By Mitchell Nover & Melanie Galarce
For a second year in a row, Pubbelly Noodle Bar (1418 20th St, Miami Beach) has partnered with The James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project to raise awareness for and benefit the project’s mission of healthy and sustainable cooking. This year the series will feature an all-female chef lineup of guest chefs serving up their Summer Burgers from June 5th (today) through August 3rd. Guest chefs include: Susan Ungaro, President of The James Beard Foundation, Roxanne Vargas of NBC 6-in-the-Mix, Alejandra Cangas of The Hungry Post, Chef Lorena Garcia, Chef Michelle Bernstein, Chef Ingrid Hoffman, Chef Dena Marino, Chef Janine Booth, and Laine Doss* of the Miami New Times.
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.
Pubbelly. The name alone evokes feelings of a well-established brand that has been a forerunner of the Miami culinary scene since 2010. We’re all familiar with the original location on Sunset Harbour, but now the Pubbelly name has begun to expand into bigger horizons. One of the brand’s newest ventures is one aboard a cruise ship; the Norwegian Escape to be exact.
By Mitchell Nover
Reason 3,582 I love Miami Spice: it’s the perfect excuse to finally check out some new restaurants around town. The guaranteed three courses at a fixed price means that, if you go with a few friends, you can basically sample the entire menu for a fraction of the cost. It’s a great way to make a first impression. Such was my experience with my recent visit to PB Station at the Langford Hotel downtown.
By Mitchell Nover
Miami is severely lacking in rooftop bars. What NYC manages to master with only 3-ish months of warm weather, we somehow neglect to take advantage of with our endless summers and gorgeous views. I’m sure there are numerous reasons for this, but the biggest is most likely Miami’s non-existent downtown scene. Rooftop bars (at least in my mind) are most often associated with bustling metropolises and business people riding elevators to the top of a skyscraper for an afterwork cocktail among the clouds – quite the opposite of the pool and beachside hotel bars of which there are a plethora on Miami Beach. Well, in hopes of what will become a growing trend (and a revitalization of Downtown Miami), the Pubbelly Boys have taken their talents from South Beach with the creation of the Pawn Broker at the Langford Hotel.