Beyond the ‘glitz and glam’ of Miami is an exciting food scene—one that’s creative, diverse, passionate and bequeathed with a lot of (hidden) talent and soul. As the late Anthony Bourdain had reflected on his time in the southern Florida city, “"[A]cross the causeway, there are other worlds, older worlds, I think it's safe to say, better ones."
There is a lot of talent within this thriving food scene. We spoke to eight local, “in-the-know” food people on their “Miami chefs to watch”—rising stars and up-and-coming talents who have either just moved to the city or are working at or running relatively new restaurants that have opened within the last year—who should definitely be on your radars, too.
ANDREW ZARZOSA OF YUZU MIAMI
(Recommended by Cesar Remond, food enthusiast and entrepreneur)
“Chef Andrew Zarzosa of Yuzu Miami is unlocking the flavors of Asia to Miami. While there is a plethora of Thai and Japanese restaurants in South Florida, Zarzosa’s creative dishes such as his chicken and rice bowl, which can only be appreciated after the first few bites, is redefining [and expanding] the palate of Asian food. Recent specials from The Philippines and Indonesia on the menu are reasons to return to his inconspicuous counter inside St. Roch Market in the Design District.”
FERNANDO CHANG OF ITAMAE
(Recommended by Andrea Baigorria, food journalist)
“If I’d have to choose one person to talk about in the Miami culinary scene that is definitely worth watching, it would be Chef Fernando Chang from Itamae at St. Roch Market! I may be biased because of my Peruvian roots, but I can definitely say that his menu is bringing the great Asian and Peruvian fusion that is still not necessarily well known in Miami or even around the world! Peruvian cuisine has had great exposure through amazing talented chefs all and Miami is not the exception. However, there’s so much more than the traditional ceviche and lomo saltado! Chef Chang [along with his daughter Valerie and son Nando -Ed.] is showing us the different aspects of Asian fusion in the Peruvian culture by bringing a great menu with Nikkei options for those consumers looking to explore my hometown’s cuisine a little further.”