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.
Other than your own, what’s your favorite restaurant in Miami right now?
Zuma is my favorite restaurant. In my opinion, their food is out of this world!
What is your all time favorite food/wine pairing?
Champagne (blanc de blancs) with Foie Gras or Pork Belly.
Who is your biggest culinary influence?
Thomas Keller, because working under him in Napa Valley was an experience that changed my perception of food forever and gave me the inspiration for my restaurant and cookbooks. Also, my mother.
How did you come up with your “Maximum Flavor” catch phrase?
I kept winning culinary competitions when I was in college, and they kept asking me how was I doing it? The question kept coming up as my competitors were doing some crazy innovative things like airs, foams, powders, etc. I just stuck to flavor. My final competition took me to cook for the United Nations in New York City, and a representative from the James Beard House asked how I did it. When I replied, “Flavor” she corrected me and said, “Maximum Flavor.’ And then it hit me, lightening struck!
Why did you choose Kendall for your restaurant location, as opposed to other, trendier Miami locations?
While it seems like a crazy idea to put Chef Adrianne’s in Kendall (aka “The middle of Nowhere” or the “The Edge of the Earth”), when I staged for Thomas Keller in 2003 he taught me that people will drive for good food. They will make an effort, they will find you, and they will not care if it’s trendy, hip, or a see-and-be-seen type of place. And if they do drive, and they do find you, and they return, then that is the true testament of a chef and restaurant owner. Our guests come from Fort Myers to Key West on a regular basis to enjoy our food. That’s my story.
Mitch & Mel