Azul's Top Toque
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Bayside dining at Azul
|Silver & Gold Egg, made with Italian caviar, a 63-degree quail egg, caramelized onions and potato espuma|
Has it always been your intention to travel a lot?
I’m a surfer, so I thought, How can I travel and surf and see the world? Nine times out of ten, I’m thinking about work or food. Surfing is my escape. I truly love being a chef, but I take it very seriously, so it helps to have something else in your life to provide that break.
How do your travels manifest at Azul?
The cuisine is modern American with European techniques and—this being the Mandarin Oriental—a few Asian influences. I was a sushi chef and worked with Japanese chefs for most of my career, so I’ve been influenced by that. I like the simplicity of Japanese food. But I don’t really have a lot of boundaries. If I want to put wasabi in a dish, I will, but I wouldn’t call this a Japanese restaurant.
Who is your competition in this town?
We have a lot of competition. I just spent the last two weeks eating at all these great restaurants, and I was totally wowed. Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink is unbelievable. I also went to DB Bistro Moderne and had a great time there. Michael Schwartz and Daniel Boulud are amazing chefs.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY GREG CLARK
Cover shoot: Behind the scenes with Pitbull for the October 2014 issue of Ocean Drive magazine.