3. Joel and Leticia Pollock of Panther Coffee
First-rate food cities need great java. And, with Panther Coffee, owners Joel and Leticia Pollock gave Miami just that.
Remember when the words "cold brew" sounded like something suds-related? Or when clever drippers, Hario V60s, and chemex filters evoked memories of high school chem lab? The Pollocks introduced Miami to meticulous brewing methods. Now, walk around town and overhear folks chatting about their coffee preferences by grower and method: Ecuador's Grupo Changaimina from a clever or Nicaragua's Grupo Las Cuchillas from a chemex.
Panther Coffee's staff travels nationwide for barista competitions. The brand's Finca El Ventilador was awarded the 2013 Good Food Award, a national prize for responsibly produced and delicious food.
The Pollocks' passion is coffee. It's a sentiment they've spread across Miami.
The most influential person in our career has been:
Joel: Bruno Souza, Brazilian coffee producer and coffee educator living now in Belo Horizonte, Brazil after many years in the Pacific Northwest (Portland, Oregon). He's crazy passionate, a barrel of laughs, and an encyclopedia of coffee -- Brazilian style.
Leticia: Manoel Beato, wonderful sommelier and exquisite taster. He's my former boss and wine mentor back in Brazil.
When we're alone and in need of comfort (and no one is there to watch or judge) the one food or drink we turn to is:
Joel: Pastor tacos and a hoppy IPA
What does Miami need more of?
Joel: Quality driven purveyors of food and drink.
Leticia: We agree on that, and I'll add bowling alleys.
You get to vote one food or beverage trend off the island forever -- what is it?
Joel and Leticia: Poorly rendered pork belly
You have unlimited funds to open a restaurant or bar -- what's the name and what do you serve?
Joel and Leticia: Lucy's Tavern -- classic yet inventive cocktails and artisan house-cured meats
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Joel and Leticia: Traveling and running a healthy and fun family business, for the benefit of all those involved.
Dream dinner party for six: Who (living or dead) are you inviting?
Joel and Leticia: Our grandparents and our daughter Lucy
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.
Follow Emily on Twitter @EmilyCodik.
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