With accolades including James Beard Foundation “Who’s Who of Food & Beverage” inductee, Bon Appétit Chef of the Year and the International Food and Beverage Forum’s Restaurateur of the Year, award-winning chef and restaurateur Michael Mina continues to dazzle the culinary world with bold dining concepts that have contributed to San Francisco’s reputation as a world-class epicurean destination and made him an integral part of the dining scene across the country. His culinary and business vision led to the founding of his company, MINA Group, with partner Andre Agassi in 2002. Under the auspices of MINA Group, he has opened over 45 operations across the United States and Dubai, including StripSteak and Pizza & Burger at the Fontainebleau. He is thrilled to return to Miami this weekend for the South Beach Wine & Food Festival – and looks forward to being a part of his favorite event, Wine Spectator’s Best of the Best. Join him this Friday, February 21 for the party of the year!
What South Beach Wine & Food Festival event are you most looking forward to attending this year and why?
I’m really looking forward to attending Wine Spectator’s Best of the Best party at the Fontainebleau – it’s always been my favorite event of the entire festival, and we have StripSteak and Bourbon Steak both participating. I’m also excited to do a post-event night cap at MINA Group’s Pizza & Burger afterwards!
What is your “Pro Tip” for eating/drinking/navigating your way through the festival?
There are so many delicious things to experience – I recommend evaluating the offerings and eating small bites to save room to try everything and go out of your comfort zone. Our latest Miami restaurant, International Smoke at the Aventura Mall, is participating in Goya Foods’ Grand Tasting Village on Saturday and I know I’ll need to strictly follow my own advice there!
What is your favorite memory of the festival?
The festival is such a great time to see old friends and colleagues. It brings us all together in such a fun and beautiful setting.
What is your favorite off the beaten path spot in Miami to sneak away for a quick bite or late night drink?
I love to go to Lucali in Sunset Harbor each time I’m in town. I’m also a huge fan of Broken Shaker, The Dutch, The Bazaar, and Michael’s Genuine — I’m also dying to check out The Surf Club by Chef Keller during this visit!