On this month’s edition of #FoodieFriends, we’re highlighting one of our favorite Miami influencers, Marvin Tapia also known as Mr. Miami Marvin. Marvin has aptly become Mr. Miami for very good reason, he’s consistently well informed on all things sunny and bright in Miami, documenting the latest trends in food, music and culture. Apart from his cool demeanor, Marvin is indicative of “curiosity meets cool.” He documents his adventures across our city on both his Twitter and Instagram accounts for our viewing pleasure. Marvin is the equivalent of a real-time feed of Miami’s most happening events, always in the know of the best restaurant openings, specials and of course hidden gems.
Juanita Butler, Food & Beverage Manager, WunderBar at the Circa 39 Hotel
As the Food & Beverage Manager of the Circa39 Hotel, Juanita Butler pairs her passion for craft cocktails, fine wines and culinary arts with her vast expertise in hospitality management and excellent customer service.
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.
Santiago “Santi” Cardona is a name you might not know, but you should. As a writer (see Miami Culinary Tours, Haute Dining), baker (check him out on Instagram and at Buttercream Cupcakes & Coffee), and restaurant industry veteran (having worked at Lokal and Kush), he’s pretty much a renaissance man of the Miami food scene. Most importantly, however, Santi is just an all around nice guy and we couldn’t be more thrilled to share some insights into his background and Miami food picks with you in this month’s #FoodieFriends interview. May also happens to be Santi’s birthday month so be sure to wish him a happy belated!
Misha Kuryla-Gomez, Founder, Misha’s Cupcakes
Perfect for the day after Mother’s Day, we’re getting to know Miami’s Queen of Cupcakes, Misha Kuryla-Gomez. Misha could be considered Miami’s ultimate “mom-preneur.” Misha, whose parents are from Mexico and Peru, was born and raised in Miami and graduated from Coral Gables Senior High. After college at UPenn and grad school at UM, she traveled abroad to Florence, Italy, where she honed her marketing and customer service skills, but more importantly began to discover her love for baking when she would make American desserts for her friends. However, it was not until after the birth of her first child in 2005 that she found her true calling for baking. As Misha was wrapping up her maternity leave, she heard about Sprinkles cupcake bakery, and thought, “I can do that!” So, she started baking – and hasn’t stopped!
Brady Lowe, President & Creative Director, Taste Network
Brady Lowe was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa and received his B.A. from the University of Iowa. He currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia but spends most of his time on the road… tasting his way across the country while promoting great products, whole animals, grape clusters and the niche farm movement.
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.