Tim Andriola was packing on the pounds. Even after the chef and owner of Timo, the Sunny Isles Beach Italian eatery, figured out how to cut down on eating and get to the gym, he says he still had to take naps when he got home from the restaurant.
There was the disappearing jawline leading to the slow growth of the dreaded double chin, accompanied by the ever-shortening slack of apron string. So he signed up for ten weeks with Virginia-based Vaughn Gray, a life coach who blends philosophy with healthy living.
"It was exactly what I needed to hear not only as chef but also as someone who's interested in health and nutrition," Andriola says. "It changed the way I look at food."
Monday through Sunday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Kale chips $7
California vegetable wrap $13
Quinoa salad with dried fruit $13
Soba noodle hot pot $23
Fish taquitos $14
Andriola dropped 30 pounds and today sits at a cool 178. And his new thinking has now manifested in Basil Park, an all-day restaurant steps away from Timo on Collins Avenue. The menu offers plenty of what you'd expect in a health-food joint — kale chips, a California vegetable wrap, and a quinoa salad with dried fruit.
"We're hunter-gatherers, we ate foods from the land, intact grains, nuts, berries, and a little bit of fish and meat," he says. "That's what our bodies were built to do."
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The restaurant also relies on a small forest of microgreens grown on a one-acre farm in Dania Beach and owned by Tamer Harpke, a partner at Basil Park who has worked with Andriola since the two met at Mark Militello's North Miami Beach restaurant Mark's Place in the '90s.
Yet it's not strictly for models and birds. There's a soba noodle hot pot with chicken, shiitake mushrooms, and a poached egg. There's also an abundance of grass-fed beef and fish taquitos with tortillas made from pressed brown rice.
"We want to be a restaurant first," Andriola says. "You should be eating real rib eye steak, just not one that's genetically modified and corn-fed."
And if you're in the mood for something heartier, there's always Timo, where Andriola continues to serve foie gras, truffle and egg raviolo, and slow-braised lamb shank.