Chef Julia Doyne of The Forge Irons Out Historic Steakhouse With New Flair

Video Produced by Denise Toledo

The Forge has been an icon in Miami since the 1930s, but with the introduction of new executive chef, Julia Doyne, the renowned American steakhouse is getting a new wave of attention.

Doyne has had a love affair with cooking ever since her mother taught her how to make the perfect chocolate chip cookies at age 5. Her first job was in New York with highly acclaimed Chef Marcus Samuelsson at Aquavit. There, she perfected the Swedish and Nordic techniques of pickling, curing, and smoking. Doyne went on to work for Michelin-starred Chef Christopher Lee as a line cook before working her way up to sous chef. When Chef Lee took the position as The Forge’s executive chef, Doyne jumped at the opportunity to be the chef de cuisine at the most legendary steakhouse. Last year, Doyne made another leap when she was appointed to executive chef of The Forge by owner Shareef Malnik.

“Then he said, I would like to offer you the position, and I kinda knew it was gonna happen, you know? It was kind of obvious, but my heart still just exploded and I just had to keep my cool,” Doyne said.

On this episode  of “Table 42,” see how the cuisine at The Forge merges the American steakhouse genre with modern techniques and flavors under Julia Doyne’s leadership. For example, Chef Julia’s General Tso’s Octopus is a new take on a classic, and Chef Doyne transforms the dish with ease.

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“You wanna braise it for a really long period time with vegetables like carrots, onions, a little bit of red wine. You wanna submerge it in this liquid and once you cool it off it’s really easy to char,” she said.

Their signature dish, the Super Steak, really defines the cuisine at the Forge. They have perfected it with quality meat and the perfect sear.

“...Our Super Steak, it’s a 16-ounce dry aged strip. We’re gonna put it on the grill and then let it rest a little bit. You wanna get a good char flavor to seal in the juices,” she said.

Watch the full episode to see how Chef Julia Doyne is forging the way!

But an impressive menu isn't the only thing to The Forge's name. The Forge boasts huge, elegant dining rooms, each with its own style. The building was originally an actual blacksmith's forge, used to create iron gates and sculptures for wealthy Miami residents. It is even outfitted with a number of secret passageways and rooms. Not to mention an expansive wine cellar with bottles aging back almost 200 years!

Curious to learn more? Take a tour of The Forge’s Wine Cellar here.

The Forge's Wine Cellar: 300,000 Vintages All in One Place

Video Produced by Denise Toledo

The space where The Forge is built upon has been around since the 1920s, and back then, it was an actual blacksmith’s forge. It was transformed into a restaurant in the 1930s, and in 1968, was bought by Alvin Malnik, whose family still owns the restaurant today. Malnik spent a million dollars to renovate the restaurant, bringing it to its modern-day opulence. Today, one of Alvin’s sons, Shareef Malnik, owns and runs the prestigious Miami steakhouse.

While The Forge is famous for its steaks, its wine cellar does not fall in the shadow of its culinary counterpart. With more than 300,000 vintages ranging from $35 to $165,000, The Forge’s wine cellar is considered by wine connoisseurs to be one of the finest collections in the world.

Gino Santangelo has been the sommelier at The Forge for 35 years now, and as such, knows every single bottle in The Forge’s eight-room wine cellar. In this tour, Gino introduces us to the numerous vintages and some very special bottles housed in the Malnik’s private family collection.

The first room of the wine cellar houses some of the finest classic French wines classified as either French Burgundy or Bordeaux. The vintages in this room go back to 1873, a Mouton Rothschild. Within the wine cellar is a private dining room known as the Grand Tasting Room. The dining table is surrounded by walls of Burgundies and classic Californian wines.

One of the largest rooms in the cellar will mesmerize visitors. It is one of the storage rooms and yet still cannot hold all of the wine The Forge has available.

Wines in this storage include bottles from Italy, Burgundy, California, Argentina, Chile, Australia, and New Zealand. In just this room, they house about 30,000 bottles.

However, the most incredible part of the wine cellar is locked behind iron gates. Normally not shown on tours, the Malnik’s private collection holds about 175 bottles of wine with a value of 2.2 million dollar. Most of the bottles in this collection are from the 1800s. The oldest vintage was made with grapes harvested in 1822, the year after Napoleon died. It truly is a sight you must see for yourself.