Miami's Culinary Community Weighs in on the Presidential Election

Today the United States selects a new president. This year, Americans were given the choice between political wonk Hillary Clinton and businessman Donald Trump in an election filled with surprises, allegations, and contention the likes of which aren't usually seen.

The Miami Herald published today what could be the nation's shortest editorial endorsement: "Her. Not him. Enough said!" Miami's culinary community, however, has been slightly more vocal, with chefs, bartenders, and restaurateurs taking to social media to share their views.

Miami New Times reached out to several culinary professionals about their views regarding today's election. Whether they chose to share whom they voted for or not, each one gave a thoughtful response on the importance of voting.

Jamie DeRosa (Izzy's Fish & Oyster)
"America's current situation: If you needed open-heart surgery and had to pick between a doctor with a malpractice suit filed against them or the manager of a Wendy's, which person would you choose to perform that surgery?"

Fratelli Milano:
"At Ristorante Fratelli Milano, we get a broad spectrum of smart, opinionated people through our doors. Downtown Miami is filled with conservatives and liberals, Democrats and Republicans. We have opted to remain neutral throughout this vitriolic process out of an abundance of caution because we believe that voting is a right we should all take very seriously and that people of different beliefs deserve our respect.

"Because today is Election Day, we're posting an iconic image of the flag on the moon to remind people that we believe America has always been great, yesterday, today, and (whatever the election results) also tomorrow. We want people to make an informed choice that brings this country together. This image is a statement about our pride in being part of a country that welcomed us so warmly when we moved here from Milan to start our family restaurant years ago. We're honored to be part of the American experience."

Shari Franklin (Assault & Pepper):
"People all over the world are fighting for the opportunity to vote in a democracy, and it's a right we need to exercise with extreme thoughtfulness. Hate, racism, and sexism have no place in the White House. The election is about progress and driving this country in the right direction: the right to choose, equal pay, education reform, and responsible gun ownership. For many people, including myself, this election is not about loving one particular candidate, but loving this country."

Adam Gersten (Gramps):
"Voting is always important. There are obviously flaws in the system that diminish the informed citizen's sense of its importance, but on the other hand, don't vote and watch what happens... In any case, this election has allowed me to see who is willing to choose fascism, classic archetypal demagoguery, racism, and Elder's of Zion anti-Semitism, to support their party. If those folks don't want to support my business because I don't like those things in a president and his cabinet, and they want to MAGA their way through the next few years, fuck 'em. But I won't say who I'm voting for. But seriously, what I would say on the record is that I'm glad so many people are engaged in this election." (Note: Gersten gave permission to reprint this entire quote.)

Richard Hales (Blackbrick, Sakaya Kitchen, Bird & Bone):
"I think it's a great opportunity to put aside the financial needs of my small business with the promise of lower taxes, less benefits, and ensure my daughters' futures are secure. I'm with her."

Aniece Meinhold (Phuc Yea)
"This whole season has been a shit show, but the thought that Donald Trump has a chance to win scares the shit out of me. The country was founded on immigrants, on diversity. The divisiveness scares me. If Trump ends up winning, I'm nothing but fearful."

Daniel Serfer (Blue Collar, Mignonette):
"If you wanted to do something nice for me on my birthday today, I would appreciate if you voted for Hillary. Thank you."
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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss