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.
Ever wonder where Miami's chefs, writers, and bloggers are dying to dine? In a world of fanciful fine dining, Miami's most refined palates are keeping it Blue Collar. Blue Collar Restaurant has quickly become the dining destination for masses of Miami's foodies. This darling diner concept, helmed by Danny Serfer, has united our diverse palates through thoughtful pairings and comforting creations.
The most influential person in my career has been:
Chef Allen Susser. He gave me a chance when no one else would hire a cook with no experience.
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:
Easy, doesn't matter if anyone is watching or not: It's Oreo cookies with ice-cold milk.
What does Miami need more of?
I think we need more places like Naoe -- restaurants that really are temples of gastronomy and could compete with the finest places in the country, in terms of overall experience from food quality to services.
You get to vote one food or beverage trend off the island forever. What is it?
Pork belly for sure. It's been so played out already. I love bacon as much or more than the next person, and I think bacon is fine enough on its own. I don't need a pork belly dish -- just regular, high-quality bacon.
You have unlimited funds to open a restaurant or bar -- what's the name and what do you serve?
Hank's Steaks. My dad, who passed away, was named Henry, and this would be an old-school classic steak house that would have the most amazing prime rib, cabbage soup, twice-baked potatoes, creamed spinach, and oysters.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Still cooking behind the line at Blue Collar and trying to talk to each table to make sure they enjoyed themselves. Then relaxing with my amazing wife and our children in my sunken living room.
Dream dinner party for six: Who (living or dead) are you inviting?
My dad, 'cause he was the best. Jerry Stahl, who is the author of my favorite book ever: Permanent Midnight. Ayn Rand, so I could pick her brain a bit about objectivism. My amazing fiancée, Shoshana. And my good friends Joe and Jill Dobias, who own my favorite restaurant in NYC -- JOEDOE; they are fucking hysterical.