Miami's James Beard Semifinalists Cook Together at Bazi

Miami's Beard nominees take to the Bazi kitchen.
Miami's Beard nominees take to the Bazi kitchen.
Photo by Laine Doss

This year, the James Beard Foundation recognized many of Miami's best chefs as semifinalists for its prestigious annual awards. Though the chefs didn't make the final cut, that didn't take away their joy at getting a nod. The chefs got together to celebrate the best way they know how — by cooking. 

Chef Michael Pirolo had the idea to host a collaborative dinner at his restaurant Bazi. "As soon as the nominations came out and I saw how many of our friends were nominated too, the first thing I did was group-text everyone and say, 'Let's do a dinner together!'"  

Pirolo says just being nominated is an honor. "It feels really good to be recognized among so many amazing restaurants and chefs." It seems his fellow Miami nominees feel the same way.

Pirolo says his colleagues were up for the challenge. "They all confirmed pretty quickly, even before we had a cohesive idea of how we would structure the dinner. We were all excited to be able to collaborate on a dinner together and celebrate our nominations."

The chefs at the dinner fell into two Beard categories: Best Chef: South — Jose Mendin (Pubbelly, PB Station), Giorgio Rapicavoli (Eating House, Glass & Vine), Michael Pirolo (Macchialina, Bazi), and Deme Lomas (Niu Kitchen); and Rising Star Chef of the Year — Bradley Kilgore (Alter). Alter was also a semifinalist in the Best New Restaurant category. 

Miami's Beard nominees take to the Bazi kitchen
Miami's Beard nominees take to the Bazi kitchen
Photo by Laine Doss

Although each chef was tasked with turning out an individual course, a peek into the kitchen revealed the chefs helping one another on the line. That spirit of community in the industry, coupled with pride in their home base, is what the evening was all about. According to Kilgore, "We wanted to come together as chefs, representing the city of Miami. We felt it was, and is always, important to support each other as much as the people here have."

Dorara crudo
Dorara crudo
Photo by Laine Doss

Deme Lomas kicked off the evening with dorada crudo with parsley aioli, roasted tomato, and crispy jamón ibérico.

Wagyu carpaccio
Wagyu carpaccio
Photo by Laine Doss

Jose Mendin followed with Wagyu beef carpachio milanese with Taleggio cheese, smoked tomatoes, concasse tomatoes, green strawberries, and black garlic soy.

Risotto
Risotto
Photo by Laine Doss

Chef/host Michael Pirolo served morel mushroom risotto topped with speck-spiced foie gras, Villa Manodori aceto balsamico, and basil.

Short rib fresh from the kitchen
Short rib fresh from the kitchen
Photo by Laine Doss

Kilgore's coriander-seed-glazed short ribs with crisped cabbage and roasted giardiniera was a hearty dish, served family-style.

Panna cotta
Panna cotta
Photo by Laine Doss

For dessert, Rapicavoli offered a light sour-milk panna cotta with preserved lemon curd, cured egg yolk, and olive oil. For some reason, the table was gifted with a second portion, which was quickly gobbled up.

Beard dinner chefs take a final bow.
Beard dinner chefs take a final bow.
Photo by Laine Doss

In all, these talented toques showed they are proud to be recognized by both Miami and the larger culinary community. And as for those Beard Awards? Pirolo sums it up: "I always say keep your head down, work hard, and the success will come. That's what I've always done, and that's what I plan to do this year." 

Use Current Location

Related Locations

miles
Bazi - Closed

1200 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

305-695-0101

bazimiami.com

miles
Niu Kitchen

134 NE Second Ave.
Miami, FL 33132

786-542-5070

niukitchen.com

miles
Alter

223 NW 23rd St.
Miami, FL 33127

305-573-5996

altermiami.com

miles
Macchialina Taverna Rustica

820 Alton Rd.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

305-534-2124

www.macchialina.com

miles
Eating House

804 Ponce de Leon Blvd.
Coral Gables, FL 33134

305-448-6524

eatinghousemiami.com

miles
Pubbelly

1418 20th St.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

305-532-7555

www.pubbelly.com


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