Roots & Freens: Gourmet, Organic Food Delivered To Your Doorstep

Photos by Carla Torres
At Roots & Freens, organic all the way is the motto. Chef and copartner Carlos Torres has a resumé that spans a decade in the kitchens of top toques Douglas Rodriguez, Michelle Bernstein, and Michael Mina.

Now he's bringing healthful and gourmet cuisine and cold-pressed juices right to your door, at least until he opens his storefront at the Lab in Wynwood in two months.

See also: Taperia Raca Opens Friday: Giorgio Rapicavoli Tells Us What to Expect

Coming from Colombia, Torres was shocked to see Latin food plated like fine dining at his first restaurant job in New York City. After asking the chef above him who his mentor was, Torres went home and Googled a name that would change his culinary career -- Douglas Rodriguez. "I discovered Nuevo Latino cuisine and knew I had to work for the best," says Torres. "I wanted to put myself in good restaurants with James Beard-winning chefs, so I moved to Miami and started working for him immediately."

Torres also worked for Magic City sweetheart Michelle Bernstein and Michael Mina, assisting with the opening of Bourbon Steak. Wanting to learn more about a traditional American steakhouse, he took a job a BLT Steak. Rodriguez later gave him the opportunity to be sous chef and open De Rodriguez, where he moved up to executive chef and then went ahead to open De Rodriguez Ocean before it was time to move on.

"I worked for him and other chefs for five years and I wanted to know if the talent that I had, or that I thought I had was going to be well received," says Torres. So he quit and took a three-month break from the kitchen, before getting a call from 660 at the Angler's who was looking for a chef at the time. "It was right after Giorgio left, and I knew that job would give me the free time to work on this concept for Roots and Freens, so I took it."

It was there that he worked on developing the concept and tested the juices. "My partner, Borja de la Plaza is the one that had this idea for freens -- cold pressed juice. He's obsessed with juice" says Torres. "Which by the way is much harder to make than regular juice. It takes eight times as much."

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