International gastronome and Travel Channel host Andrew Zimmern recently hit the streets of Miami to film an episode ofBizarre Foods America. Along for the ride were superstar chef Michelle Bernstein and nightlife impresario Nicola Siervo. The episode, which aired July 23, featured local favorites including El Palacio De Los Jugos, The Dutch, and WALL. Here, Zimmern gives his take on Miami's ever-growing culinary scene.
What about eating in Miami surprised or impressed you the most?
ANDREW ZIMMERN: Being the capital of South America, unofficially of course, I am phenomenally impressed by all the Nicaraguan cafeterias, Cuban lechonerias, and Brazilian steakhouses. I am also on the flip side very impressed by the insane maturity on the tabelcoth dining scene these days.
Which Miami chefs do you feel are changing the way the city eats and why?
AZ: Well, the NYC Collective—Portale, Carmellini, Conant, Zakarian, etc.—are all doing amazing things, but I think Michelle Bernstein represents the soul of [Miami], from a food perspective.
What are you favorite local haunts and hangouts?
AZ: The beach, Joe's Stone Crab, The Dutch, and Michael's Genuine Food & Drink are all fun.