Old World Ateliers Make Magic Inside the Fontainebleau

DiningOut Miami // April 2018

Sit down for dinner at Michael Mina’s StripSteak, inside Fontainebleau Miami Beach {4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 800.548.8886}, and after one bite you may ponder, ‘this is the best rib-eye I’ve ever had.’ Tempted to ask the waiter about the beef’s origin, you hesitate; you don’t want to be like the lunatic couple in “Portlandia” who travels to a local farm to investigate the provenance of a chicken on the menu. If curiosity gets the best of you, DiningOut Miami is here to dish all the secrets.

Located underground Fontainebleau, stretching four miles of pathways, is a culinary city that buzzes 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Housing a complete butchery to a full service bakery operation, countless chefs venture down to the underground hub to source goods for Fontainebleau’s 12 restaurants and banquets. After a $1 billion expansion and renovation in 2008, the beachfront marvel that once entertained Hollywood’s silver screen legends and served as Elvis Presley’s rollicking playground reopened with a flourish, determined to be a modern resort with Old World culinary values.

Vice President of Culinary Operations, Thomas Connell, is quick to point out that all seven kitchens have a dedicated saucier—a chef who prepares delectable sauces.

“Every kitchen has a kettle that may have 200 pounds of veal knuckles deglazing, cooking, and reducing for a total of 36 hours to get one liter of demi-glace,” he explains. This mouthwatering demi-glace is the rich brown sauce that accompanies steaks.

Let’s talk about steaks. You’d have to travel to Pennsylvania and introduce yourself to the Amish farmhands to find the cows that Connell selects. Sourcing strictly from Moyer Farms—a collection of family farms that dates back to 1877—Connell credits the region, lack of pesticides and hormones, the soil’s nitrogen cycle, and Amish traditions for producing a natural product unlike any other on the planet.

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