Hey, foodies! Welcome to the first Foodie Friday link pack of April. We are fully in the midst of spring and have so many fun things lined up for you here at MMTM headquarters. Along with our contributing writers, we’ve been busy visiting and reviewing new menus at some of our favorite Miami restaurants as well as checking out new establishments to give you all the scoop on what’s going on in our foodie community. While we get all organized for the great spring content that’s to come, we leave you with a few fun foodie links from around the web. Enjoy!
By Santi Cardona
I’ve been to quite a few Grand Lux Cafes in the past, and they never disappoint. For those that don’t know, Grand Lux Cafe is a sister concept to the Cheesecake Factory empire that boasts many similarities. Essentially, Grand Lux Cafe has the menu size, consistency, and execution of a Cheesecake Factory with more culturally-diverse food options and a slightly more upscale ambiance. South Florida has three locations (all at large malls), but I was lucky enough to try the one at Aventura Mall (19575 Biscayne Blvd, Aventura).
Chef Jose Mendin —
Founding Partner & Chef,
The Pubbelly Group
As the child of “food enthusiast” parents and a great-grandmother who was a cooking instructor, Chef Jose Mendin was born into a heavy food culture, though it wasn’t until he went off to college and needed to prepare his own meals that he realized his adoration for cooking. To that end, Mendin left his home in Puerto Rico to go to cooking school at Johnson & Wales University in Miami. After graduating in 2001, his continued passion for food and learning carried him into an extremely successful career. He was part of the opening team at Nobu, Miami and later Nobu, London, and used these foundational Asian influences to parlay the opportunity into a job at SUSHISAMBA Miami. After two years, he was appointed to Assistant Corporate Chef, overseeing all of the brands U.S. locations, which included the 2008 opening of the award-winning SUSHISAMBA, Las Vegas at the Palazzo.
While recognizable U.S. concepts like Mosaico adorn Mendin’s resume, his pursuit to learn in an international kitchen is perhaps what he regards as most influential in his culinary training. Stages in Spain, working under chefs like Jesus Ramiro and Juan Pablo Felipe, were creative processes that forced him out of his comfort zone and later played a role in the menu development at Mercadito, as opening chef of their Chicago and Miami outposts. While in Spain, he worked in Michelin-starred restaurants, cooked for the prince of Spain, and learned how to revitalize ancient recipes, by maintaining the integrity of a dish’s roots and infusing it with modern touches.
Today, Mendin is a hometown hero in his native San Juan and adopted Miami. Alongside his business partners Sergio Navarro, Andreas Schreiner, and Juan Fernando Ayora, he has taken numerous culinary concepts to critical acclaim and has been a recognized semi-finalist of the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef South” for five consecutive years from 2012-2016. When not in the kitchen, you’ll find Chef Mendin spending time with his fiancé Ali and his two sons, Ian and Noah.
Foodie friends, can you believe we’re already 25% in to 2017??? The first few months of the year are always a whirlwind around here with food festivals and restaurant openings, and a ton of special foodie events. While not letting up completely, things are starting to slow down a little bit as we start to approach the summer months and we’re happy to bet getting a little bit of a reprieve. That said, there’s still plenty to see and do, eat and drink this month. Below is our regular round-up of the best of the Miami food scene this month. Enjoy!
By Melanie Galarce
Raw Juce (959 West Avenue, Miami Beach) has been a staple in Palm Beach Gardens for a while but it wasn’t until recently that this organic, cold-press juicing establishment made its way down to Miami. Today, Raw Juce has eight locations across South Florida including Aventura and South Beach. I recently visited the latter location and felt renewed after trying their organic, locally-sourced menu of juices, smoothies, açai bowls, and salads.
By Santi Cardona
Cochon555 is no newbie in Miami and, this year, it came back bigger and better than ever. After four previous installments, this pork-centric event made it to the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach in hopes of pitting five chefs against each other, duking it out to be named the Prince or Princess of Porc.
Hi foodies! Welcome to another edition of Foodie Friday! We hope you all had an amazing week with a few cheat meals sprinkled here and there. Earlier this week our friends at The Hungry Post won Best Food & Drink Influencer in Miami at the JWU Zest Awards, and we couldn’t be happier for them. That’s what’s so great about the foodie community, we’re all family and when one wins, we all win! Another thing to celebrate? The weekend. Here’s a few fun foodie links from around the web to get you started. Enjoy!
By Monique Gonzalez
Seven years after opening its doors, Executive Chef & Partner Timon Balloo and his team at Sugarcane Raw Bar & Grill (3252 NE 1st Ave, Miami) continue to deliver solid tapas-style eats and drinks in their popular midtown spot. Digging its gastronomic roots into the Miami culinary scene since 2010, Sugarcane offers all the small plates you could ever dream of, a kickass raw bar, and quite a few robata grill favorites. And, just in time for beach season, the team recently added a few lighter options to their brunch menu that don’t lack for flavor and will not disappoint.
By Mitchell Nover
Let’s be honest, not all foodies are “sporties.” In fact, some might argue that being a foodie is the antithesis of being a foodie, what with the non-stop gluttony and all. For me, that is not the case, however. I think food and sport go hand-in-hand, from snacks and dips and beer to, yes, even fine dining. That’s why I was excited when the Miami Open (now through April 1st) rolled back around this year and I received an invite to head over to Key Biscayne and check out the action. Not a match of tennis did I see, but I ate and drank to my heart’s content, and I’m here to tell you that there’s actually room for both. If you’re lucky enough to get to the Tennis Center at Crandon Park (7300 Crandon Blvd, Key Biscayne) for some of this year’s action, you’ll see there’s a plethora of great performances, on and off the court.
Hi foodies! Spring officially made its way earlier this week and that means that we should enjoy every second possible outdoors as the unbearable Miami summer is just around the corner. Do you guys have any fun plans this weekend? Some of you may be celebrating Miami Music Week. Unlike those adventurous, young foodies, we will be hibernating in a nearby food establishment to share another great dining experience with you! To kick off that research, we leave you with a few fun foodie links from around the web. Enjoy!