Time Out Miami Offers a Taste of the City

One of the most anticipated food halls, Time Out Market, opens in South Beach—and it’s serving up Miami’s best on a (dignified) plate.

“It’s so Miami,” giddily exclaims Time Out Markets CEO Didier Souillat, his hard hat bobbing as he points out the millennial pink and white splashed terrazzo that swathes each counter inside the sprawling new food hall. “We wanted to have local designers, local architects, and to really embrace the South Beach feel.” Swallowing up the entire block between bustling Lincoln Road and Drexel Avenue, Time Out Market Miami is the first U.S. outpost of popular Time Out Market Lisbon, the international company’s flagship food-cultural market in Portugal. (By the end of 2019, more Time Out food halls will roll out in New York, Boston, Chicago and Montreal.) At more than 17,000 square feet, it dwarfs many of the other food halls that now pepper South Florida, offering 17 food stalls, a demo kitchen, and—most notably— a carefully curated roster of Miami’s top-notch chefs, including Jeremy Ford, Norman Van Aken, Scott Linquist, Michael Beltran and Cesar Zapata. “We have James Beard-award winners to smaller operators; it’s the who’s who in the culinary world under one roof,” boasts Souillat. “It’s a very diverse group, so none of the concepts overlap.”

With serious chefs serving serious food, Time Out has awarded the chefs/restaurateurs full-blown kitchens that mimic a restaurant tricked out with walk-in fridges, dry storage and coolers; instead of food court-style disposables, diners are treated to proper china and silverware. While most of the chefs already helm signature restaurants around town, Time Out offers the opportunity to explore new concepts, or bring their fan favorites to the masses that pack Lincoln Road. “We brought them in because of who they are and what they represent,” explains Souillat, “so, we don’t want them to completely reinvent themselves, but we want them to try new things in our spaces. Because of the volume of people that will come through Time Out, there are plenty of people to try things out on.”

Aventura magazine gathered six of the Time Out Market Miami chefs around the table—who all welcomed each other with hugs and handshakes—to find out why they chose this particular food hall, what’s new, what’s staying on the menu, and, most importantly, what you must order.

Jeremy Ford
Claim to fame: Stubborn Seed, Miami Beach (and winner of Top Chef Season 13)

Why Time Out Market Miami? “Jean-Georges was in town and I grabbed his ear to see what he thought about the opportunity, and he told me, ‘Jump on it. Time Out is the biggest and the baddest, and it’s the one to be a part of.’ When Jean-Georges tells you that, there’s absolutely no one else. Also, the exposure is just astronomically high. We’ll be able to touch so many people from all over the world.”

Time Out concept: “People see what I’ve done at Stubborn Seed with intense techniques and flavors, but I’m really excited to strip away all the flash of what I do and show people a different side. I dabbled in Korean years ago, and I think mixing my Southern roots with Korean flavors is a good match. It’s going to be a completely different experience. When I started working with my mentor at Jean-Georges, Greg Brainin, he showed me that every balanced dish needs to have something crunchy. If you don’t have that crunch in your mouth, the dish isn’t complete.”

The must-haves: “The signature dish is a kick-ass chicken sandwich with Korean spices. I’m a huge Chick-fil-A fan, and it’s that sandwich that I crave, you know. I could eat three of them and be completely full and then put another one down. I’ve always wanted to create my own version of that sandwich. We’re also making a fermented cucumber kimchi, and our sauce game is going to be strong — we’re going to get weird with it.”

Suzy Batlle
Claim to Fame: Azucar Ice Cream, Little Havana

Time Out concept: Azucar Ice Cream

The must-haves: “Fans can expect our best seller, Abuela Maria, with guava cream cheese and Maria crackers, and café con leche ice cream. We’re working on a flan with some Havana Club rum in it. Also, violet ice cream. If you’re Cuban, you’ll remember violeta perfume—it’s oddly gross, but we made it into a delicious ice cream, and it will take you back in time.”

