Miami Tastemaker – Kiko Suarez

Kiko Suarez —
Host, Que Riko con Kiko

Roberto “Kiko” Suarez is the host of Que Riko con Kiko, an in-depth look of delicious food to enjoy. The segment airs every Friday on Telemundo 51’s 5AM, 6AM, and 11PM hours, as well as on NBC 6 every Tuesday  at 11:30AM. A larger-than-life Cuban teddy bear, Kiko brings everything “riko” (i.e. good, delicious, and fun) to your TV, featuring hot restaurants, menu items, chef interviews, and pure awesomeness. He also also produces the Emmy-nominated A la Carta with Mariana Rodriguez, which highlights some of the best restaurants and cuisine in South Florida.

In celebration of National Burger Month this month, Kiko has always partnered up with the folks at Pinch Kitchen to develop his own burger collab. Kiko’s burger will be available all week this week (through Sunday) for lunch and brunch alongside the classic Pinch Burger.

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Miami Tastemaker – Dorothee Rubin

Dorothee Rubin —
Les Dames d’Escoffier, Miami Chapter

A passionate international entrepreneur, Dorothee Rubin enjoys the success and challenges of diverse businesses. Throughout her career she was worked as a developer/builder, farmer, USDA food producer, art dealer, culinary historian, culinary arts instructor, and as an enthusiastic volunteer in multiple charities. In addition to all that, she splits her time between Miami and Paris (along with her husband), was a childhood friend of Julia Child (!!!), and now serves as President of the Miami Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, an international, invitational service organization comprised of professional women in food, beverage, farming, and hospitality whose goals are education, advocacy and philanthropy.

The Miami chapter’s dynamic membership includes bakers, caterers, chefs, consultants, cooking teachers, farmers, food stylists, home economists, journalists, publicists, restaurateurs, retailers, specialty purveyors, and winemakers. This Sunday, they will be hosting their 9th Annual Tropical Brunch at Pinecrest Gardens featuring a stellar lineup of Dames caterers, chefs, hospitality teachers, farmers, and restaurants owners. Tickets are still available and cost $50 per adult and $25 for young adults, ages 10-16 years old. Children under 10 are free.

Before you enjoy Sunday’s brunch, learn a little bit more about Dorothee below…

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Miami Tastemaker – Zia Yusuf

Zia Yusuf is the co-founder and co-CEO of Velocity, the leading premier digital hospitality service providing users with direct access to a curated selection of the world’s best dining experiences. Originally established in London in 2014, the mobile app is now dually headquartered in New York and has expanded to several other cities in the U.S. including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami.

Prior to Velocity, Yusuf was an executive director at Goldman Sachs. His experience as a valuable member of the equities department provided him with the skills to identify key ingredients that make successful business and how to enhance their bottom lines.

Yusuf currently spends his time in between London and New York. We recently caught up with him to learn a little more about Velocity and why he set his sights on the Miami market.

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Miami Tastemaker – Jeff Latulippe

Jeff Latulippe, Co-Founder & General Manager, DIRT
Jeff is a former Wall Street private equity executive and a health enthusiast who after embracing a healthy lifestyle lost a third of his body weight. After years of helping others successfully grow their business, he got the entrepreneurial bug and decided to pursue his passion of healthy eating with his own venture. We met Jeff a few weeks back when we dropped by DIRT to check out their much talked-about menu. He was attentive and incredibly detailed about DIRT’s seasonal menu, locally sourced ingredients and nutritional value. He’s one of the reason we love coming to DIRT so much and why we approached him about participating in our Tastemakers series.

Read more to learn about the DIRT menu from the founder himself in the interview below. You’ll discover what talent he’d most like to have and why pizza makes the top of the extravagance list. 

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Miami Tastemaker – Adam Garfield

Adam Garfield, Co-Founder & CEO, SpeedETab
Born and raised in Miami, Adam is a University of Florida alum that moved to Boston for work in the corporate finance sector. Frustrated with poor customer service at bars and restaurants, Adam and his co-founder, Ed Gilmore, set out to build SpeedETab in late 2013. As CEO, Adam oversees and directs the overall management and strategic responsibility for the company as well as operational, staffing, and fundraising efforts. ​

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Miami Tastemaker – Misha Kuryla-Gomez

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!

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Miami Tastemaker – Brady Lowe

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.

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Miami Tastemaker – Evan Benn

Evan Benn, Food & Restaurants Editor, Miami Herald and
Evan Benn was born and raised in York, Pa., and graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in 2004. He covered breaking news, crime, courts, hurricanes and other stories for the Miami Herald from 2004-2009, when he moved to St. Louis, where his wife, Teri, was in her medical residency. He wrote about food and beer as an editor and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch from 2009-2013. While in St. Louis, Evan wrote a book, “Brew in the Lou,” about the city’s beer history and present scene. He rejoined the Herald and became food editor in April 2014. Evan occasionally freelances food-and-drink stories for Beer Advocate, Bloomberg Businessweek and Esquire, among other publications.

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Miami Tastemaker – Jen Karetnick

Jen Karetnick, Food-Travel Writer, Poet/Author, Educator
Freelance writer, poet and educator Jen Karetnick works as a dining critic for MIAMI magazine, is a blogger for Virgin Atlantic Airways, and contributes to many outlets including, Aventura Magazine, Food Arts,,, Southern Living, and USA Today, among others. In addition, she is also the Creative Writing Director for grades 6-12 at Miami Arts Charter School, has published poetry, prose and playwriting in a variety of different journals, and is the author of numerous books from travel guides to recipe compilations. Most recently her first solo cookbook, Mango, was released by University Press of Florida.

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Miami Tastemaker – Alvaro Perez Miranda

Alvaro Perez Miranda, International Restaurateur, Vagabond Restaurant and Bar
Alvaro Perez Miranda is a Venezuelan-born entrepreneur who attended Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles before starting a career in the hospitality industry in Los Angeles and Tokyo, Japan. After opening Il Forno in Tokyo along with Joseph Suceveanu and Royal Host in 1989 (which would later become the second largest food and beverage company in Japan), Alvaro would come to launch 33 restaurants in Tokyo by 2001, including Bruschetta Pix Cafe, Provence and Il Pinolo – the latter being the first restaurant to serve original Tuscan cuisine in Japan. In 2002, Perez Miranda opened Metromet, a Tokyo-based restaurant consulting and management firm and his ultra-posh restaurants soon became favorite haunts of Hollywood’s A-listers when visiting Japan, including Tom Cruise, Denzel Washington, Robert Downey, Jr. and Giorgio Armani.

Now, following a 20-year, 70-restaurant run in Japan, this industry visionary has come stateside where he’s been spearheading the soon-to-open Vagabond Restaurant and Bar as part of the newly restored Vagabond Hotel in Miami’s exploding MiMo District.

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