Everyone likes to claim they’re the first at something, but in the case of Jeremy Ford, he really is Miami’s first Top Chef winner. And that winner, who left his gig at the Matador Room in April, is about to open two new restaurants in South Florida.
The Season 13 winner of Bravo’s hit chef show is opening Stubborn Seed at 101 Washington Avenue in Miami Beach, Tuesday, Sept. 19, and Afishonado, a rustic seafood spot in Coconut Grove with the Grove Bay Hospitality Group, sometime in 2018.
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“We’re very stoked about both concepts, however Afishonado is very exciting for me as the wood fire oven can create some amazing flavors,” Ford said. “This will be a place where you can expect very delicious rustic cuisine that speaks to its surroundings. I’ve always dreamed of creating a delicious waterfront restaurant.”
At Stubborn Seed, Ford and his team, which includes longtime friend and chef Joe Mizzoni, have created a menu that includes, among other things: the 5-second wahoo with a spicy buttermilk dressing, jalapeño ferment, sea grapes and Florida peach and a family-style suckling pig with charred turnip, spiced cherry jam and natural jus.
“At Stubborn Seed, people will have the opportunity to connect with Jeremy on a level they haven’t been able to before,” said Grove Bay Hospitality Group co-founder Francesco Balli. “This concept will offer guests a truly unique experience with a special tasting menu that will take diners on a journey with Jeremy as their guide.”
Stubborn Seed gets its name from Ford’s own tenacity over the course of his career.
“When you plant a seed, you watch to see if it will grow; sometimes the soil is hospitable, other times rocky. The stubborn seed succeeds,” Ford said. “That’s my philosophy –to keep pushing through to get the results that you want. In this case, it’s to open a restaurant that reflects my relentless approach to cooking.”
Ford is the latest big-name chef Grove Bay Hospitality has convinced to come to Coconut Grove, and the third it has signed to open a new restaurant. Last year, they lured Eating House chef Giorgio Rapicavoli to helm Glass and Vine, which earned a 3 1/2-star Miami Herald review. And they also have signed the chef couple Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth, also “Top Chef” alums, to open Stiltsville Fishbar in Sunset Harbour.