Chef Eismann pays homage to American barbecue

Tue May 18, 2010 2:34pm EDT
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By Richard Leong

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."   Continued...

<p>An undated handout of chef Jonathan Eismann REUTERS/Courtesy of Jonathan Eismann/Handout</p>