July 08, 2020

Three Chefs We Love in the Miami Design District and Why


Tucked in nooks and crannies in between the designer stores and adorable boutiques, there are several amazing eateries and chefs throughout Miami Design District. From fun food trucks turned brick and mortar to a food hall featuring some of the best dishes in the city, to award-winning chefs who have beyond mastered the food they love there are so many flavors to be found in the area.

Here are three chefs we love in the Miami Design District and why we love them:

Nando and Valerie Chang of Itamae inside Politan Row

This sibling duo is responsible for some of the best sushi in Miami. Tapping into their Peruvian heritage the rolls found at Itamae are full of flavor and exciting ingredients. Take the super popular totoro roll made with spicy tuna, scallion topped with avocado, shiitake mushrooms, and a generous drizzle of aji rocoto aioli. Sample this delicious roll when you book your spot on Miami Culinary Tours’ Design District tour.

Why we love them: They took Miami by storm with their sushi concept inside a food hall. These chefs are so talented that their little sushi stall could even earn them a James Beard nomination for Rising Star Chef(s) of the Year.

Michael Schwartz of Michael’s Genuine

One of Miami’s OG chefs, Michael Schwartz is the name behind some of Miami’s most well received restaurants. While he’s got concepts all over the city, Michael’s Genuine is one always a reliable choice when dining in the Design District. Hailing from Philadelphia, Schwartz found himself in Miami in the 1990s after working for notable names like Wolfgang Puck. In 2007 he ventured from South Beach to what’s now the Design District and was quickly recognized as James Beard Award for Best Chef South in 2010.

Why we love him: As one of Miami’s old school culinary scholars, Schwartz is one of the chefs who helped put Miami on the map. Without his pioneering style, who knows what Miami’s culinary scene would look like today.

Soraya Kilgore of MadLab Creamery

One step into Design District’s Palm Court and it’s tough to miss the large ice cream cone decor outside of MadLab Creamery. It may be what draws visitors in at first glance, but the delightful matcha gelato and homemade toppings are what keeps guests coming back. With over a decade of pastry experience, Soraya’s first solo concept is a gelato shop that serves the city’s only fluffy Japanese cheesecake with a ton of fun-colored tasty add-ons.

Why we love her: She’s one of the most talented pastry chefs in Miami. Not only is she killing it with the sparkly ice cream creations at her pink paradise of a gelato shop, but she also helps in overseeing the pastry programs at her husband’s nearby restaurants Ember and Kaido.

By Food Writer Amber Love

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