Gregory Pugin, Chef de cuisine of Palme d’Or
Why he’s Food 50: His cooking has added shine to one of Miami’s most treasured restaurant gems.
When he took over the kitchen of the Biltmore Hotel’s Palme d’Or in 2013, the first thing chef Gregory Pugin did was eliminate a la carte ordering; everything would be tasting menus, now in four, six or eight courses. He says the idea is to showcase more dishes, more variety than with traditional menus. The native of France, who worked for Joel Robuchon in New York and earned a Michelin star at the city’s Veritas before moving to Las Vegas to run Le Cirque, says it’s a goal of his for Miami restaurants to be rated in the Michelin Guide — and for him to earn another Michelin star or two.
“That is what I work for every day,” he says. “I hope that one day soon Michelin will come to Miami.” When the inspectors come, Pugin will be ready with dishes like stone crab with black truffle and seaweed grissini — the chef’s current favorite from his eight-course grand tasting. And he plans to unveil a bread-pairing menu to highlight the restaurant’s in-house bread program. “We like to have a couple of surprises like that,” he says.
Where to find him: Palme d’Or at the Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables; 305-913-3200
We asked Palme d’Or chef de cuisine Gregory Pugin for his favorite dishes around Miami:
1. Pork Belly at Swine, 2415 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables; 786-360-6433.
2. Branzino at Mandolin, 4312 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-576-6066.
3. Linguini Bangole at Two Brothers, 13740 SW 84th St., Miami; 305-403-7552.
4. Key Lime Pie at The Bazaar by Jose Andres, 1701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-455-2999.
5. Ceviche at Ceviche 105, 105 NE Third Ave., Miami; 305-577-3454.
6. Ramen at Momi Ramen, 5 SW 11th St., Miami; 786-391-2392.
7. Arepas at Doggi’s, 1246 Coral Way, Miami; 305-854-6869.
8. Tacos at Bodega Taqueria and Tequila, 1220 16th St., Miami Beach; 305-704-2145.
9. Pizza at Lucali, 1930 Bay Rd., Miami Beach; 305-695-4441.