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 – 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 – 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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Miami Tastemaker – Danielle Chang

Danielle Chang, Founder, LUCKYRICE
Danielle is an award-winning media entrepreneur. Prior to launching LUCKYRICE in 2010, she was CEO of Vivienne Tam, a fashion company. She was previously the founder and publisher of Simplycity Magazine and as well as the U.S. head for Assouline, a French creative advertising agency. A graduate of Columbia University with a BA in Art History and a MA in Critical Theory, Danielle has also worked for Goldman Sachs, The New York Times and as a Professor of Contemporary Art History. Born in Taiwan, Danielle created LUCKYRICE to share her life-long affinity for Asian cuisine and lifestyle.

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Miami Tastemaker – Taylor Hicks

Taylor Hicks, Owner/Creator, Taylor’s Ultimate Gourmet Sauces
Taylor Hicks was born and raised in Miami amongst a family of wonderful, talented cooks that is truly representative of our city’s gastronomic melting pot. His paternal grandfather, an Idaho native with a palate for Italian food, married a Peruvian woman of English descent. His grandmother created her own cookbook, and starting in college, his father begin to use it as his culinary inspiration. The book was recently published and handed down to Taylor. Taylor’s maternal grandparents were from Georgia and North Carolina and were excellent cooks specializing in Southern dishes. His grandfather also loved preparing Italian food, and perfected many dishes while visiting Italy. Inspired by how these different influences of cooking has brought his family together, Taylor created Taylor’s Ultimate Gourmet Sauces, a line of sauces and salad dressings that blend the Southern cooking of his mother’s family with his father’s Peruvian influence.

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