Next Super Chef

Written by  //  February 2012  //  Featured Stories, March 2012  //  No comments

Adrianne Calvo

Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant & Wine Bar, Miami

Filled with the love for food at a young age, Adrianne Calvo focused her efforts on her one true aspiration: cooking. At 27, the orange-haired dynamo has enjoyed a ridiculous number of accolades on her remarkable journey to becoming a nationally acclaimed chef. She coined the catch phrase “Maximum Flavor” to sum up her culinary philosophy, but somehow has managed to exceed to the “maximum” degree. From graduating at the top of her class at Johnson & Wales University to now owning and operating her own restaurant, Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar, Calvo has influenced the culinary community as well as the way people experience fine dining, drawing raves from diners who almost wish they could keep this sublime little eatery a secret, yet can’t help but gush about flavor-laden dishes like Osso Bucco made with Pinot Noir, tomatoes, garlic and Italian herbs, maple brown sugar-crusted salmon, and slow-braised shortribs served over mashed potatoes.

Earlier in her career, Calvo worked at the Mandarin Oriental in Miami, mastering the art of pastry under Patrick Lassaque; later, a trip to Napa Valley, California, inspired her cookbooks, Maximum Flavor and Driven by Flavor Fueled by Fire, along with her line of products, Maximum Flavor Essentials. Today, even with a successful restaurant and a schedule packed with TV cooking segments (including a stint on Food Network’s Chopped, where she made it to the dessert round), Calvo also heads the Make It Count foundation, a collaboration with St. Jude’s Children Hospital.

Carlos Torres

660 at the Anglers, Miami Beach

Born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, Carlos Torres began experimenting in the kitchen as an adolescent, even opening a new concept restaurant there with his brother. It was then that he learned food was his passion and would become his fate. At 23, Torres moved to New York City and took jobs at upscale restaurants Lucy Latin Kitchen and Pipa. After several years in New York, Torres decided to expand his expertise in Latin cuisine by seeking out acclaimed Latin chef Douglas Rodriguez to be his mentor. Torres worked for Chef Douglas at OLA, where he eventually was named Executive Chef. Torres also helped open De Rodriguez Cuba at The Astor along with De Rodriguez Ocean at the Hilton Bentley Hotel where he also served as Executive Chef. Torres won the Miami New Times Iron Fork Competition in 2011.

Newly installed at 660 at the Anglers, Torres looks forward to dazzling patrons at the already celebrated eatery by bringing new life to the menu with a gradual integration of additions, including Scallop Ceviche, sliced scallops marinated in Yuzu with red onion, avocado, cilantro, crispy garlic and oregano oil, and Octopus Escabeche, confit octopus, roasted red peppers, onions, lemon aioli, caper berries, olives and smoked paprika. With an emphasis on fresh seafood and Latin flavors, he aims to please the Floridian palate. Says Torres, “I am indeed confident and proud that the abilities I bring to the table are expressed in my creations.”

Michael Pirolo

Scarpetta in the Fontainebleau, Miami Beach

When New York-born Michael Pirolo was 18 months old, his family relocated to the outskirts of Avellino, Italy, near the rolling hills of Tuscany. There, as a toddler, his passion for food was ignited as he helped his grandmother make gnocchi and sundried tomatoes from scratch out on their terrace. At 21, Pirolo enrolled in I.C.F. in Torino, where he was hand-picked to apprentice at Michelin-rated establishments such as La Voglia Matta in Bologna and Café Groppi in Piemonte.

In 2003, he returned to New York and immersed himself in French culinary style, but after five years he followed his heart back to the Italian kitchen, teaming up with Chef Scott Conant at Tutto Il Giorno. After successfully working side by side, Pirolo and Conant became co-Chefs de Cuisine at Scarpetta, so it was only natural that Pirolo would open the Scarpetta outpost at the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach. Under his direction, Scarpetta has garnered critical acclaim as one of Miami’s finest dining options. “I guess one of my favorite aspects of my profession is the fact that it is constantly evolving, which makes the day to day very exciting because every day can be a learning experience,” says the 32-year-old. “I think all chefs have dreams of owning their own restaurant, and I’m no different.” He also has a passion for wine. “Someone once told me the measure of a great wine is less the effect the first sip leaves on you and more the effortlessness with which you finish the last sip.  I’ll admit I’ve had very little trouble finishing a bottle of good Barbaresco. That and Lambrusco!”

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