This week’s Chef in the Spotlight has a list of professional highlights and accolades longer than an order sheet for all his purveyors combined. It is is none other than Miami’s own Chef Douglas Rodriguez. Armed with multiple restaurants and equally as many cookbooks, this multi-award winning chef; including the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award serves legions of fans his famous dishes that are infused with his innate talent for enhancing traditional Latin flavors and styles; thus dubbing him The Godfather of Nuevo Latino Cuisine. Let’s peel that onion back one more layer…I present this week’s Chef in the Spotlight, Douglas Rodriguez.
South Florida Food and Wine: Where do you get your culinary inspiration?
Douglas Rodriguez: I get most of my culinary inspiration from traveling and eating out at different restaurants. When I come across a great ingredient to work with, I get inspired to create new and innovative dishes.
South Florida Food and Wine: When did you realize that cooking was your passion?
Douglas Rodriguez: I was raised in Miami and grew up with the sights, smells, and tastes of Cuban/American cuisine. I developed a passion for food at a very early age – 6 years old! By age 10 I had a collection of cookbooks, pots and pans and was developing and preparing original dishes. I have always loved to cook and knew I would be a chef even as a child.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your favorite item on your menu?
Douglas Rodriguez: Ceviches, all of them.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your favorite dish to make at home?
Douglas Rodriguez: I love preparing all of my dishes at home for my family. I love to prepare any type of vegetable.
South Florida Food and Wine: It’s your last day on earth, what would your final meal be?
Douglas Rodriguez: Prime Dry Age Rib Eye, Medium Rare, Amarone Wine, Vanilla Ice Cream
South Florida Food and Wine: Who is the one person you would love to cook with and why?
Douglas Rodriguez: Felipe Rojas Lombardi, my Mentor, Chef and Author of “The Art of South America Cooking.” Felipe passed away before I had an opportunity to meet him. I have a painting of him displayed in De Rodriguez Cuba on Ocean that keeps me inspired.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your one guilty pleasure food?
Douglas Rodriguez: Vanilla Ice Cream
South Florida Food and Wine: What was the last restaurant you ate at?
Douglas Rodriguez: Corbetts, Louisville KY
South Florida Food and Wine: Who would you most like to cook for? And why?
Douglas Rodriguez: My wish had always been cook for Felipe Rojas Lombardi. I would have loved to spend an entire evening with him – eating, drinking and talking about food.
South Florida Food and Wine: It’s your day off, what do you do for fun?
Douglas Rodriguez: On my days off I enjoy spending time with my wife and kids, drink wine, shop, and go to the movies.
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De Rodriguez Cuba on Ocean
at the Hilton Bently South Beach101-B Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, FL 33139