6. Kevin Cory of Naoe

Categories: Tastemakers

Kevin Cory -- sushi master, soft spoken chef, and seafood overlord -- is the man behind Naoe, an omakase-style Japanese restaurant in Brickell Key where dinners start at $160 and most of the menu is chef's choice. Sounds amazing, right? Wouldn't you just love to go tonight? Well, you can't. Cory is booked for days. Sometimes weeks.

Folks fly to Miami to eat at Naoe. The teeny spot, which only has eight seats available per service, is one of 28 restaurants in the world awarded five stars by Forbes Travel Guide. In the entire world.

Still, our recent Short Order editorial meeting ended in quite the debate. Some think Kevin Cory to be the indisputable número uno Tastemaker. There was hollering. There were tears. And then! An arm wrestling match settled the brawl.

Forgive us, Kevin Cory. Our flimsy arms lost you the crown. To all of us, though, you are definitely one of the top Tastemakers in town.

The most influential person in my career has been:
My chef uncle, Yasushi Naoe. I think about him every moment in the kitchen. His technique, knowledge and work ethic is inspiring. He's a hardcore Olympic Gold chef athlete, if there ever could be. I've never seen anyone like him.

When I'm alone and in need of comfort (and no one is there to watch or judge) the one food or drink I turn to is:
My assistant chef, Alisher Yallaev is from Uzbekistan. We like to introduce him to new things here. After work, I brought him to Krispy Kreme when the red HOT NOW light was on. We've shamelessly kept a supply in the back ever since. 

What does Miami need more of?
Small seafood shops supporting Miami fishermen and late, late night healthy food restaurants.

You get to vote one food or beverage trend off the island forever -- what is it?
Pairing grape wine with everything. I like wine. I like delicate Japanese food. I just don't think they should sit on the same beach blanket together. I prefer a match with soft sake or Japanese beer. Sake has 1/3 the acidity of grape wine and no preservatives like sulfites.

You have unlimited funds to open a restaurant or bar -- what's the name and what do you serve?
Yellow Submarine, an actual submarine deploying guests to spearfish for our sushi dinner.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Working on a new menu for my baby's kindergarten lunch bento.

Dream dinner party for six: Who (living or dead) are you inviting?
Miami's Restaurant Power Rankings' Ryan Roman gets eaten by four sharks off the Yellow Submarine. Frodnesor will tell the tale.

New Times' Best of Miami 2013 issue arrives June 13. To celebrate, Short Order is serving up the top 30 tastemakers in the 305. These people have helped shape the Miami food scene into what it is today. We began with number 30 and will lead up to the county's number one. A Q&A session is included in each post.

2013 Tastemakers

30. Allegra Angelo
29. Aaron Brooks
28. Danny Serfer
27. Sam Gorenstein
26. Todd Erickson of Haven Gastro-Lounge
25. Keith Kalmanowicz of Earth N' Us Farm
24. Victoria Nodarse and Aimee Ortega of Spice Galore
23. Tom Wilfong and Vanessa Safie of Copperpots
22. Robert Montero of the Cypress Room
21. Frodnesor of Food For Thought
20. Giorgio Rapicavoli of Eating House
19. Matthew Sherman of Jugofresh
18. Peter Schnebly of Schnebly Redland's Winery & Miami Brewing Company
17. Margie Pikarsky of Bee Heaven Farm
16. Muriel Olivares of Little River Market Garden
15. Brian Mullins of Ms. Cheezious
14. Suzy Batlle of Azucar Ice Cream
13. Freddy and Danielle Kaufmann of Proper Sausages
12. Robert Tejon of Misfits Home-Brewers and Gravity Brewlab
11. Paula DaSilva of 1500° at Eden Roc
10. Andres Tovar of Con Sabor a México Carnitas Estilo Michoacán
9. Zak Stern of Zak the Baker
8. Larry Carrino of Brustman Carrino Public Relations
7. Gabriel Orta and Elad Zvi of Broken Shaker

Follow Emily on Twitter @EmilyCodik.

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Location Info


661 Brickell Key Dr, Miami, FL

Category: Restaurant

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Frognester (a Frodnesor wannabe) obviously doesn't know smaller restaurants require more work/multitasking and dedication which require more ambition.  8-seats is tougher than 80, otherwise everyone would do it.  It takes talent to recognize talent, as FORBES has.  Frognester is a wannabe with no voice that's why he must post 5 times to try getting heard LOL


No offense intended but top Tastemaker status should go to the most well rounded individual or individuals. This talented chef lacks the ambition to be truly great by settling for an eight seat establishment. Not sure how he can survive financially on that kind of daily service. Probably has a deep pocketed backer. Likely a more traditional setting might prove him a failure. Just an opinion.

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