• Featured Chef: Jose Mendin

  • Jose-Mendin
  • As a son of Puerto Rico and a resident of Miami Beach, Chef José Mendín blends cuisines and cultures with ease. His love of food, fostered by family, guided him to pursue a degree from Johnson & Wales University in Miami. Post-graduation, in 2001, his first big industry job came when he joined the team that opened Nobu Miami.

    Global Perspectives

    Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s Miami menu mixes Japanese food, European techniques and Latin American accents which helped form Mendín’s early culinary sensibilities. Daring combinations like jalapeno and gochujang hot sauce with subtle ingredients like miso, sesame and noodles at Nobu guided Mendín next to SUSHISAMBA where he became assistant corporate chef, overseeing all the brand’s U.S. locations. Mendín’s love of classic European techniques led him to Spain, where he worked at Michelin-starred restaurants, cooked for the prince of Spain and learned the importance of traditional—even ancient—recipes, like grilled octopus, croquetas de jamon and patatas arrubravas.

    A decade into his career, Mendín and partners launched Pubbelly Noodle Bar, and soon followed with the equally popular Pubbelly Sushi, the tapas-centric Barceloneta and the cocktail lounge Pawn Broker. Along the way, he has been recognized as a semi-finalist of the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef: South” for five consecutive years from 2012-2016 and received national acknowledgements from Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, Serious Eats, Departures and The Cooking Channel, among many others.

    “Balancing tradition and innovation is all about picking the right recipes and applying your own art to them. There is no innovation without tradition, and my goal as a chef is to make traditional food better with modern knowledge” says Mendín.

    Most recently, Mendín and his partners relaunched the growing restaurant empire as Food Comma Hospitality Group, and announced an ambitious new sustainability-focused concept Habitat, a rooftop restaurant at the luxury 1 Hotel South Beach.

  • Grilled-Octopus_930x523

  • Grilled Octopus with Ginger Miso Butter and Lemongrass Sauce by Chef Jose Mendin

    Ingredients

    Grilled Octopus

    Yield: 4 servings

    • Ingredients
      Amount
    • 4-5 tentacles Spanish octopus (6/8 size)
      1 each
    • Duck fat
      1 tablespoon
    •  Garlic, sliced
      1 tablespoon
    • Shallots, sliced
      2 each

    Lemongrass Sauce

    • Ingredients
      Amount
    • Garlic cloves
      15 each
    • Ginger
      1 piece
    • Tom yum paste
      2 pounds
    • Lemon juice, strained
      1 quart
    • Lime juice, strained
      1 quart
    • Kikkoman Soy Sauce
      ½ cup
    • Canola oil
      ½ cup

    Ginger Miso Butter

    • Ingredients
      Amount
    • Miso
      1 quart
    • Clarified butter
      1 quart
    • Yuzu
      ½ cup
    • Ginger, grated
      1 ½ ounces

    Garnish

    • Ingredients
      Amount
    • Chives, snipped
      As needed
    • Sea salt
      As needed
    • Key lime
      As needed
    • Garlic chips
      As needed

    Method

    To make Grilled Octopus

    1. Set up sous vide runner in large plastic container. Add hot water (180°F). Turn sous vide to 176°F. Place octopus, duck fat, garlic and shallots in vacuum bag. Once desired temperature is reached, place octopus bag inside hot water and cook for 7-8 hours, or until tender. Once finished, place octopus in a prepared ice bath to cool immediately.

    To make Lemongrass Sauce

    1. Pulverize garlic and ginger in mortar or Japanese grinder. Place ginger, garlic, tom yum paste, lemon and lime juice and soy sauce in blender. Blend, adding oil slowly to emulsify.

    To make Ginger Miso Butter

    1. Blend together miso, clarified butter, yuzu and ginger.

    To Assemble

    1. Fry octopus tentacle to achieve a crispy skin then grill. Brush with ginger Miso Butter. Slice and plate. Dress with Lemongrass Sauce. Top with chives, sea salt, key lime and garlic chips.