Whether You’re a Foodie or an Aspiring Chef, These Are the Miami Food Halls You Don’t Want to Miss

In the past few of years, there has been a powerful surge of food hall concepts popping up across the country and in late 2017 the wave finally arrived in Miami, Florida. Since then, many food hall concepts have been opening in the area especially in the first half of this year.

On this episode of On Foodable Side Dish, we meet three food hall operations featuring three very different concepts. First, we get the chance to meet Alex Cuevas, founder of Vshops—the world’s first 100 percent vegan food hall. Then, we sit down with Ruben Paredes, the Director of Operations of Miami’s first food hall—1-800-Lucky—serving up Asian cuisine. Finally, we get to hear from Kenzie Motai, Assistant General Manager of St. Roche Market, Miami —a contemporary food hall serving as a platform for up and coming chefs.

Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 5.06.52 PM.png

Vshops

Alex Cuevas, Founder and CEO of Vshops is a former senior technology executive who gave up his prominent tech career in New York to pursue his true passion for sustainable food, health, and animal welfare. At 10 years old, Cuevas had decided to go vegan after he found out how animals were being treated in factory farms.

“...the way the animals were treated and then the way they were “dispatched” or put down, it was incredibly disturbing to me,” said Cuevas. “... and when I realized that my favorite foods were tied to the suffering I said I don’t want anything to do with it at all.”

Cuevas decided to open up his first Miami vegan concept, Choices Cafe, in 2011 after a frustrating trip to South Florida, where he had a hard time finding a place to eat that would cater to the vegan lifestyle he was accustomed to. Now with the Vshops food hall, Cuevas not only aims to cater to vegans, but his hope is to really impress non-vegans in order to inspire consciousness.

Check out the episode above to learn about all the different vegan concepts that reside within the Vshops food hall located in the Miami neighborhood of Coconut Grove!

Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 5.07.40 PM.png

1-800-Lucky

Ruben Paredes takes time out of his day to break down for us all of the concepts within Miami’s first food hall—1-800-Lucky. Paredes, who was recruited by Sven Vogtland (one of the people behind Wynwood’s Coyo Taco), has been working in the hospitality/restaurant industry for two decades, but this is the first time he has dedicated himself to working for a concept like this one.

“I personally think that after all my years in this industry… for me, this format is the best,” said Paredes. In his words, 1-800-Lucky is a concept that provides a combination of “great food, great offerings... it’s simple, casual, it’s fast.”

Whatever Asian culinary craving a person may have, 1-800-Lucky is bound to have it for its guests. The Asian food hall provides Chinese barbecue (Lotus + Cleaver), dim sum (YIP), Vietnamese sandwiches (Les Banh Amis), traditional ramen (Hayato Miami), poke (PokeOG), ice cream (Taiyaki), and handmade sushi rolls (Myumi). It’s important to note that each food stand derives from a larger restaurant brand from across the globe.

Check out the episode above to see the food and drinks being featured at 1-800-Lucky!

Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 5.08.31 PM.png

St. Roch Market

Kenzie Motai, who joined the St. Roch family in December of 2017, sat down with us to explain the concept of this food hall hailing all the way from New Orleans. St. Roch Market first opened in Miami in late February of this year and it boasts 11 unique food vendors while providing 1 central bar for its guests.

“Each vendor is a small business owner and entrepreneur,” says Motai. “We’re kind of the place you come to, to see the next up-and-coming chef in Miami before they blow up and open their own restaurant.”

As Motai explains, St. Roch Market is a historic market from New Orleans that has been around since 1875. It was rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina to be made into a food hall and now serves as a great platform for chefs to start their business.

Check out the episode above to hear about the experience from a chef working at St. Roch Market food hall!


If you’d like to learn more about other concepts by Sven Vogtland, like Wynwood’s Coyo Taco, check out the video below!

The New Miami: How KYU is Elevating the Food Scene in Wynwood

KYU (pronounced “cue” like in barbecue) opened its doors in early 2016 in the art district of Miami, Florida known as Wynwood. The wood-fired Asian-American concept, brought to Miami by Chef Michael Lewis and Steven Haigh, has cemented itself as a cornerstone of the Miami’s burgeoning food scene. The culinary explosion is in part because of the development of the city. With more exciting spaces opening up Miami-wide — new ideas, customers, and money are pouring into developing areas and renowned chefs and restaurateurs are seizing the opportunity.

