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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

Miami Dolphins Legend Turns Restaurant Innovator with New Tapas Concept

Miami Dolphins Legend Turns Restaurant Innovator with New Tapas Concept

On this episode of Foodable’s Smart Kitchen, Paul welcomes former Miami Dolphin and Restaurateur, Kim Bokamper and the chef of Kim’s new restaurant concept The Balcony, Chef Simon Porter. The Balcony just opened up a few weeks ago, bringing the tastes of New Orleans to Las Olas, a popular social area in South Florida.

But what’s special about this concept is the menu style. While New Orleans fare is normally very hearty and served in large portions, Chef Porter and the PDKN restaurant group worked together to create smaller tasting sizes of New Orleans classics so guests can taste a number of dishes, getting the full experience of NOLA.

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Marlin Network launches Foodservice Professional Panel

Marlin Network launches Foodservice Professional Panel

This foodservice marketing agency is putting together a restaurant operator panel and is looking for professionals just like you to become influencers in the industry!

Marlin Network is an agency that has been in business for over 30 years and is on a mission to engage consumers in better experiences away from home.

Currently, the agency is looking for input from operators, owners, chefs, and managers across all segments of commercial restaurants. Marlin Network wants the opinion of those people in the industry who are considered key decision makers, or the people purchasing product for their place of business.

This is an interesting opportunity for industry professionals who qualify, where they will be rewarded for voicing their thoughts on products anonymously. The company will never sell the participant’s information or market to them. Marlin Network’s goal is to better the foodservice industry and incorporate the opinions of real food industry professionals into their projects.

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Chef John Besh Steps Down After Alleged Sexual Harassment Claims at his Restaurant Group

Source: www.chefjohnbesh.com/about/

Source: www.chefjohnbesh.com/about/

Chef John Besh’s restaurant group is under scrutiny due to sexual harassment claims by 25 female workers.

Today, in an email from Shannon White, now the CEO of Besh Restaurant Group (BRG), it was announced Besh is "stepping down" to focus fully on his family, according to “The New York Times.”

Besh, known for promoting New Orleans cuisine through his twelve acclaimed restaurants, is making headlines for what many current and former BRG employees claim is a “bro culture” throughout the organization.

Nine woman agreed to have their names published and go on the record declaring that they were victims of sexual harassment while working for BRG, according to an investigation by "NOLA.com" and "The Times-Picayune” released over the weekend.

In a complaint filed by Lindsey Reynolds, with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the company’s former social media manager said "vulgar and offensive comments, aggressive unwelcomed touching and sexual advances were condoned and sometimes even encouraged by managers and supervisors" at BRG.

According to “NOLA.com" and "The Times-Picayune,” Reynolds “resigned in February because the "rampant sexual misbehavior and harassment by the owners and managers of BRG had become unbearable," her complaint said. "There was no human resources person available, only other supervisors who were either afraid of losing their jobs or saw no benefit in challenging the good old boys club."

Reynolds claims are just one example of numerous other testimonies made by other women.

"We have learned recently that a number of women in our company feel that we have not had a clear mechanism in place to allow them to voice concerns about receiving the respect they deserve on the job. I want to assure all of our employees that if even a single person feels this way, it is one person too many and that ends now,” said Raymond Landry, BRG’s General Counsel, in a statement.

It turns out it wasn’t until earlier this month that BRG hired a director of human resources to provide the proper support to process such sexual harassment claims, said a company’s spokesman.

In a separate statement, Besh expressed his regret to having a consensual affair with a female employee and his plans to rebuild his marriage. "I alone am entirely responsible for my moral failings. This is not the way the head of a company like ours should have acted, let alone a husband and father. But it should not taint our incredible team of more than 1,000 employees, nor undermine our unyielding commitment to treating everyone with respect and dignity, regardless of gender, race, age and sexual preference," said Besh.

There are other allegations tied to other executives like Octavio Mantilla, co-owner of BRG.

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