Dewey LoSasso is the newly christened executive chef at the rejuvenated South Florida landmark, The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar. LoSasso has been a mainstay in the culinary scene for more than 30 years, holding various executive posts, and even a stint as Donatella Versace’s personal chef. But it was not until LoSasso heard about The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar’s global search for a new executive chef that he opted for a new challenge. Pared down to a finalist list of 8 world-class chefs, LoSasso proved the best after a personal, in-home tasting by Forge owner Shareef Malnik.
In recreating the menu for Forge, LoSasso studied nearly 40 years of the restaurant’s past menus and history to understand why it has remained a popular icon of Miami’s culinary and social culture. Ultimately, LoSasso decided to emphasize farm-to-table and ocean-to-table ingredients that allow him to pay homage to the restaurants classic name, as well as innovate and expand his personal style to new guests.
We recently had the chance to ask Chef LoSasso a few questions about his career and current tenure as Executive Chef of The Forge.
Haute Living: How did you begin your career in the culinary field?
Dewey LoSasso: I was first exposed to the restaurant industry as a dishwasher in a Jersey Shore restaurant when I was 13 years old. After just one year I knew I wanted to be a chef because I fell in love with the dynamic of a restaurant and the controlled chaos of the kitchen.
HL: What restaurants did you work at prior to this one?
DL: I’ve worked in various restaurants in New Jersey and New York. After graduating from Culinary Institute of America, I began working for Mitchell Wolfson Jr.’s private club, The Foundlings Club, then I began working as the Executive Chef for the Hudson Hotel in New York. When I decided to leave New York, I returned to southern Florida to open my own restaurant, North One 10.
HL: What appetizer, entrée, and dessert is The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar most well known for?
DL: The Lobster Peanut Butter and Jelly; Coffee-crusted Ribeye and Goat Cheese Frittata, appropriately named “Coffee and Eggs”; Crispy Chocolate Chestnut Ravioli with a Snickers dipping sauce.
HL: Are you a globetrotter? If so, are your dishes inspired from places you have traveled to?
DL: Yes, I often travel for culinary inspiration, and of all my travels I was most inspired by Australia, Napa Valley, and Italy.
HL: When you’re not cooking up creations at your own restaurant, where can we find you dining?
DL: There is a secret underground chef hangout in North Miami called Yakasan that also serves up some of the best Japanese cuisine with clean, innovative flavor profiles. It’s open late, so it’s perfect for a late night after cooking at The Forge when I want some great food and someone else to do the cooking for me.
HL: What’s your favorite drink?
DL: Stoli on the rocks.
The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar is located at 432 Forty First Street in Miami Beach, 305.538.8533; www.theforge.com