchens of Europe and the Americas. Never one for conformation, Chef Alan is always on a quest for continuous education, learning new trends and techniques along the way. Chef Alan recently opened The Embassy of Well Being and Debauchery, a gastropub located in Buena Vista East just north of the Design District. However, Chef Alan is more than just a chef extraordinaire with mad catering skills. He’s also a wine aficionado, world traveler, international man of mystery, fierce rocker, singer-songwriter, guitar player, artist and overall extreme character.

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Chef’s Corner – Adrianne Calvo

Adrianne Calvo, Chef/Owner, Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar
Filled with the love for food at a young age, Adrianne Calvo focused her efforts on her one true aspiration: Gourmet cuisine. At age 30, Chef Adrianne is owning and operating her own restaurant, Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar; has published two cookbooks, Maximum Flavor and Driven by Flavor Fueled by Fire; appears on a weekly TV segment on NBC6’s Live Miami; and has participated on Food Network’s original series Chopped. In 2013, she was awarded “Restaurant of the Year” by Miami Magazine’s People’s Choice Award, named Cordon D’Or’s “Chef of the Year,” and was a winning chef at a national culinary competition by Alluette and Il de France. Not too shabby! Along with her accolades, Chef Adrianne has been able to give back to the community through her Make It Count Foundation, collaborating with St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital to help children suffering from cancer.

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Chef’s Corner – Chef Bee

Piyarat Potha Arreeratn (aka “Chef Bee”), Oishi Thai
Chef Bee was born in the small town of Ban Sankhohiang in Northern Thailand, on the Laos and Myanmar border. Atthe age of 18 he moved to the United States to study at the University of Central Florida in Orlando after which he decided to move to Miami to pursue his passion for cooking. Having no formal experience, he worked his way up the ladder, getting his start in the restaurant industry as a dishwasher, a busboy, and a foodrunner at several Miami area restaurants before landing a sushi chef position at Nobu. Since then, Chef Bee has not looked back and opened his own restaurant, Oishi Thai, in 2005 in North Miami. The restaurant – as well as Chef Bee – quickly became a favorite of diners and critics alike and has received a variety of accolades, including placements on the Miami New Times “Best of Miami” and CitySearch’s  “Best Miami Thai Food” lists; a number one rating in the esteemed Zagat Guide; and three and a half stars from the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

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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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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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Chef’s Corner – David Sears

David Sears, Executive Chef, Sushi Samba Coral Gables
A while back, we shared with you guys the amazing experience we had at Sushi Samba Coral Gables. With a glowing review, we decided to further explore the magic behind the kitchen and have a Q & A with Chef David Sears, who’s leading all culinary efforts at the new Coral Gables hotspot. Sears may be the new head honcho in charge, but he’s no newbie to the culinary world. He’s an established chef who’s led the team at Temple Orange at the Ritz Carlton Palm Beach as Chef de Cuisine and was crowned winner of the reality TV chef series, Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell on the Food Network; all this among a series of other well-deserved accolades under his belt.

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