14. Suzy Batlle of Azucar Ice Cream
You won't find tostones at Azucar on Calle Ocho. Nor will you turn up flan, at least not in its usual form. Suzy Batlle's ice cream shop, inspired by the memory of her abuela -- hand-makes ice cream and yogurt every day. The flan comes in three different flavors; pumpkin, caramel and coconut.
Yet Batlle doesn't let the location or the shop's giant black-and-white painting of Celia Cruz represent the Cuban tradition. Besides, a sour orange and garlic ice cream topped with a crispy fried piece of lechon probably wouldn't taste good, or maybe it would?
Either way she carries holiday specials in addition to flavors like Elvis, with peanut butter and banana. There's also the Willy Chirino, with bourbon ice cream, and black and maraschino cherries, along with a sweet corn ice cream laced with cinnamon.
The most influential person in my career has been:
It's not anybody that makes ice cream. The most influential person would be Mario Batali. I've seen him come up the ranks. I was so impressed by the way a guy that's wearing Crocs cooking in this kitchen ends up being this mastermind millionaire
When I'm alone and in need of comfort, (an no one is there to watch or judge) the one food or drink I turn to is:
It's the Bellini sorbet that we make here. We call it Sunday morning. It's the way Sundays should be, with champagne and peach.
What does Miami need more of?
I would like to see more food festivals. I think there are more and more people that are appreciating food and the way it's made. I think it brings a diff type of person out here who's not just going to South Beach. It's people that are more interested in the culture that we have.
You get to vote one food or beverage trend off the island forever -- what is it?
All of those yogurt places that are spreading everywhere. I hate them I think they taste like cardboard. It's gross.
You have unlimited funds to open a restaurant or bar -- what's the name and what do you serve?
I'd probably open another Azucar. What would I serve? One hundred different kinds of ice cream as opposed to the 70 I have.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I hope to at least see three Azucar shops here in Miami and hopefully take it out to Texas and California.
Dream dinner party for six: Who (living or dead) are you inviting? Mario Batali, Barbie-Nicole Ponsardin, Oprah Winfrey, my aunt Olga Tia who passed, and lets invite Elvis Presley.
New Times' Best Of Miami 2013 issue arrives June 13. To celebrate, Clean Plate Charlie is serving up 30 of our favorite tastemakers -- restaurateurs, chefs, bartenders, and other foodies who make the South Florida food scene what it is. We'll start with number 30 and lead up to South Florida's number one. All previous Tastemakers are listed at the end of the post.
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