Celebrity chef/restaurateur Jeremy Ford’s private information to Miami


This article is a part of a information to Miami from FT Globetrotter

I’ve lived in Miami for practically 15 years — and I’d by no means transfer anyplace else. With my spouse and three daughters I dwell within the southern a part of the town, which is quieter and extra peaceable than the fast-paced areas round central Miami and the Beach. Most folks affiliate Miami with the flash and glam of South Beach, however there’s far more to see and do right here. There’s plenty of pure magnificence, from seashores to parks, and until you reside right here you may not learn about these locations. I’ve shared a few of my favorite spots right here.

In the water

I dwell proper subsequent to the water and do plenty of spearfishing. Miami is a fishing capital, and I’m horrible at it, so I believed I’d higher my odds by moving into the water. I like the ocean and have been an avid surfer my entire life, so as soon as I jumped in for the primary time I used to be addicted.

Miami is a fishing capital . . .  © Brent Durand/Getty Images

. . . and top-of-the-line methods to get pleasure from it’s to get within the water © Stephen Frink Collection/Alamy

One of the nice issues about spearfishing is that you simply don’t must be a licensed diver — it doesn’t require a tank. All you want is a masks, a spear gun and first rate lungs. I began with a course at Austin’s Diving Center, a spearfishing and diving specialist store in south Miami, which introduces folks to spearfishing by snorkelling first. A tour with a specialist is one of the simplest ways to provide it a strive; they may even present you the place to fish and take you to stunning 20ft to 30ft reefs.

My favorite spot is known as RJ’s Ledge — a 30ft reef off Miami Beach the place there are extensive number of massive native fish, together with parrot fish, that are gorgeous underwater, and also you’ll often see snappers and tarpon down there too. It’s additionally fairly uncommon to not catch something.

Park life

Matheson Hammock Park is one other must-see space and a hidden gem that’s lesser identified to guests, spanning 630 acres of coastal Miami simply south of Coral Gables and lengthening into Biscayne Bay. The park was designed to function typical Florida landscapes, from swamp and dense mangrove forests to the open cove and white-sand seaside. Many {couples} take engagement or wedding ceremony pictures there (my spouse and I had ours taken right here) as a result of it’s so stunning and far much less packed than different seashores.

Matheson Hammock Park is a hidden gem in Miami . . .  © Russell Kord/Alamy

. . . and gives guests a spread of actions together with boating © Jeffrey Isaac Greenberg/Alamy

It additionally gives one thing for everybody. You can hike or barbecue — there are many picnic areas with grills and benches. I often take my household there to go boating on the weekends. You can launch a ship from the park — there’s a full-service marina and dock, the place you may also join boating classes, fish from the pier or lease kiteboards, paddle-boards, canoes and kayaks to take into the bay.

Once you’ve launched out, there’s a spot known as No Name Harbor with a bit of, comparatively unknown restaurant known as Boater’s Grill — it’s nothing fancy, however an excellent place to go after you’ve been on the water for a number of hours and desire a chilly beer and a few recent fried fish. It hits the spot, and re-grounds you so you may stroll on strong floor once more.

Head north

Many folks don’t realise how simple it’s to get to Palm Beach from Miami. For those that don’t need to drive, there’s a Brightline practice service that leaves from MiamiCentral station and takes about an hour; in any other case, there’s a superb bus service. It’s a pleasant place to unwind. The tempo is slower than Miami and everyone seems to be well mannered, form and extra relaxed.

Palm Beach gives an excellent alternative for golf lovers — there are greater than 160 programs to select from. I’ve simply began to get into it. I’ve a restaurant that’s based mostly at a PGA National golf resort, and strolling across the website has made me realise that it’s simply too stunning to not take part.

Ford recommends Stage restaurant in Palm Beach Gardens . . . 

. . . for glorious Indian-inspired delicacies and open-fire cookery

One of my good buddies (and eager golfer), Pushkar Marathe, owns an Indian-inspired restaurant in Palm Beach Gardens that I can’t suggest sufficient. He’s an unbelievable chef. He labored for me over a decade in the past — I nonetheless bear in mind him as this younger child from Nagpur with the very best palate I’ve ever seen. In the culinary world, when somebody goes to an interview for a kitchen job it’s known as a “stage” (pronounced within the French means), and his restaurant is known as after that. Stage has grow to be a hub for the place younger cooks go to be taught and hone their craft beneath an incredible chef. The meals is scrumptious; it’s open-fire cookery, so diners can watch the cooks at work behind the road. The charred meats and greens are sensational.

Closer to dwelling

Another favorite is a small Sicilian-style eatery in Sunset Harbour known as Casa Isola, from chef José Mendín. Anything he touches turns to gold, so it’s no shock that this restaurant is great. (My spouse is 120 per cent Sicilian, and he or she significantly loves eating there.) Their bread service is insane — he does a pane al prosciutto that comes with caponata and is served with a Parmesan honey butter. It’s a must have. We additionally all the time order the rigatoni alla vodka — it’s a type of dishes that it’s important to get while you’re there. My recommendation is to make a reservation proper after sundown and arrive round 30 to 45 minutes early, so you may sit by the water and watch the solar go down — after which head to dinner and devour some scrumptious Italian meals.

Fare from Pura Vida . . . 

. . . makes you are feeling ‘like you add another decade to your life’ while you eat it, says Ford

For one thing fast and wholesome, close to my restaurant Stubborn Seed within the South of Fifth neighbourhood there’s a preferred spot known as Pura Vida, the place my kitchen workers and I most likely eat three or 4 days per week. They do superfood smoothies, acai bowls, wraps — primarily what you need to eat to remain fuelled while you’re working a 12-hour day or are planning to discover the town for hours. I really feel such as you add one other decade to your life while you eat there.

As for watering holes, I don’t are inclined to exit a lot due to my work, however after I do I head to Sweet Liberty. They make killer cocktails and it’s been named top-of-the-line bars in America. It’s all very artful however not pretentiously so. You can inform the bartenders what sort of flavours you want they usually’ll make one thing unbelievable for you.

Jeremy Ford is government chef associate of Stubborn Seed in Miami Beach, which lately earned one of many first Michelin stars to be awarded in Florida, and The Butcher’s Club in Palm Beach Gardens

Share your Miami highlights within the feedback

Follow FT Globetrotter on Instagram at @FTGlobetrotter

Cities with the FT

FT Globetrotter, our insider guides to among the world’s best cities, gives knowledgeable recommendation on consuming and consuming, train, artwork and tradition — and far more

Find us in Miami, New York, London, Paris, Rome, Frankfurt, Singapore, Tokyo and Hong Kong

Source: www.ft.com