Chef Michael Lewis is the co-founder and executive chef at KYU. Lewis has cooked all over the world; leading teams, opening restaurants, and working with chefs like Jean-Georges. Lewis was Chef de Cuisine at Jean Georges restaurant on Central Park West which earned three Michelin Stars at the time.

In 2016, Lewis teamed up with Steven Haigh a 20-year restaurant and hospitality veteran to open KYU. One year after opening, KYU was nominated for its first James Beard for “Best New Restaurant”.

One of the biggest draws of KYU, outside Chef Lewis’s mouthwatering food, is the environment and the amazing service. When you’re there it just feels good. KYU is the new Miami — upscale and sexy, not overpriced, and just looking to have a good time.

On this episode of Table 42, Paul sits with Chef Michael Lewis and Steven Haigh to talk about how the restaurant connects with the community, the thoughtful design, and KYU’s unique name. Not to mention we get a behind the scenes look at popular menu items like the roasted cauliflower with goat cheese, shishito, and herb vinaigrette and the Wagyu beef brisket with black shichimi pepper.


Chef Nicholas Flores Gives Us The Know-How for a Perfect Pizza

On this episode of Foodable’s Smart Kitchen and Bar, Executive Chef and pizza-making professional of Sette Osteria, Nicholas Flores, shares his experience of opening up a new location in Wynwood and schools us on the must-dos of pizza with our host, Paul Barron.

Chef Nicholas learned from the best in Italian cuisine. Starting as a dishwasher at the tender age of 15, he honed his craft, moved up in the industry, and mastered the art of pizza. When the opportunity presented itself to open up another location in Miami, Fla., Chef Flores was open and excited to take on the challenge.

The vibe of Sette Osteria and the neighborhood of Wynwood correlate perfectly. Sette Osteria has a very modern look with loads of green plants scattered throughout the location. Similarly, Wynwood is a bright, contemporary neighborhood surrounded by the green palm trees of Miami. Osteria couldn’t have been placed in a better spot.

Chef Flores’ has many secrets to creating the perfect pizza. The technique has to have the same consistency to achieve the best results whether it be the ingredients, the dough, the method of cooking, etc. Chef Flores shared a few with us.  

“The key to making the best Margherita Classica pizza is the mozzarella always has to be wet, the tomato sauce should be very light, and there should be plenty of cheese on top,” says chef Flores.

Another fundamental to pizza is the dough. You can see the level of experience chef Flores has as you watch him pump out another pizza crust quickly and as perfectly as the last. He believes the pizza should be no bigger than 8-10 slices. If it’s too big, you lose quality in the crust.

“I always make my pizza about a medium crust. If it’s too big, the pizza doesn’t have any body,” says Chef Flores.

To learn more about how to make pizza, watch the video above of Smart Kitchen and Bar!

Pizza Dough

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cup pizza flour

  • 3-4 teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 cups cold water


Prosciutto e Rucola Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. ball of pizza dough

  • 10 oz. baby arugula

  • .5 oz. lemon dressing

  • 4 oz. fresh sliced prosciutto di parma

Prosciutto 2 cropped.jpg

Directions:

  1. Stretch the dough into the shape of a pizza.

  2. Drop diced mozzarella to cover dough leaving some gaps in between each piece of cheese.

  3. Leave about an inch without cheese to make a nice crust.

  4. Pop into oven for about 7 minutes (500-degree commercial gas oven) or until bottom of crust is no longer soft and has little dark spots underneath.

  5. Slice prosciutto into quarter-inch pieces.

  6. Pull out oven and put a handful of arugula over the melted cheese.

  7. Drizzle lemon oil dressing over arugula.

  8. Gently lay 4-6 slices of prosciutto over the bed of arugula.

  9. Slice and serve.

Margherita Classica Pizza

margherita cropped.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. ball of pizza dough

  • 3 oz. tomato sauce

  • 4 oz. fresh mozzarella

  • 4 basil leaves

Directions:

  1. Stretch the dough into the shape of a pizza.

  2. Ladle tomato sauce onto dough and make circular motions to push the sauce toward the crust.

  3. Leave about an inch without sauce to make a nice crust.

  4. Drop diced mozzarella over tomato sauce.

  5. Pop into oven for about 7 minutes (500-degree commercial gas oven) or until bottom of crust is no longer soft and has little dark spots underneath. Cheese should bubble when the pizza is ready to be pulled out of the oven.

  6. Top with whole or sliced/torn basil.

  7. Slice and serve.

Art Brews Business at J. Wakefield and Wynwood Brewing

Art Brews Business at J. Wakefield and Wynwood Brewing
  • David Rodriguez and Adrian Castro of Little Havana's Union Beer Store take us to the most iconic Wynwood breweries.

