Chef’s Choice: Jeremy Ford of Matador Room

When Jeremy Ford started as chef de cuisine at Matador Room (the then-brand-new Miami Beach EDITION’s signature restaurant by Jean-Georges Vongerichten), he had some pretty big shoes to fill. But the Jacksonville native, who had previously worked under LA chefs Christophe Émé at L’Orangerie and Joachim Splichal at Patina, and in various roles beside celebrated South Florida Chef Dean Max, rose to the challenge. A mere six months later, Ford got the opportunity of a lifetime: to compete on Top Chef. He proudly brought back a Season 13 win to Matador Room, and is once again cooking up the delectable Caribbean/Spanish/Latin American cuisine for which the restaurant is known. 2901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 786.257.4600;

Wild gulf shrimp over garlic and chili oil and garnished with thinly chopped herbs and a slice of lemon in a white bowl on a fringed white mat over a black surface prepared by Executive Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten at the Edition Hotel, Miami Beach FL

Shrimp Ceviche in “Agua Diablo”

For the shrimp:
Carolina white shrimp, deveined, peeled and cut in half from head to tail
4 grams salt
15 grams mint sprigs, bottom 1/3 stem removed, bruised last minute

Season shrimp with salt, bruise the mint and mix together well. Let stand 15 minutes. Transfer to a bain-marie. Pour 8 cups of water over all and stir. Cover with plastic wrap and let poach for 60 seconds, then drain through a China cap. Spread into a hotel pan and cool in the freezer for 15 minutes.

For the “agua diablo” sauce:
300 grams fresh lime juice
60 grams clementine juice
5 grams clementine peel, all pith removed
40 grams red finger chilies, ½ seeds removed
10 grams red habaneros, seeded and ribbed
2 grams garlic, germ removed
9 grams salt

Combine all ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth. Pass through a chinois with passing sediment. Make extremely cold before using.

To plate:
1½ ounces agua diablo
4 roasted/salted Marcona almonds cut end to end
Six ¾-inch ripe banana obliques
Flurry micro-cilantro

Scatter shrimp in the bottom of a freezing bowl, pour agua diablo over. Scatter with the banana, almonds and cilantro, then drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle lightly with flour.

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