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I’ve traveled quite a bit, but what inspires my food most are people’s roots.

Andrew Carmellini, chef and owner of new Miami haute spot The Dutch at the W South Beach, uses his many travels to inspire his cooking. With the recent opening and success of The Dutch and Locanda Verde in New York, Carmellini has his rustic yet refined culinary style to thank. It’s a style that reflects his American roots, his work in some of New York and Italy’s best kitchens and most of all, his travels across Europe, Asia and North America.

In 2008, with his wife Gwen Hyman, Carmellini published his first book of recipes and stories, Urban Italian, which climbed to the year’s Top Ten Cookbooks list on Amazon. Their second cookbook, American Flavor, was recently released to the same fanfare. In American Flavor, the Kerouac–esque chef uses the culinary lessons he learned on the road as inspiration. The well-traveled Carmellini sat down with Haute Living and sounded off on his culinary history, what inspires him and his many adventures on the road.

How did you begin your career in the culinary world?

I was either going into rock ‘n’ roll or cooking. My family always loved simple, delicious, food [that was] made well. At 20, I went to work in Italy at some of the greatest restaurants and I was hooked.

At what restaurants have you been previously employed?

Michelin two-star San Domenico in Emilia-Romagna; I was part of Gray Kunz’s four-star crew at Lespinasse; Le Cirque; L’Arpège in Paris; and Café Boulud.

What appetizer, entrée and dessert dishes is The Dutch Miami best known for?

I’ve learned that the people in Miami love their fish and seafood. The steamed Snapper, Scallops, Wahoo and little Oyster Sandwiches are all very popular. For dessert, The Dutch was built for pies.

Are you a world traveler? If so, how does that inspire your dishes?

I’ve traveled quite a bit, but what inspires my food most are people’s roots. I like to cook what [their] grandmothers used to cook.

When you’re not cooking at The Dutch, where can we find you dining?

In Miami, you can find me at Yardbird or Mandolin Aegean Bistro.

What do you do in your free time?

I just finished my second cookbook, American Flavor, with my wife, Gwen Hyman and on my down time, I like to spend time with her, listen to music and relax.

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