When it came time to decide who would be on our list of Tastemakers, there was no shortage of opinions around these parts. Battles were waged, sides were taken, and there was blood on the floor. Given all that, it might surprise you to know when it came to ranking our Top 10: Jose Mendin was undisputed.
Opening five restaurants in six locations in less than three years is more than just a culinary feat, it's an edible miracle. Mendin, along with his partners Sergio Navarro and Andreas Schreiner, are responsible for: Pubbelly, Pubbelly Sushi, Macchialina, Barceloneta and PB Steak.
Take into account that every one of these restaurants are beloved by critics, swarmed by locals and respected by chefs; and you have a recipe for a definitive number one.
The most influential person in my career has been:
The most influential person in my career, besides my parents who I owe everything to, is chef Thomas Buckley from Nobu. He opened my mind on using Asian ingredients with European techniques.
When I'm alone and in need of comfort, and no one is there to watch or judge, the one food or drink I turn to is:
Definitely a mofongo (Puerto Rican dish). I miss Puerto Rican comfort food.
What does Miami need more of?
Good sandwich shops.
You get to vote one food or beverage trend off the island forever: what is it?
Nitrogen cocktails; not my thing.
You have unlimited funds to open a restaurant or bar, what's the name and what do you serve?
Pubbelly Land, an interactive farm-to-table theme park with different Pubbelly-style food outlets and bars. LOL, yeah right.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully doing what I am doing right now: cooking for locals and being an important part of the Miami food scene.
Dream dinner party for six: Who (living or dead) are you inviting?
My dad: Jorge Mendin
New Times' Best of Miami 2013 issue arrives June 13. To celebrate, Short Order is serving up the top 30 tastemakers in the 305. These people have helped shape the Miami food scene into what it is today. We began with number 30 and will lead up to the county's number one. A Q&A session is included in each post.