Food & Drink

South Florida Food 50: Allen Susser of The Café at Books & Books in Miami

Chef Allen Susser inside the Cafe at Books & Books in downtown Miami.
Chef Allen Susser inside the Cafe at Books & Books in downtown Miami.

Allen Susser, consulting chef at The Café at Books & Books in Miami

Why he’s Food 50: The trailblazing Miami chef continues to be a top advocate for local farmers and charities.

Allen Susser, on the strength of his pioneering restaurant Chef Allen’s, earned a nod as a Food & Wine magazine Best New Chef, a James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southeast and a four-star Miami Herald review — all by 1994. He closed his Aventura restaurant in 2011 after a 25-year run. Where other chefs would hang up their accolades and call it a day, Susser, 59, is a more visible presence in the South Florida culinary scene than ever.

Susser is a fixture at charity dine-around events, dishing out his Chef Allen’s Urban Pickles or supporting his fellow chefs. And his current role as consulting chef at the year-old Books & Books café on the Arsht Center campus downtown is a perfect fit. He hosts weekly farm-to-table dinners on Monday nights, showcasing the best of what’s available from local growers. And he curates the café daily menu with a similar plant-based ethos that speaks to Susser’s ability to continue to have his finger on the pulse of what’s important in the food world.

Where to find him: The Café at Books & Books, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 786-405-1745


Instagram: @chefallensusser

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