Quality Meats' Craig Koketsu on Miami Beach Opening: "You Let The Locality Form What You Do"

Executive chef/partner Craig Koketsu is planning a move to Miami.
Executive chef/partner Craig Koketsu is planning a move to Miami.
Courtesy of Quality Meats

Quality Meats, the restaurant that combines a classic butcher shop with a restaurant, opens February 2015 in South Beach.

The restaurant, the first non-NYC venue by the father-and-son team of Alan and Michael Stillman, will be located at 1501 Collins Ave. The restaurant, which brings the much acclaimed New York City location to Miami Beach, will offer a meat-forward menu that includes beef that is cured, smoked, or aged in-house.

Designed by AvroKO, Quality Meats will feature a main dining room, outdoor patio, and a private dining room. Executive chef/partner Craig Koketsu explains the concept. "The original Quality Meats was inspired by the classic New York butcher shop, which not only formed the design, but the menu. Michael [Stillman] and I wanted to present a more holistic approach to a restaurant, where food and design go hand in hand."

The chef says the South Beach location was perfect for the restaurant. "Quality Meats is set in this beautiful Art Deco building, so we'er letting the space design not only the form, but the food."

Koketsu, who plans on moving to Miami in the near future, is looking forward to sourcing proteins and produce from local farms. "You let the locality form what you do. I haven't moved here yet, but right now I'm on a sourcing trip to find out what it's like here and what specific challenged we might encounter. But there are also a lot of benefits to being in South Florida. There's a great grass-fed beef program in Florida, and thats something we don't have in New York. I'm also looking forward to using fresh produce, like tomatoes, in the winter."

Koketsu says that Quality Meats wants to be in Miami for the long haul, and part of that is working with local farmers and fellow restaurateurs. "One of the important things is reaching out to chefs and forming a network of references that can support us and we can support. I also think restaurants have an obligation to help farmers."

The chef plans on dividing his time between here and New York, eventually hiring a local executive chef to oversee the day-to-day operations. "I plan on being here in January and opening the restaurant. Having Miami so close to New York, makes it easy for me to come here and check up on the Miami Beach location."

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