Warm Conversation With Icebox Cafe's Owner Robert Siegmann, Chef Andrea Landini

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Icebox Cafe has been around for 13 years (yes, that would be a baker's dozen) thanks to owner Robert Siegmann, a former caterer. Fed up with schlepping platters through New York's snowy streets, he arrived in Miami and opened a small cafe just off Lincoln Road. Three years later he hired Andrea "Andy" Landini, a young Argentinean who, though a little shy at first, was quick to get into the groove. Fast forward to today: Icebox is known nationally after being featured on Oprah, Andrea's been in the kitchen for a decade, and soon the brand will be known internationally as well. Passengers leaving from Miami International Airport's Terminal D have been able to enjoy Icebox eats to and from domestic flights and soon those leaving the country will grab "Iceboxes" for their journeys, too.

Shall we unwrap Siegmann and Landini's secrets?

New Times: So what's the real story behind Icebox?

Robert Seigmann: I was catering an event in New York. It was right after a huge snow blizzard and I found the truck buried under a 10-foot drift of snow. I said I guess we have to take it all on the subway. I came back home and I said I'm never doing this again. That broke me. It was just too cold.

I didn't know you had a female chef. Where are you from, Andrea?

Andrea Landini: I'm Italian and Spanish. I'm from Argentina.

Bet you can really get fired up then, huh?

RS: She's probably one of the most even-tempered Argentineans I've ever met.

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Riki Altman