  • Wynwood Brewing and J. Wakefield Brewery show us how the vibe of Miami's Wynwood art permeates the craft beer neighboorhood.

On this episode of Beer Artisan, were exploring Miami’s famed art neighborhood, Wynwood, and the craft beer businesses that have popped up out of its art scene.

The Union Beer Store was started by husband and wife duo, David and Cici Rodriguez. The pair had been close to the beer scene for years and one year ago decided to strike out on their own and create Union, a beer store/bar with a fun, super laid-back vibe. With more than 300 different beers in their cooler, they offer locals and tourists a wide range of tastes to explore. Adrian, David’s right-hand man, helms the bar at Union, helping visitors choose the right brew. So it only made sense to have David and Adrian show us around the Wynwood neighborhood.

First up, J. Wakefield. John Wakefield got started brewing with a $50 Mr. Beer homebrew kit gifted to him by his wife. Slowly but surely, the hobby transformed into a lifestyle and brewing beers on his stove evolved into a jam-packed production facility producing a number of unique brews. John tells us how he combined his life as a beer geek with his life as a Star Wars geek to create his incredibly designed, Star Wars themed tap room which highlights the work of a number of local artists and adds to the incredible vibe you can only find in Wynwood.

Next, it’s on to Wynwood Brewing, Wynwood’s first brewery. Started by Luis G. Brignoni, Wynwood also incorporates local artists’ work into the design of the space. Luis invited local artist Lola Blue to design bottles for the brewery, further cementing the relationship between Wynwood art and its businesses. Wynwood has won a number of Great American Beer Festival medals and is aiming to churn out 12,000 barrels of beer this year thanks to help from the Craft Beer Alliance.

 

Brignoni made a deal with the CBA in which they would have a 24.5% stake in the company (the threshold for still being defined as "craft" by the Brewers Association) and in return, help grows the production and distribution of Wynwood Brewing brews. This has opened up their tanks, allowing Wynwood to be more creative with their in-house production.

If you’ve never been to Wynwood, you should give it a visit ASAP. Just listen to our Wynwood Guide, Robert William de los Rios from The RAW Project. But if you can’t, watch this episode of Foodable’s Beer Artisan for a journey through the art-driven neighborhood to learn more about its history and vibe.

Read More

Miamians Line Up for Artisanal Desserts at The Salty Donut in Wynwood

Miamians Line Up for Artisanal Desserts at The Salty Donut in Wynwood
  • Miami's The Salty Donut shop pours Chicago's Intelligentsia Coffee while serving up maple bacon desserts.

  • Hand-crafted, artisanal donuts fit in with the art scene found near Wynwood Walls.

The Salty Donut began as a mission to bring handcrafted, artisanal doughnuts to Miami. Owners Andy Rodriguez and Amanda Pizarro traveled across the country for these desserts and wondered why Miami didn’t have them.

“We realized that Miami is usually at the tail end of a lot of gastronomic trends and we just really wanted to do something that was for our city. Bring a little bit of culture that we didn’t have from other places around the country to our city...because I feel like Wynwood is part of the town, part of Miami that’s most accepting to kind of different things,” Rodriguez said.

Prior to having their storefront, “Salty,” as it is affectionately known, was trying to keep up with their customers' insatiable demands from a pop-up truck. Even now that they have been able to move into their storefront, The Salty Donut regularly has lines stretching down the street and often sells out of doughnuts before the business day is done — not surprising, due to its widely varied consumer base.

“I think we’ve got kids [who] are super trendy and kinda fashion-forward. I think we’ve got, you know, grandmas and grandpas that are 80 years old that come in and get our doughnuts,” Rodriguez added.

With quirky items like the pancetta, cheddar, and cornbread cake doughnuts and classics like the traditional glazed buttermilk, Salty offers a treat for every flavor profile. The menu is thanks in part to veteran pastry chef and The Salty Donut Executive Pastry Chef Max Santiago. With his 20 years of experience, Chef Santiago can change his menu regularly.

“Whenever anyone asks me, ‘You do just doughnuts?’ I don’t do just doughnuts, I do desserts,” he said.

And those desserts are just as pleasing to the eye as they are to the stomach. As customers walk in to satisfy their doughnut craving, many can’t help but stop to snap a shot for Instagram or Facebook.

Watch this episode of REACH Miami to see what all the fuss is about at The Salty Donut.

Read More