RED ROOSTER’S CHEF DE CUISINE TRISTEN EPPS TAKES US BEHIND THE SCENES AS HE REVEALS MENU HIGHLIGHTS, WHAT IT’S LIKE WORKING WITH CHEF MARCUS SAMUELSSON AND HOW THEY GET THEIR FRIED CHICKEN JUST SO PERFECT.
The interior of Red Rooster features a vibrant color palette that draws its guests in from the outside.
Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster has debuted in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood, breathing life into the community and welcoming newcomers to a vibrant and culturally rich setting with mouthwatering cuisine. Together, chef Samuelsson and his skillful chef de cuisine Tristen Epps (@eppsandflows) have created a vibrant menu of comfort food that pays homage to its culture with a masterful flair, utilizing local ingredients. Here, Epps gives us an inside look at the Red Rooster kitchen to learn more about the man and team behind the Overtown eatery. 920 NW Second Ave., Miami, @redroosterovertown
The dining room of Red Rooster is impeccably designed, yet remains warm and familial.
Tell us about the inspiration behind the menu at Red Rooster and how you curated it. We used a part of town that nobody wanted anything to do with to inspire us. We dug a little deeper and let Overtown tell us its history along with the rest of the flavor of Miami’s heritage.
What is the best part about working with chef Marcus? The support—it’s very easy to want to work with someone who has your best interest at heart, along with the projects that come with it.
In your opinion, what menu items best represent Red Rooster’s spirit? The whole roasted oxtail is what I think represents Red Rooster the most. Some might say it’s our chicken, but as a whole, nothing connects my story along with the culture of other places of my cooks and staff than the oxtail.
When people are dining at Red Rooster, how do you want them to feel? I want them to feel a sense of belonging. It’s no secret that we try to celebrate Black and brown cultures with our food and art, but for anyone else who comes, I want them to feel a sense of pride and belonging in Overtown.
Chef de cuisine Tristen Epps
I personally can’t get enough of the fried chicken. What’s the secret behind it? Really proper brining and marination of the chicken, and we actually use a coarse rice flour breading to give a great crunch.
Best advice for young, aspiring chefs? Eat as much as you can; taste everything even if you didn’t grow up eating it. If you don’t like something, cook it more until you find a way to like it. Travel when you have the chance. And work as hard as you can, even if it’s not the most lucrative at the time.