The Wow Factor: How Miami’s Azul Gets It

Miami Top 25 Restaurant Azul has a different kind of “wow” factor that Chef de Cuisine Benjamin Murray, who has worked in different Japanese restaurants over the years, is very proud of.

In this “Table 42” vignette, Murray describes the philosophy behind the restaurant’s cuisine style as a modern American menu with a mix of Japanese and Asian ingredients using modern cooking techniques. The result is ultimately approachable, different, and interesting.

“We want to have dishes that are really well thought-out, that we pay a lot of attention and detail to,” Murray said. “The dishes that we do are plated beautifully — it takes a while to execute. Everything is cooked at the last second, so we don’t want to make such a big menu and have tons of options when we can make a smaller, impactful menu that’s really well thought-out and balanced.”

The plating process is also different at Azul, where the chef’s table provides a guests a premium view of the kitchen. “We plate at the pass, so it’s a little bit different than a regular kitchen. So you get to see everything that happens.”

In this episode, Murray — who grew up in a Miami home where his mother would cook traditional Japanese meals, as well as American-style meals — makes Azul’s beef tartare, showcasing a mix of bold flavors and textures like house-made Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, Japanese mustard, fried garlic, and caper brown gelée.