When Meat Market chef Sean Brasel first walked into his South Beach high-rise apartment, there were two things that instantly convinced him it would be his home: the floor-to-ceiling windows that offered spectacular, sprawling water views of Miami, and the open kitchen that looked onto it all.
I love how when Im cooking in there I can be part of the rest of the apartment, said Brasel. I can look out at that amazing view. Though the Colorado native shares the pristine one-bedroom with his girlfriend, who works in real estate marketing, and Foxy, their 4-year-old Shiba Inu, the kitchen, not surprisingly, is Brasels domain. And while many chefs will say the last thing they want to do when theyre home is cook even more, the 44-year-old Brasel, whos working on opening a second Meat Market in Palm Beach this fall, insists on making Sunday meals for his girlfriend and himself. Cooking at home keeps me more realistic, said Brasel, and it makes my cooking more personal. It inspires me and reminds me of the flavors I love, the food Im hungry for.
As for appliances, Brasel says hes got nothing particularly fancyits a regular stove, a regular refrigeratorbut what he adores are the high-end Emeril Lagasse pans he recently bought at Macys. Theyre nice and heavy-bottomed and I sauté everything in there, he said. I got them on sale and I was so happy. His other prized possession is his wine chiller, which he conveniently keeps right on his countertop, where most cooking mortals would put, say, a toaster. At the end of a workday, which is usually around midnight or 1 a.m., I come home and pull out the bottle Ive left in the chiller. I pour a glass, grab some bitter chocolate and sit on my terrace, he said. Its the best way to end my day.
You can catch chef Sean Brasel at the Amstel Light Burger Bash, presented by Pat LaFrieda Meats and hosted by Rachel Ray, VIP Reception at 6:45 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22 at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach. (General admission to the event begins at 7:30 p.m.) He will also participate in Thrillist's BBQ & The Blues at 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 23 at the Eden Roc on Miami Beach as well as Goya Foods Swine & Wine at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24 at The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. For details, go to sobefest.com.