New chefs sprouting from the roots of Miami.
Do you know where your food is coming from and how it’s being produced? An ambitious bunch of Miami’s new generation restaurateurs are leading the way and firmly focused on supporting their local, independent supplier to help deliver fresh, quality ingredients to their kitchens. We sat down with the creators of locally respected restaurants Loba, Pinch Kitchen and Phuc Yeah as well as locally based urban supplier, Harpke Family Farms to talk about how they are using quality produce and bringing sustainable practices to the Miami community.
Seasonality is highly embedded in these local restaurants’ business strategies. Not only is this approach sustainably mindful, it gives chefs a range of tastes and textures to play with on a frequently changing menu. “We want to make sure people understand why we are using these ingredients,” something owner and chef, Cesar Zapata at Phuc Yea feels is slowly getting easier to do. Being able to communicate to the public on the work that goes into properly producing produce and why is key for these chefs. “If we’re passionate about cooking then that means we want to be passionate about what ingredients we’re cooking with,” says Jessica Sanchez, owner, and creator of Loba.
As Tamer Harpke, owner of Harpke Family Farms says, “It’s very difficult for us as the small farmer to be able to offer our products at the same price as big agriculture. Corporations that are producing food focusing on the bottom line.” Fortunately, more and more restaurateurs and chefs are becoming sustainably mindful and prefer to work with smaller farms like Harpke who focus on a holistic way of producing food. Whatever’s fresh and in season, they will make their menu around. This keeps things exciting and versatile not just in the kitchen, but for frequently returning diners too.
As Jessica puts it, Miami food has a story to tell and the new generations are thinking differently about not just cooking, but what ingredients they are using and where they are coming from. We were grateful to sit around this table with growers, restaurateurs, and chefs who are brimming with passion for holistic ingredients and share a genuine love for sustainably sourced food.