In anticipation of the upcoming Best of Miami issue hitting newsstands June 17, here is a sneak peek at one category and its winner.
Jonathan Eismann and Dewey LoSasso
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Past winners of our annual lifetime achievement type of award (where seniority counts!): Van Aken, Militello, Susser, Oudin, Ruiz, Bernstein, Schwartz, Rodriguez, and Hutson. It is time to etch Eismann and LoSasso into our Rushmore of pioneering Miami chefs. Jonathan Eismann introduced pan-Asian cooking and spearheaded fine dining on Lincoln Road when he opened Pacific Time in 1993; back then, there was nothing fine about the pedestrian mall. Next, Eismann leapt into the Design District with more globally inspired PT2 -- and leapt some more with PizzaVolante, Q American Barbeque, and Fin seafood joint, all in the same neighborhood. The man ain't slowing down. Nor is Dewey LoSasso, who first impressed at the Foundlings Club during the early '80s. He was opening executive chef of Tuscan Steak and really hit his stride when he and wife Dale opened North One 10 in 2004. He, as well as Eismann, recognized early the importance of a place-of-your-own to pursue a personal culinary vision -- his was the use of quality local ingredients, which he turned into fresh, creative, delectable American fare. After the locally loved but economically unsuccessful establishment closed, LoSasso took a consolation prize and secured one of the most sought-after chef gigs: helming the landmark Forge as it reopened in its gloriously renovated return. The renewed attention these comeback chefs have received is enough to make one believe that dedication, talent, and integrity really do prevail.