What stands out: “A cultural experience, that’s what we like to scoop our guests. I pretty much want them to see and feel the culture of Miami in our ice cream. Since I purvey everything from Homestead, it’s a true farm-to-cone experience. And you’ll smell our waffle cones when you walk into the food hall.”

Fan-girling over: “I love Norman Van Aken—he’s an inspiration, so working with him will be awesome. I know all the other chefs, and it’ll be so much fun to work together. Since I curate the dessert portion, I’ll be able to pair my ice cream with their food. So, maybe something like a sweet-corn ice cream to match with something Norman’s made. We’re going to play around, and every day there’ll be something new.”

Cesar Zapatđ
Claim to fame: Phuc Yea, Miami (and previously, The Federal)

Time Out concept: “For this concept we wanted to focus on pho. It’s one of those things that’s so comforting. Even though I’m not Vietnamese, it has a lot of flavors that resemble the soups I grew up eating. We make everything from scratch. Our broth will cook for 12 hours straight, so it’s not something a lot of restaurants do. We’re also serving bao buns with a shawarma-style meat, so you’ll pick your choice of protein, and we’ll slice to order and serve with pickles, cucumbers and fresh herbs, so you’re basically creating your own bao.”

Why Time Out Market Miami: “I’ve been approached by many different markets to do something, but what attracted me to Time Out was the caliber of the people involved and the care that they’ve put into the market. They’ve built a whole kitchen for us, so we can have a successful concept. And, if this new pho concept works, then we can open more than one. So, this will be a test.”

The must-haves: “The classic pho with brisket, rare beef, meatballs, rice noodles, fresh herbs and a delicious beef broth. Also, the chicken pho—it’s a very simple chicken broth with cilantro, a chili-garlic oil and rice noodles.”

Veronica Menin and Diego Tosoni
Claim to Fame: Love Life Café, Wynwood

Time Out concept: Love Life Café with a second food stall serving smoothies, açai bowls, cold-pressed juices, and vegan milkshakes

How they got here: “Love Life started as a wellness center, offering yoga, massage, acupuncture, health coaching and a small window to grab smoothies and salads after yoga. We quickly expanded, attracting a local Wynwood crowd for lunch. We won an award for ‘Best Veggie Burger in America’ at the 2016 Seed Food & Wine Festival; after that, it just took off. The reason we are successful is the dishes are so flavorful and comforting, you don’t know that you’re eating plant-based. Most of our clients aren’t vegan.”

The must-haves: “We’re bringing our best sellers from Wynwood, like the Best Veggie Burger, which is layered with flavors, from the homemade guacamole to the black bean-based patty. Also, the arepas. They’re infused with spinach, chia seeds and chlorophyll, so it’s a superfood arepa. At the second concept, we’re bringing new menu items like vegan milkshakes and smoothie bowls.”

Andres Barrientoȷ
Claim to Fame: Miami Smokers

Time Out concept: Miami Smokers (Meat Bar)

The focus: “Charcuterie boards. Our attention is focused on dried, cured meats, so think a meat and cheese bar, where our original location is more of an extension of our production facility, like a deli, where we make sausages, smoked ribs and smoked wings. Initially, we’re launching five different meats and a selection of seven domestic cheeses. I’m excited about the selection of cheeses we are starting with—I pretty much picked all my favorite cheeses.”

The must-haves: “The very first thing you should order is the bacon-wrapped plantains, one of our signature items, but there are some other things we’re debuting, like barbecue rillettes. Charcuterie, depending on what you’re making, can take 45 days to 45 months. As the concept progresses, the menu will shift, too. We have some cool recipes coming out for charcuteries that are not traditional flavors.”

On friendly competition: “There’s a lot of talent in one room, which is great for business, but it’s also tough because we’re still somewhat competing. So, there’s a high standard which needs to be maintained at Time Out, but that’s cool, because it’s what makes us better.”

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