Timon Balloo, executive chef-partner of Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill
Why he’s Food 50: His Sugarcane has reached a critical mass, so he’s taking the show on the road — to Vegas.
Chef Timon Balloo has seen neighboring restaurants to his Sugarcane in midtown Miami come and go. But the subtropical, Asian-tinged Sugarcane never stops packing in customers. That’s due in part to the way Balloo incorporates his diverse background — Trinidadian and Chinese — with flavors of Miami, of Latin America, of the world. And all the influences come through crystal clear in his dishes, like the outstanding kimchi tripe with brussels sprouts, carrots and scallions.
The word has gotten out, and Balloo’s corporate partners at Sushi Samba have tapped him to open a sister Sugarcane in Las Vegas this spring. The 6,500-square-foot behemoth at The Venetian would have lesser chefs nervous. But Balloo is cool as a raw scallop with black truffle and lime. “I just want to cook kickass food for kickass people,” he says.
Where to find him: Sugarcane, 3252 NE First Ave., Miami; 786-369-0353
Timon’s Top 9
Here are chef Timon Balloo’s favorite things to eat in South Florida:
1. Seafood Rice and Fried Oysters at La Camaronera, 1952 W. Flagler St., Miami; 305-642-3322.
2. Lamb Pita and Pickles at Pita Hut, 530 W. 41st St., Miami Beach; 305-531-6090.
3. Chaufa de Pollo at Sabor a Peru, 2923 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-573-6736.
4. Strawberry Crumble Doughnut at Dandee Donuts, 102 N. 28th Ave., Hollywood; 954-929-1118.
5. Duck Fried Rice at Blackbrick Chinese, 3451 NE First Ave., Miami; 305-573-8886.
6. Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf at Kon Chau, 8376 Bird Rd., Miami; 305-553-7799.
7. Roast Pork Bun at Mary Ann’s Bakery, 1284 NE 163rd St., North Miami Beach; 305-945-0333.
8. Shawarma with Malawah Bread at 27 Restaurant, 2727 Indian Creek Dr., Miami Beach; 305-531-2727.
9. Spicy Tofu and Beef Soup at Myung Ga Tofu & BBQ, 1944 Weston Rd., Weston; 954-349-7337.