To kick off the 2012 Spotlight Series on none other than Superbowl Sunday is the man wearing the top toque at the newly opened Edge, Steak and Bar at the Four Seasons Miami, Executive Chef Aaron Brooks.
Interview with Aaron Brooks, Executive Chef, Edge, Steak and Bar
South Florida Food and Wine: Where do you get your culinary inspiration?
Aaron Brooks: Food has to be seasonal and relevant to where you are, and the people eating it. For me the best way to represent that is to draw from all the great local product and cultural influences around me.
South Florida Food and Wine: When did you realize that cooking was your passion?
Aaron Brooks: At about 17 my mother pushed me into a culinary apprenticeship at a large resort in Australia. I was fortunate to work with some extremely passionate individuals who guided me, and showed me how to appreciate good ingredients and have respect for them. Thankfully the journey has continued throughout my career.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your favorite item on your menu?
Aaron Brooks: From our appetizers I would have to say the Corvina Tartare is a real winner, the blend of spicy aji amarillo, granny smith apple, celery and lime works so well with this versatile fish. For a main, I would choose our ‘Butchers Filet’, rubbed with our steak spice, grilled and paired with the quinoa and fire roasted corn salad, it is so, so good.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your favorite dish to make at home?
Aaron Brooks: I love to roast a chicken, done right, and with the perfect sides, it’s really an underrated treat.
South Florida Food and Wine: It’s your last day on earth, what would your final meal be?
Aaron Brooks: A thick cut t-bone steak coal roasted on the barbie with a salad of perfectly ripe heirloom tomatoes, red onions and first press olive oil. Don’t forget the glass of Grange of course.
South Florida Food and Wine: Who is the one person you would love to cook with and why?
Aaron Brooks: A very good friend of mine, and amazing Chef, Joshua Smith of Boston’s Tico. During my time in Boston he exposed me to the best New England has to offer. Cooking with him is always a laugh, especially free-styling with the ingredients, and bouncing ideas off each other. Trying to one-up each other with every dish none the less!
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your one guilty pleasure food?
Aaron Brooks: A vegemite sandwich. The stuff is so addictive…. no seriously it is.
South Florida Food and Wine: What was the last restaurant you ate at?
Aaron Brooks: We just went to Sugarcane this past weekend…. great atmosphere, the octopus anticucho was amazing.
South Florida Food and Wine: Who would you most like to cook for? And why?
My mother and father….. Australia is a long way away and it is well overdue.
South Florida Food and Wine: It’s your day off, what do you do for fun?
Aaron Brooks: Spending time with my girls enjoying the best of what Miami has to offer, we’ll jump in the car and check out a new spot for lunch or dinner and spend some relaxing times together in the sun.
Edge, Steak & Bar at Four Seasons Miami 1436 Brickell Avenue on the 7th Floor lobby, Miami, Florida, 33131 (305) 381-3015
Love the South Florida food scene? Check out our newly published book (Globe Pequot Press, $14.95), Food Lovers’ Guide to Miami & Fort Lauderdale