Music is one of my greatest inspirations – the different sounds and beats just energize me.
Chef Daniel Ganem is the man who knows steaks. Trust us, or test us. After working at top steak eateries like Bourbon Steak and BLT Steak, the native Miami boy is bringing the heat to Kane Steakhouse. At just 28, Ganem’s talent has him climbing the culinary ladder, one dish at a time. A true believer in learning from the masters and traveling the world, this chef of Chilean decent has worked under world-renowned chefs in the United States, Spain, South America and Morocco. We sat down with Ganem to talk about his culinary roots and his new position as executive chef at Kane Steakhouse in Miami.
How did you begin your career in the culinary world?
When I was 18 years old, I worked as a server at a Japanese restaurant and would always ask the head chef a lot of questions about sushi making. Then I’d go home and make sushi in the kitchen with my family. One day, the prep cook didn’t show up to work, so the head chef assigned me to the sushi station. Since then, I’ve never stepped foot outside of a restaurant kitchen.
At what restaurants have you been previously employed?
Most recently I was at Laurent Tourondel’s BLT Steak in Miami Beach and prior to that, at Bourbon Steak at The Fairmont Turnberry Isle in Aventura. I [also] worked at Martín Berasategui’s 3 Michelin Star Restaurant in Lasarte, in the Basque Region of Spain.
What appetizer, entrée and dessert dishes is Kane best known for?
We have great appetizers, such as the Kane Salad or Basil Caesar Salad. We offer a delicious steak tartare with a bread soufflé as well as Berkshire bacon with fennel slaw. The main plates include a variety of prime steaks, but my favorite is the rib eye and the Cajun Wagyu skirt steak. Seafood options include swordfish, snapper and miso cod. [For dessert,] a mouthwatering pineapple upside down cake. Another favorite is the Chocolate Trio, comprised of a brownie at the bottom, chocolate pudding in the middle and cocoa crunch on the top.
Are you a world traveler? If so, how does that inspire your dishes?
I’ve [traveled] to many different countries -Chile, Bolivia, Argentina, Panama, Dominican Republic, Spain, Morocco and France. Soon I hope to plan a trip to Japan. In my travels, I always try to experience the different flavors, unique aromas, textures and flavors of each region. Then I tuck that knowledge away for future recipe use.
What else inspires your cooking?
Music is one of my greatest inspirations – the different sounds and beats just energize me. I also get a lot of the ideas for the dishes I create through dreams, so I keep a notepad next to my bed. In the middle of the night, I wake up and write down any ideas that may come to me.
When you’re not cooking at Kane, where can we find you dining?
When I’m not in the kitchen, I’m eating at one of two places: my mother-in-law’s house because she is one of the most amazing cooks I know, or at Fujiya, a Japanese restaurant near my home in Kendall.
What do you do in your free time?
I enjoy spending time with my son and my wife, who is expecting our second baby. Our favorite thing to do together is to watch movies, but during the summer we take advantage of Miami Spice and visit many of the participating restaurants.
431 Washington Avenue