September 4, 2011

Interview with Chef Kris Wessel, owner of Red Light, Little River

The man of the MiMo (Miami Modern) District is none otherthan the James Beard Foundation acknowledged Kris Wessel. While Chef Wesselputs out some fine regional American cuisine that pays homage to his native NewOrleans, it really is his guts and tenacity for opening his Red Light that getshim attention. Red Light in this case is not defined as “stop” but rather theother red light, as in a former no-tell motel. Chef Wessel certainly has asense of humor along with a culinary talent and skill that WOWS! guests new andrepeat. In his funky, über casual setting Wessel puts out some pretty rad cultclassics that shouldn’t be missed such as his spicy bbq shrimp, “Little RedSmoker” ribs and his oyster pie. As this week’s Chef in the Spotlight let’sfind out a little bit more about the talent and personality behind this funkedout restaurant, Kris Wessel.

Chef Kris Wessel

South Florida Food and Wine: Where do you get your culinaryinspiration?

Kris Wessel:I’m inspired by the region I live in and the multicultural influences on peopleand product around me.

South Florida Food and Wine: When did you realize that cooking wasyour passion?

Kris Wessel: 12years old went on a trip to New York with my Aunt and Uncle, came back, andmade turtle soup with my other Sicilian Aunt.

South Florida Food and Wine: What is your favorite item on yourmenu?

KrisWessel: Little red smoker fish dip (when I get the right type offish Marlin or Wahoo) because we smoke it down by the river.

South Florida Food and Wine: What is your favorite dish to make athome?
Kris Wessel: Spaghettiand meat sauce I like the red rim it makes on my daughters face when she eatsit, I know I’m home

South Florida Food and Wine: It’s your last day on earth, whatwould your final meal be?

Kris Wessel: Scallops,truffles, risotto, veal chop perfect demi glace and a cold mango pie. Richdecadent and regional I can die now.

South Florida Food and Wine: Who is the one person you would loveto cook with and why?

Kris Wessel:I would like to feature my Dad one night with all his favorite dishes and helphim cook for a full room he is the star chef in my life.

South Florida Food and Wine: What is your one guilty pleasure food?

Kris Wessel: Beluga000 (triple zero) caviar right out of the can. It’s so ridiculously expensivebut so pure and delicious.

South Florida Food and Wine: What was the last restaurant you ateat?

Kris Wessel: Morgan’sfor brunch

South Florida Food and Wine: Who would you most like to cook for?And why?

Kris Wessel: Probablyany beautiful woman that knows food even to a snobby extent and would allow meto do 5 courses of my best stuff. There is something sensually exciting andchallenging to me to cook for a woman who gets it.

South Florida Food and Wine: It’s your day off, what do you do forfun?

Kris Wessel: Anythingwith my daughters makes my day!!


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Red Light Little River 7700Biscayne Blvd. Miami 33138 (305) 757-7773     

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