Livingston, New Jersey’s very own, Ralph Pagano, may be best known for his determined work on Chef Gordon Ramsey’s hit reality competition, “Hell’s Kitchen”, making it all the way to the finals, earning the position of Runner-Up, but these days, Chef Ralph Pagano is known as one of the most successful chefs in South Florida, being the Chef de Cuisine of Miami’s exclusive restaurant, “STK”. STK, known for its delicious sirloin steaks, has been highly credited in Miami, and remains a central restaurant of luxury. But Pagano, should have no trouble fitting in with the highly glamorous and intensely competitive lifestyle of head chef, being that he competed on the Food Network’s hit show, “Iron Chef America” against Bobby Flay, a top master of cuisine in the field. Upon enriching the flavors of STK’s food, Pagano will also add his own signature touches to the menu, on celebrated dishes such as the Lil’ Big Macs, the Parmesan Truffle French Fries, Shrimp Rice Krispies, and many other delicious meals that the restaurant has to offer. To Ralph Pagano, we wish him luck, although we are certain that he will not need it.
Where were you born ?
New York City
How long in Miami:
10 years. I came for a weekend and I stayed for a decade.
Midtown Miami on the bay.
Executive Chef STK & Culinary Adventurer
That’s an easy one; STK; but if I have to choose another its Christina Lees @ Gulfstream Park on a Sunday afternoon, with dim sum, spicy ribs and great horse racing right outside the 20 foot high windows. Great food and great action!
Best Ethnic Food:
Tap Tap for Caribbean real deal cuisine.
Escopazzo and it’s all organic too!
Best place for late night dining:
GiGi’s in Midtown
Max Santiago’s Smore’s cake with a big glass of cold milk.
Best place for a romantic date:
Casa Tua or Vizcaya
Best Sunday brunch:
The Biltmore in the Gables
Best place for a power business meeting:
Solea at the W... great food, great view and room to make a deal.
All-around favorite spot in Miami:
When I am looking to chill, I sit by the water at the Government cut, watch the cruise ships go out to sea, with a chair, my wife, a cold bottle of Pellegrino & some fresh Florida oranges….its the simple things that make it all good.
If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend?
The Gansevoort, The W and The Delano
Favorite shopping venue/boutique:
Best place to buy Jewelry/Watches:
Levinson Jewelers in Fort Lauderdale
Favorite Charity Event:
Taste of the Nation
Favorite Cultural Event:
It has be the Sobe Wine & Food… all the chefs come to town, the food is awesome, the wine bottles are never empty and the beach is banging.. its awesome..
Favorite Cultural Institution:
The Arsht Center, Downtown MIA
Best Aspect of Miami:
It’s a diverse slice of international culture and architecture combined with the beach, sunny days, the nightlife and non stop fun.
That’s STK for sure! Prime steaks, fresh Florida stone crabs, mega wines served with rock & roll music! This is the best place for a party, Miami-style.
Andiamo brick oven on Biscayne Blvd
Sunday at Christina Lee’s & Smith and Wollensky any sunny Miami day.
Best Gym/Athletic Facility:
David Barton... its all about the disco pump.
Best Limousine/Driving Service:
Aventura Transportation.. ask for Nicole.
All of the installations during Art Basel. They are worth the trip.
Favorite historic/legendary place to see or explore:
The Florida Keys
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