Michael Mina’s restaurant Mina 74, located at the Miami Beach Fontainebleau Hotel, is one of our city’s finest new dining establishments. You are guaranteed a delectable meal with aesthetic perfection both on your plate and sitting at the table next to you— a true Miami experience. Behind every fine dining institution is an executive chef that makes magic happen behind the scenes. Chef Thomas Griese is one such chef who is truly having an impact.
At the mere age of 28, this handsome and personable gent has a resume that any chef would dream of. Having worked for Thomas Keller at the age of 16, his fascinating journey in the culinary world brought him to the Magic City, where he is now running the show at Mina 74.
Not only hot, he is haute…. Meet Chef Griese and learn about his favorite restaurants, interesting techniques and why he loves working for the Mina brand at one of Miami’s finest hotels.
If you could work for other masters in your industry, who would they be?
Alain Ducasse would be great, as would Joel Robuchon, Terry Marks.
What country is your culinary style modeled after?
French technique is amazing: impeccable, clean and they work in the kitchen in extraordinarily small spaces.
So you changed the menu since Mina originally opened. Now it is more ‘dim-sum’ based. Why?
Michael and I talked about how to increase the overall dining experience. Engaging the diners was our priority, from touch to taste and feel. We felt that contrasted us from others.
With the carts, it allows us to be creative with what is fresh, seasonally. It helps me as a chef to rotate and it engages our diners for a social shared diners experience.
When did you decide you wanted to be a chef?
I always cooked for myself. My dad was a Doctor of Veterinary medicine. My mom is a neonatal nurse. So, I loved to cook while they were at work, after school. My grandparents were also farmers. Growing up we raised hogs. Always exposed to animals, sheep, quail…I’m not county, I just have country roots….
Your favorite foodie spots when you are not at work:
1826 (very progressive, fun) by Danny Grant
Pubbelly by Jose Mendin
The Setai, with Chef Mathais Gervais
I like to go to other restaurants, experience and eat good food. For me, dining at other great chefs establishments is not as much competition as it is excitement. Reading a chef’s menu, it’s like reading a book, reading into that chefs’ story, a culinary journey… from gastronomy to their worldly travels.
My 10-year goal, I got to in 5 years. Then, my goals were to be executive chef, and I achieved that. I worked in the Michelin system. I want to travel and cook deliciousness. I’m so blessed for this partnership of Mina and FB.
Working for the Fontainebleau, I can have Norwegian crab flown in. If I was a small guy, I couldn’t.