There are so many great things to do in Miami. I love the food, the culture, and the sexiness of the city.
When it comes to José Andrés’ resume, the question that should be asked is ‘what hasn’t he done?’
The 43-yearold Spaniard who is often credited with bringing the small plates concept to America, is the owner of 15 American restaurants. He defeated fellow superchef Bobby Flay on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America, appeared as a judge on Bravo’s Top Chef, and found the time to write three cookbooks. He has won a plethora of awards including the prestigious James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Chef Award, which is the highest honor an American chef can receive. He’s also hosting the Celebrity Chef Golf Tournament at the Turnberry Isle Resort in Aventura at this year’s South Beach Wine and Food Festival on Saturday Feb.23. and is the executive chef and owner of The Bazaar at the swanky SLS hotel in Miami Beach. And if that weren’t enough, he’s also a professor and has been teaching the class, “The World on a Plate” at George Washington University. Haute Living sat down with Andrés’ to discover the secrets to his international success.
Finish this sentence: “Jose Andres is…
A lucky boy! I have an amazing wife and three daughters that always keep me motivated. And I’m also very thankful to have an incredible team of people around me in LA, Las Vegas, Miami, DC and Puerto Rico that is dedicated and always hungry to learn and share that knowledge with the world.
How did you meet the Bazaar Chef de Cuisine?
Through my network I learned about Chef David Thomas. I was very impressed with him and his background so I was really interested to meet him. He came here from Washington to meet with my team and I, and right away I felt he would be a really good chef for The Bazaar. He has great technique but also really good presence; it’s important to be a leader in the kitchen.
Any changes to the cocktail and food menus at the Bazaar Miami?
We are always changing our menus. It keeps things fun! At the Bazaar, we love celebrating local tropical ingredients, so sometimes we let that be an anchor for inspiration. Some of my favorite dishes like the coconut creamy rice, tomato and watermelon skewers, and our house-made nigiris celebrate these flavors. But, inspiration can come from anywhere. I recently spent almost a month in Puerto Rico opening my newest restaurant Mi Casa.
What’s your Opinion of the SO BE Wine and Food Festival?
I am really excited about the SOBE Wine and Food Festival this year. Lee Schrager is a friend of mine so that makes things fun. This year I’ll also be participating in the Celebrity Golf Tournament at the beautiful Turnberry Isle Miami resort. For me, it’s a fun opportunity to get together with friends and help raise money for World Central Kitchen. I’ll also be doing a demo of “Watermelon 10 Ways,” which I love because it gives me the opportunity to showcase the many possibilities of one ingredient and that’s always something I’m interested in. This will be the first class ever to be done all in Spanish and my good friend Raul de Molina (Host of Univision’s, el Gordo y la Flaca) will be joining me.
What are your Favorite Miami hangouts?
There are so many great things to do in Miami. I love the food, the culture, and the sexiness of the city. I’ll usually stop in to see my boys at Barceloneta and Pubbelly; I love what they are doing. And of course, there is nothing better than Cuban food in Miami, and at Versailles you get some of the best traditional Cuban food. But, my new favorite hang out would have to be Hyde Beach at the SLS. It’s beautiful to sit outside and enjoy the sun with a gin and tonic. And it’s the best place to watch a soccer game! I love FC Barcelona, so if there’s a game on and I’m in South Beach you can find me at Hyde. We are doing great things there like the tuna ceviche, the paletas, and mojito flavored push pops.
Where are your favorite places to shop in Miami?
I love Base inside the Delano hotel. It’s so sexy- just like Miami. My favorite purchase at Base were these amazing golden wolf watering cans, which we have on display at Jaleo in Washington DC. I love that I was able to bring a little something from South Beach back to DC.