Chef Vincenzo Scarmiglia —
La Centrale, Miami’s very first Italian food hall set to open soon in Brickell City Centre, recently announced Vincenzo Scarmiglia as Executive Chef. Scarmiglia will bring over 30 years of culinary experience to the three-story, 40,000 square-foot food hall that anchors the retail, dining and entrainment center. Born in a small town off the coast of Tuscany and nominated as one of the best Italian chefs in Las Vegas, Scarmiglia delivers a balance of authentic Italian cuisine with fast-paced excitement and variety. Scarmiglia has been a force in the kitchen, taking numerous Las Vegas culinary concepts to critical acclaim, such as the former Valentino at the Venetian Hotel, GIADA’s Restaurant at The Cromwell, Sirio Ristorante at Aria, FiAMMA Trattoria & Bar at MGM Grand and the Osteria Del Circo at the Bellagio Resort and Casino, among others. Scarmiglia has also been a guest chef at the James Beard House in New York, a guest chef for the Grammy Awards, and has received multiple awards for his management of GIADA’s Restaurant at the Cromwell.
Chef Scarmiglia will be at the forefront of La Centrale’s 14 authentic Italian eateries, which includes full-service restaurants Pesce; a seafood restaurant inspired by the coastal region of Liguria, Stagionale; a seasonal focused restaurant inspired by the Veneto region, Carne; a steakhouse inspired by the rustic Chianti region and the 5,000 square-foot Mercato, which will have an espresso bar, traditional Italian bakery, savory mozzarella and fresh raw bars, and on-the-go prepared meals. Scarmiglia will curate and execute unique menus for each concept that embody their respected regions with ingredients imported from Italy, locally sourced and made in-house, including handmade pasta, sauces and cheeses.
Who is your biggest culinary influence?
Gualtiero Marchesi, the biggest Italian Chef in the past half century (who sadly passed away on December 26th). He was the founder of modern Italian cuisine, developing the ability to prepare traditional recipes enhancing the flavor of the simple ingredients.
If you weren’t a chef, what would you be?
An IT technician. I love everything electronic.
What are the staple items in your pantry?
A good extra virgin olive oil, possibly from my beloved Tuscany and Parmigiano Reggiano.
If you had to pick one food item to describe yourself, what would it be?
I would say shellfish for 2 main reasons: 1. because my hometown is off the cost of Tuscany, so I basically grew up with the seafood culture, and 2. because, beside me being allergic to them, I can cook them really well.
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Eggplant parmigiana……. I just love it…. And the cheesiest the better.
What’s your favorite curse word to use in the kitchen?
Merda. It’s Italian for shit.
What’s your favorite dish to cook at home?
Any kind of risotto.
Pizza or pasta?
A million dollar question… Pizza.
How does Miami compare to Tuscany?
There’s not really much in common beside the opportunity to get fresh seafood from the coast. Other than that, I’m not seeing much of the famous Tuscan hills around here (that includes all the wonderful agricultural products).
What’s your favorite thing about living in Miami?
The opportunity to get the freshest seafood ever.
What is your favorite restaurant in Miami right now (other than your own)?
Despite my seafood allergy, I really enjoy Joe’s Stone Crab.
Why do you think Italian food and food halls are such a perfect match?
Because of the variety of styles and ingredients we have throughout all the regions.
Food halls are popping up everywhere in Miami right now. Why do you think the trend is becoming so popular?
I think the amount of food offerings and the fact that food halls have a more casual approach
than full service restaurant.
Describe the La Centrale experience in three words…
Authentic, unique, innovative.
If you could add one more eatery to La Centrale, what would it be?
It could be a “norcineria,” a pork butcher where we could make our own homemade salumi.