Karina Iglesias, Co-owner and general manager of NIU Kitchen
Why she’s in the Food 50: Karina Iglesias is the hospitable gatekeeper of one of Miami’s best new restaurants. The Catalan-inspired food that co-owner and chef Deme Lomas turns out of NIU Kitchen’s impossibly small cooking space is spectacular (outrageously good: creamy poached eggs with truffled potato foam and Iberico ham).
The way Iglesias runs the postage-stamp-size room is a sight to behold. She’s the type who softens the blow of a 45-minute wait for a table with a plate of pan con tomate and who instinctively tops off glasses of cava for regulars and first-timers. She coddles just enough that you don’t notice she’s efficient at getting customers in and out, keeping NIU’s books profitable and maintaining the restaurant’s buzzy Barcelona feel.
Where to find her: NIU Kitchen, 134 NE Second Ave., Miami.