In 2013, Miami's Food Scene Finally Blossomed
The time has come: Miami is finally a fine-food town.
Stian Roenning The Pubbelly boys
The signs are everywhere. The 305 is home to coffee roasters, supper clubs, a ramen house, and a northern Thai restaurant. Sourdough bread is a thing. The word "local" is sprinkled on menus like pepper on steak. The city's beverage scene, once regarded as frivolous and shallow, now boasts a brewery.
The people behind this rise are even more remarkable. They aren't foreign investors or New York imports. In the past year, local entrepreneurs have taken hold of Miami dining. They began with one business. But in 2013, they expanded their ventures and established themselves as royalty.
And that's why this is the year of the food emperors. What follows are the ten leading figures in town.
Stian Roenning Panther Coffee's Joel and Leticia Pollock
Joel and Leticia Pollock of Panther Coffee
When Panther Coffee opened in 2011, Miami lacked specialty coffee shops. But that year, two other local roasters also debuted: Alaska Coffee Roasting and Eternity Coffee Roasters. Soon, Panther emerged as the strongest. Owners Joel and Leticia Pollock earned accolades in the New York Times. They won the Good Food Award, a prestigious prize for responsible food producers. Their coffee is served in the best restaurants in the city. And this year, they followed their first Wynwood location with a shiny storefront in Sunset Harbour. The Pollocks have already announced a third location, whose construction recently began in MiMo.
Luis G. Brignoni of Wynwood Brewing Company
It's been a long time waiting for a Miami brewery. In 2011, Luis Brignoni announced the opening of Wynwood Brewing Company -- the first craft brewery to open in Miami-Dade. While he dealt with permitting hassles, the suds began popping up at local events and festi- vals. Two years later, a taproom started serving beers such as a Panther Coffee stout, La Rubia blonde ale, Pop's Porter, and Wynwood IPA. Wynwood Brewing Company will be followed by several 2014 brewery debuts, including J. Wakefield Brewing Company in Wynwood and MIA Brewing Co. in Doral. Brignoni is the pioneer of the pack.
Matthew Sherman of JugoFresh
Today, there's Cold Pressed Raw, the Juice Spot, Ten Fruits, and Rawsome Juices. But before all of those cold-pressed juicing brands came to Miami, there was JugoFresh. Owner Matthew Sherman debuted his first storefront in South Beach in 2012. Since then, he has opened a 22,000-square-foot facility in Lemon City, a juice bar at a fitness center in Coral Gables, and a shop at Wynwood Walls. And there's more to come. Sherman has three other Miami-Dade locations in the works.