Miami chefs make history after Michelin Stars awarded for the first time to Florida restaurants

Miami chefs make history after Michelin Stars awarded for the first time to Florida restaurants

MIAMI – Chef Jeremy Ford has been cooking up elevated dishes in his kitchen at Stubborn Seed on Miami Beach for almost five years.

This celebrity chef has won many accolades throughout his career, but none as prestigious as the one he received last week in Orlando.

Ford was awarded one-star by The Michelin Guide among 11 other Miami chefs recognized.  It’s the first-ever Michelin Guide for Miami, Orlando and Tampa.

CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo asked Ford what the Michelin Star means to him.

“Growing up this is all I ever wanted. I worked in Los Angeles at a couple of two-star restaurants. I got addicted to that feeling of perfection,” he said.

“When I moved to Miami, I made a sacrifice that maybe I would never be able to get a star because there was no guide here and there wasn’t that history. So, to get the star here, we never saw this coming. This is something. This is a miracle,” he said.

Chef Michael Beltran, who has three restaurants in Coconut Grove, also received a Michelin Star for his stepped-up, Cuban-inspired popular eatery known as Ariete. He says it means everything.

“I think it vindicates a lot of the work that we’ve done,” Beltran said. “It shows there’s real food here. That there’s great food here. And now there’s 15 Michelin Stars in the state and 11 in Miami. There’s no way you can say anything against that because now it’s a fact.”

In addition to awarding star ratings, the guide also includes a Bib Gourmand category, which recognizes restaurants that serve great food at affordable prices. Nineteen Miami restaurants, including Beltran’s “Chugs  Diner,”  “Michael’s Genuine” and “Itamae” made that list.

Rolando Aedo, COO of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau says having The Michelin Guide in Miami is a game changer.

“This is going to elevate the state of Florida’s culinary standing, and frankly elevate the experiences, not only within the cities but throughout the state,” Aedo explained. “There’s nothing like a little pressure of keeping your star to keep your game up and also to have others strive for that recognition.”

As for the winning chefs, their hard work continues daily but this moment in the sun is a breath of fresh air.

“When it comes to being the first in history in the state of Florida, where I was born, we get the star! What’s cooler than that, right? It’s incredible,” Ford said.

“Now, we’re more focused. Now, we know that the things that we were doing were right. We can continue to improve upon what we’ve already been doing and just get better and be the best restaurant that we can be,” said Beltran.

In total, 65 restaurants in the Greater Miami and Miami Beaches were recognized in The Michelin Guide.  To check out the guide, click here. 

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