NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Jonathan Eismann has rapidly built a group of eclectic eateries in Miami's Design District, one of that city's up-and-coming neighborhoods.
The 48-year-old New York native and graduate of The Culinary Institute of America is known for his French techniques and innovative ideas.
He recently opened Q American Barbeque which serves southern-style barbecue and is located just blocks from his Pan-Asian flagship Pacific Time, Volante, a high-end pizzeria and Fin, a seafood restaurant.
Eismann spoke to Reuters about the American barbecue and Miami's dining scene.
Q: Miami is not known for its barbecue. Are you adding your own twist on this American food?
A: "It is very traditional. What I mean by that is barbecue is certainly a regional American cuisine like California cuisine. What it really is it's an American heritage cuisine from the different regions it comes from, mostly the southern region of the United States. I did a lot of research and cooking a lot on my own."
Q: You opened one of the first restaurants in Miami Beach before it became trendy. Now all your eateries are in the city's Design District. Why?
A: "Rents on Miami Beach are now extraordinary ... It was a sensible move. It draws more of a local crowd. It's more word-by-mouth. We are building a reputation with foodie tourists. The neighborhood is a burgeoning area."
Q: You were an accomplished chef in New York before Miami. Compare the dining scenes between the two cities.
A: "It's really comparing apples with oranges. We do have a nice breed of restaurants here. But Miami doesn't have that food culture. It still doesn't have the availability to all those first-hand products. That's not a good or bad thing. There are still a lot of high-quality products and first-rate purveyors here."
Q: You fly planes and race cars. Do those hobbies reflect a high-energy style you run your kitchen?
A: "I like challenges. I like solving puzzles. I'm a cerebral person. The hobbies that I have flying planes and racing cars require a tremendous amount of concentration and practice."
Q: What is your favorite entree when you go out to eat?
A: "A perfectly cooked piece of steak or Dover sole or halibut. Those are the three of my favorite things."
Q American Barbecue's Dry-Rub Pork Spare Ribs
(Serves 8 to 15 people)
8-10 racks of pork ribs
2 cups curry powder
2 cups chili powder
2 cups paprika
4 cups brown sugar
2 cups salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup garlic powder
1/4 cup cumin
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
1. Evenly mix all ingredients together and set aside. Wash and dry each rack of spare ribs.
2. Place a 1/4-inch of seasoning on top of each rack of ribs. Lightly rub the underneath and sides of ribs with seasoning, but do not coat.
3. Slow roast the ribs in a pre-heating 240 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 4 hours.
4. Peel membranes from spare ribs if necessary.
Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Patricia Reaney