Le Jardinier’s Chef Seth Blumenthal Explains How The Restaurant Elevates Miami Dining

Chef Seth Blumenthal sheds light on his cooking philosophy and favorite Miami eating spots as Le Jardinier debuts its Spring Menu.

Chef Seth Blumenthal

Photo Credit: Le Jardinier

Chef de Cuisine at Le Jardinier, Chef Seth Blumenthal recently spoke to Haute Living about a variety of topics ahead of the debut of the concept restaurant’s spring menu.


HL: How long have you lived in Miami and what brought you here?

CSB: I’m originally from Chicago, though I have been living in Miami for six years. In 2016, my very good friend and mentor, Brad Kilgore, brought me down to open Alter.

HL: Tell us about your approach to the dishes at Le Jardinier. 

CSB: When approaching a dish, I try to encapsulate the season – not just what is in season here in Miami, but more so of what the country is experiencing. For example, spring is a lot of fresh peas and asparagus. In the fall, we offer an array of squashes, so on and so forth. Once the season and ingredients are aligned, I really try and create something that is captivating, as much to the eye as it is to the palate, while staying true to the ingredients themselves with minimum manipulation.

HL: How is Le Jardinier different from other restaurants in the city?

CSB: Here at Le Jardinier, we pride ourselves on the attention to the details we take from when the ingredients are brought into the restaurant, to when they are presented to our guests at their table. From the host stand to the cocktails, we strive for great hospitality delivered with a personable attitude and delicious food. Our lunch, dinner and cocktail menu are all built around the four seasons and what is available.

HL: What are your favorite Spring ingredients on the menu?

CSB: For most chefs, spring brings a new beginning – something a little more refreshing after the cold winter months, full of root vegetables and slow cooking. Every year, spring brings around ramps, morels, white asparagus. It’s hard for me to pinpoint an individual spring ingredient. But this year, I am especially excited about the French White asparagus we are offering.

HL: Are there any new menu items or techniques you’re especially excited about?

CSB: I believe the first course on our tasting menu is most exciting for me. We offer a Foie Gras parfait, Variations of Strawberries, Rhubarb, Coco nib Granola & Mint.  It’s a tantalizing combination of sweet, sour and savory as well as an array of textures. It’s a great start to the spring menu and presentation always provides a sense of mystery.

HL: Where do you live dining in Miami?

CSB: I am a creature of habit and stick to my gut (no pun intended) when going out to dine. I really enjoy eating at Lung Yai Thai Tapas, Itamae, Boia De, Macchialina, The Surf Club, Cote, and plenty of other magnificent spots.

HL: Who are your professional mentors and why?

CSB: This is a very tough question because it’s personal. I believe through the culinary journey to which one commits after uttering the words, ‘Yes Chef,’ it’s wise to learn from everyone and every experience you encounter. The two greatest professional mentors I have are Chef Alain Vezaroli and Brad Kilgore. Not only are they the two chefs for whom I’ve worked the longest, a combined seven years of culinary arts, but I attribute where my food philosophy is today to them. They have also helped me through many trials and tribulations, which has helped me grow into a chef and leader.

HL: What’s your favorite cocktail/wine and dish pairing?

CSB: Currently, my favorite pairing is the Ora King Salmon, Grilled Asparagus & Hollandaise with the Domaine Seguinot 1er Cru Fourchaume Chablis 2018. The bright acidity and minerality cut through the fattiness of the Ora King while the meyer lemon, pear notes, and white flowers compliment the hollandaise. The wine lends itself to the toasted pistachio crumble we place on top of the Ora King Salmon as well as the grilled asparagus. I believe this dish and the Domaine Seguinot really go hand in hand and complement one another.

HL: What would surprise guests about the restaurant? 

CSB: I believe the biggest surprise that guests experience when dining with us at Le Jardinier is how approachable we make French cuisine and vegetables. When guests walk in and see this elegant restaurant designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon, and receive really beautiful yet approachable dishes created around vegetables, I believe it gives a different approach to what we are trying to achieve here at Le Jardinier. Vegetables can be fun, you know?