Top Ten Influential Figures in Miami Dining

Categories: Top List

letitcia_joel_pollock_bill_wisser.jpg
billwisserphoto.com
Joel and Leticia Pollock brought great coffee to Miami.
This isn't a popularity contest.

This is about influence.

These people have shaped our city's dining scene. They operate fabled restaurants, mentor budding chefs, grow organic vegetables, and roast the best damn coffee in town. What follows is a list of the top ten influential figures in Miami dining -- the enterprising folks who have made the Magic City into what it is today.

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Jacob Katel
Robert Moehling, repping jackfruit and mamey for over fifty years.
10. Robert Moehling, founder Robert Is Here
Robert Moehling sold his first vegetable when he was 6 years old. Fifty years later, he runs a huge fruit stand named Robert Is Here -- a wacky place equipped with a petting zoo, papaya farm, and milkshake counter. Miamians often forget that Moehling also boasts a lucrative online store. He sells varieties of Florida avocados, mangoes, and citrus nationwide. For that, and making some of the best tropical fruit milkshakes, Robert Moehling is one of the most influential dudes in town.

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Gabriele Marewski
For giving us pretty flowers.
9. Gabriele Marewski, founder Paradise Farms
This five-acre organic farm supplies Miami's best restaurants with edible flowers, baby greens, fruits, and oyster mushrooms. Marewski also hosts dinners, brunches, workshops, and tours. (She even runs a charming bed and breakfast.) She finds time to weed, plant, and harvest her produce entirely by hand. Paradise Farms wasn't the first chef-friendly farm in Miami-Dade. But it's been the best at engaging and developing the city's dining culture.

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Location Info

Venue

Map

Robert Is Here

19200 SW 344th St., Homestead, FL

Category: General

Paradise Farms

19801 SW 320th St., Homestead, FL

Category: Music

La Camaronera Fish Market

1952 W. Flagler St., Miami, FL

Category: Restaurant

Pubbelly

1418 20th St., Miami Beach, FL

Category: Restaurant

Panther Coffee

2390 NW 2nd Ave., Miami, FL

Category: Restaurant

Panther Coffee

2390 NW 2nd Ave., Miami, FL

Category: Restaurant

Michy's

6927 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL

Category: Restaurant

Tuyo

415 NE 2nd Ave., Miami, FL

Category: Restaurant

Michael's Genuine Food & Drink

130 NE 40th St., Miami, FL

Category: Restaurant

Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant

11 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL

Category: Restaurant

Versailles Restaurant

3555 SW 8th St., Miami, FL

Category: Restaurant

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29 comments
smithalvin1984
smithalvin1984

This site is super. I've been looking for information on 

Influential Figures in Miami Dining.  Your site will be bookmarked for future reference. 

cahabaclubherbs
cahabaclubherbs

What about all the people doing food trucks these days.

Love the trend, the convince and the force in which they have arrived on Miami's Food Scene.

AND,

If you want Influencer's in Dining, maybe you need to cover culinary teachers (ie Norman VA) there are so many...too many to shout out here....

How about the guys that have made Miami and South Beach synonymous with great food and cooking....South Beach Food and Wine.

CC  

cahabaclubherbs
cahabaclubherbs

How can you do this list without the calling out of the original Mango Gang?

Shout out Please!

Need to recognize!


frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

.........................whoever the SALES REP is for that area from SYSCO

ConfusedReader
ConfusedReader

Where's Steve Haas (City Hall Restaurant)? He not only is one of the better restauranteurs in South Florida, but does tremendous work to promote Miami-Dade County and the restaurant scene. He's been a success everywhere he has been. Not knocking anyone on the list, but I don't get how Steve Haas doesn't make it. 

James G. Camp
James G. Camp

I'm done with the restaurant scene in Miami, FL. Today I was bilked for $ 20 for a Walgreens grade frozen pizza with canned mushrooms as a $ 4 topping on it for $ 20. Shared that pizza and was also screwed for 4 coca colas at $ 5 each, 2 of which were refills with the saddest pizza in South Beach. Then they had the nerve to tack on an 18% gratuity. Unfortunately a hurricane didn't wipe out South Beach Ocean Drive this year. The world would be spared having to eat shitty food. I mean, really, it's sad when you can get a better pizza for $5-8 at Little Caesars or spend a little more and Papa John's is gourmet pizza next to the crap that gets served in this town. I have a sense of humor, but this food was a fraud.

Tony Miller
Tony Miller

The most important person to the restaurant scene is the customer.

