At the Michelin Guide awards ceremony in Orlando this past May, Jeremy Ford was noticeably nervous. The chef, who had put his heart and soul into Stubborn Seed, the Miami Beach restaurant he owns with Grove Bay Group, shifted uncomfortably in his seat as restaurant names were announced.
When Stubborn Seed's name rang out as a one star recipient, Ford jumped from his seat. As the staff helped him into his new Michelin-branded chef's coat, the chef beamed with pride.
Now, just months after Stubborn Seed's accomplishment, Ford and Grove Bay Hospitality Group are ready for round two with the imminent opening of Beauty and the Butcher, a nod to Ford (the "butcher") and his eldest daughter, Madelynn (the "beauty"). The restaurant is set to open in Fall 2022 in the former Public Square space in Coral Gables.
Grove Bay Hospitality Group cofounder and CEO Ignacio Garcia-Menocal explains that his team and Ford had always planned on opening a second restaurant together (a working title of "Afishionado" was bandied around for a time), but now seemed like the time to strike while the iron was hot. "We've always talked with Jeremy about opening another restaurant. We've presented a lot of faces, but we've been picky," he says, adding, "When we received a Michelin star for Stubborn Seed, we looked at each other and said, 'let's turn Public Square into a Jeremy Ford concept.'"
According to Garcia-Menocal, the idea was an easy sell to Ford. "Jeremy lives in Palmetto Bay. This is his neighborhood, so when we talked to Jeremy about bringing his style of dining to folks in the South Miami neighborhood, he was excited."
Garcia-Menocal was quick to point out that Public Square was having a successful run, calling it the "neighborhood Cheers restaurant," but that the neighborhood was also ready for more chef-driven restaurants in the area. "I think the restaurant will do better with Jeremy, for sure. People who live in South Miami and Pinecrest have disposable income and sophisticated palates, but they don't go to the beach all that often. There's been a move to bring dining to them."
That being said, Beauty and the Butcher will not offer the multiple-course tasting menu that Stubborn Seed is known for. Instead, the restaurant will offer a menu of seasonal small plates and a focus on different meats — what Garcia-Menocal calls an "American grill with Jeremy's twist on it." The restaurateur said that his team and Ford looked at the landscape of the area and decided that it should remain a neighborhood restaurant. "This area is all about locals, not tourists. People walk into the restaurant and have friends or neighbors at four or five different tables. It's more of an extension of a family kitchen."
The fact that Beauty and the Butcher will feel more like a neighborhood establishment doesn't mean that it will be lacking in food or service, says Garcia-Menocal. "Our training and standards for all our restaurants are all the same, no matter what the concept is."
The standards are also high for Ford, who continues to strive for excellence — especially after Stubborn Seed's Michelin Star. "Jeremy's funny," says Garcia-Menocal about his chef/partner. "When we opened Stubborn Seed, he had no hopes of winning a Michelin star because there was no Florida guide. Then he said, 'once I get a Michelin star, I'm done.'" Sure enough — we win a Michelin star and he's now driven to get two stars next year at Stubborn Seed and one star here at Beauty and the Butcher."
Beauty and the Butcher. 6915 Red Rd, Coral Gables; grovebaygroup.com. Opening Fall 2022.