Today’s Chef in the Spotlight is Chris Miracolo, Executive Chef at Max’s Harvest in Delray Beach. I’ve known Chris for some time now and have followed his career and cheffing over the years. There comes a point in everyone’s professional career when they reach the pinnacle of what they do and while I’m sure Chris has much more success ahead of him, the job he is doing at Max’s Harvest highlights his true talents and his innate culinary capabilities (question #2) which have come full circle as you see glimmers of residual protégée activity going on in his food, from his time spent with Norman Van Aken at Norman’s, Mark Militello at Mark’s Las Olas, Peter Boloukos, (Miracolo’s mentor) of The Restaurant People, Dean Fearing at The Mansion on Turtle Creek and Kent Rathbun at Jaspers both from his two year stint in Dallas, Texas. Now back in South Florida where I believe Chris will be planted for a while, he answers the Spotlight questions in true Chris Miracolo form, giving you, the reader, insight to the main man behind the line at Max’s Harvest. Pay close attention to his answers to questions; final meal, cooking at home, and who he’d love to cook with and for; these answers endear Miracolo even further in his culinary quest. I present this week’s Chef in the Spotlight, Chris Miracolo.
South Florida Food and Wine: Where do you get your culinary inspiration?
Chris Miracolo: From my team, my farmers, my guests and just about anyone who has a love of good food.
South Florida Food and Wine: When did you realize that cooking was your passion?
Chris Miracolo: After a meal at Norman’s in Coral Gables in 1995, I had always cooked throughout high school and but was blown away with what was put on the table and was determined to learn how to cook on that level.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your favorite item on your menu?
Chris Miracolo: Hard to pick a favorite amongst your children but I typically crave our Ricotta Gnocchi or Scallops. Then I get to work and see a couple of our burgers go out and succumb to the inevitable.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your favorite dish to make at home?
Chris Miracolo: Make favorite thing to make when I’m not working is a classic dish called “Reservations.” All kidding aside I do love to make a Sunday Gravy. Nothing smells better than a Sunday off in a house full of garlic, pork, tomatoes and football.
South Florida Food and Wine: It’s your last day on earth, what would your final meal be?
Chris Miracolo: A Double Whopper with Cheese, an extra large McDonald’s Fries and a Dr. Pepper. If you’re gone tomorrow might as well eat the stuff that’ll kill you today.
South Florida Food and Wine: Who is the one person you would love to cook with and why?
Chris Miracolo: Who? Thomas Keller. Why? The same reason a basketball player wants to play one on one with Jordan or a physicist wants to have beer with Einstein.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your one guilty pleasure food?
Chris Miracolo: I have never felt guilty about taking pleasure from food.
South Florida Food and Wine: What was the last restaurant you ate at?
Chris Miracolo: PL8 Kitchen in Fort Lauderdale.
South Florida Food and Wine: Who would you most like to cook for? And why?
Chris Miracolo: Eddie Vedder, I would like to an opportunity to see if he enjoys my craft as much as I enjoy his.
South Florida Food and Wine: It’s your day off, what do you do for fun?
Chris Miracolo: See live music, go out to eat with friends, take my dog to the park, or have a date night with my girlfriend. Or even better, go out to eat with my girlfriend while some friends meet up with us on a dog friendly patio that features live music.
Max’s Harvest 169 NE 2nd Avenue Delray Beach FL, 33444
Click here to view photos of my recent brunch at Max’s Harvest
Love the South Florida food scene? Check out our newly published book (Globe Pequot Press, $14.95), Food Lovers’ Guide to Miami & Fort Lauderdale