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

..............................i love michelle bernstein = period

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

.....................as a gringo i confess to enjoying LA CARRETA on a regular basis and have been to each of their five or six different locations - as i find myself in different places in miami i seek them out when practical - great legitimate hispanic food and good wine both reasonably priced and attentive servers despite language barriers - i would only recommend that you be really hungry if you go because the portions are more than plenty

pathfinder1
pathfinder1

Michael Schwartz should not be in this list.

He is just a glorified BAD COOK.

Kevin Kohler
Kevin Kohler

panther is the bomb...they deserve all recognition they get and more

Christina Arnold
Christina Arnold

It's great to see Michael's name in this. I worked with him about 10 years ago in Chicago. He is a great chef and all around good guy! :)

Alexander Fernandez
Alexander Fernandez

Honest disagreement, then. Your rave reviews are even more reason why it seems such a glaring omission. People in Miami, from the beach to Coral Gables are drinking and dining in different ways as a result of their endeavors. Yet a Wynwood coffee shop (albeit wonderful) rates ahead? Wasn't trying to troll, it's only cuz I care ;)

Miami New Times
Miami New Times

Alexander, not fond of them... but we've given every restaurant a rave review? Yea, OK. Nice try at trolling.

Anthonyvop1
Anthonyvop1 topcommenter

Once again you guys let your "hipster" mentality get in the way of proper journalism.

Any list of top 10 list of the most Influential Figures in Miami Dining that doesn't include James McLamore and David R. Edgerton is a joke.

They were just the founders of the Miami based Burger King chain of fast food restaurants.



Alexander Fernandez
Alexander Fernandez

Really, MNT? You included a papaya stand and Pubbelly but neglect to mention 50 Eggs? It's every bit as influential, if not more so, than the latter. I know you're not too find of them judging by your articles lately. Quite frankly, I don't know how I feel about them, but their imprint on the dining scene here is undeniable. Thought you said it wasn't a popularity contest list?

artythek
artythek

How can this list not include Allen Susser, chef Allen's or mark Milletello (sp) as a local foodie omission of these predecessors is wrong.

And how about chef Dewey Losasso (the Forge, original Tuscan Steak, North110, etc)

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

................................hey JAMEs,  lucky you didn't get your car TICKETed ot TOWed as well,  which is typically part of the "dining experience" in MIAMI.....otherwise those dining notes and comments and reports are just to SCREW the TOURISTs who go home anyway before they realize how absolutely BAD it is...........................but the MAIN reason is the RENTs are too high so everything has to be the cheapest and most expensive so every place OVERcharges and UNDERdelivers from food obviously,  extending to service and atmosphere

erikace
erikace

@Alexander Fernandez :/ smh rave reviews? btw Panther coffee is the best coffee house in miami!

erikace
erikace

@Anthonyvop1 nice trolling as a "top commenter" you must not have a full time job!

erikace
erikace

@Alexander Fernandez i think a lobotomy for you is in order. "lobotomy at table 12!"

Anthonyvop1
Anthonyvop1 topcommenter

@ZachF2 @Anthonyvop1 Are you going to deny that Burger King isn't the single most influential entity in Miami Dinning?  

More people have eaten there than all of those on this list combined by a huge margin.  It has bred a host of imitators and has a world wide prescence.

You might not like Burger King but you cannot deny it's influence.

Anthonyvop1
Anthonyvop1 topcommenter

@ZachF2 @Anthonyvop1 Instaburger was started in Jacksonville where it failed.

It was purchased by two franchises and reborn as Burger King originally in Miami.  

Burger King was revolutionary in it "Have it your way" business plan.  before if you wanted a special order at McDonalds you had to step aside and wait.....and wait....and wait.

Burger King made fast food change....for the better.

ZachF2
ZachF2

@Anthonyvop1 @ZachF2 Occasionally I eat a Whopper. I enjoy it and feel bad about it at the same time. 

Nevertheless you should know Burger King was founded in Jacksonville, in 1953. That's more than a decade after McDonald's slam burgers got their start in San Bernardino, Ca.

Burger King hasn't done anything groundbreaking or influential in food. When visitors comes to Miami do you tell them "Oh God you must try the Burger King across from their corporate headquarters near the airport"? I think not.

Moreover in 2010 on the brink of collapsing Burger King was purchased by a Brazilian firm owned by three of the country's billionaires. A UK private equity company bought about 30% of BK in 2012.

If you want to say Burger King is influential because it's the leading Miami resident with fake parts and rich, out-of-town sugar daddies I'm with you. 100 percent.

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