Chef Eileen Andrade Aims to Make a Destination Out of Miami Suburb, Kendall

"If I could describe my style of cooking, I would definitely say— bold," says Chef Eileen Andrade.

And “bold” is right as her restaurants serve up a combination of Cuban, Peruvian and Korean dishes.

There is no stopping this fierce Miami-based chef from accomplishing her goals.

In her mid-twenties, Eileen Andrade, opened her first restaurant, Finka Table & Tap in Kendall, an unassuming suburban Miami neighborhood. Now, the 29-year-old sits down with Foodable to talk about her newest restaurant concept, Amelia’s 1931, which she opened less than a mile away from her first concept.

Amelia’s 1931 is a tribute to Andrade’s grandmother, who along with her grandfather, would run Miami’s iconic Islas Canarias from behind a food counter.

“It’s mainly counter-concept. You walk in and you’re kind of transported to your abuelita’s [or grandma’s] house,” says Andrade. “The cuisine is very similar to Finka’s… but we wanted something a little more cozy, beer and wine…People needed something like that, it’s a cute date spot, we have live music, a nice little jazz vibe...”

Although the inspiration for the cuisine is similar to Finka’s Table & Tap, at Amelia’s the food is delivered and presented in a more fast casual style.

“We have fritas, we have burgers, sandwiches. We don’t really have that at Finka. Finka is a little more upscale, as far as the menu goes… So, although you’ll have more high-end wines, you’ll have more of a casual menu [at Amelia’s],” says Andrade.

Andrade also takes the time to open up about some of the biggest challenges she faces today running two restaurants, like not finding enough local talent to hire as part of her restaurant staff and gender roles in the kitchen.

As far as future plans go, Chef Andrade continues to dream big. 

“Hopefully within the next year or two we’ll be opening a speakeasy in Miami,” said Andrade. “It’s going to be called Proofread and it’s going to be library-themed.”

The feel for Proofread will be very intimate and dark—a look and feel that one usually doesn’t associate with the Miami neighborhood of Kendall. “We are hoping to be the first ones to tap into that and do something mysterious and sexy, serving classic cocktails,” says Andrade.

If her plans continue to become a reality she might just make a destination out of Kendal!

Check out the chef innovator video above to learn more about Chef Eileen Andrade’s restaurant concepts!