1. Michael Schwartz
Chef Michael Schwartz is known throughout the country, particularly for introducing the farm-to-table movement to the mainstream. His restaurant, Michael's Genuine Food & Drink is consistently ranked as one of the best restaurants in all of Miami. In 2010, Chef Schwartz was honored with the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: South. He has also appeared on many TV shows including "Top Chef," "Rachael Ray's Rachael's Vacation," and "After Hours with Daniel Boulud," and has plans to release his first cook book, Down to Earth Cooking for People Who Love to Eat, in mid-February.
2. Michelle Bernstein
Miami native, Chef Michelle Bernstein was first recognized when she took over Azul restaurant at Mandarin Oriental back in 2001. But it was in 2005, when she opened Michy's, that landed her in the realm of celebrity-chefdom. Michy's which was named by Gourmet Magazine as one of the top 50 restaurants in the entire country. Three years later, Chef Bernstein opened the instantly popular tapas-style restaurant, Sra. Martinez. She has hosted shows on the Food Network, was a guest judge on "Top Chef," regularly appears regularly on "The Today Show," and has her own line of cooking ware sold on HSN.
3. Douglas Rodriguez
Chef Douglas Rodriguez is known as the "Godfather" of Nuevo Latino Cuisine, and for good reason. This native Miamian has taken his Cuban roots and singlehandedly helped change how Americans perceive Latin cuisine. He opened his first restaurant, Yuca in Coral Gables back in 1989 at only 24 years old. With Yuca's success, Chef Rodriguez subsequently opened several popular restaurants in NYC before returning to Miami to open De Rodriguez Cuba at The Astor Hotel and just recently opened De Rodriguez Ocean at The Hilton Bentley Hotel. Chef Rodriguez was on the first season of "Top Chef Masters" and has appeared on David Letterman, "Good Morning America," and "The Today Show," among other guest appearances. He is also the author of several books about Latin cuisine.
4. Jonathan Eismann
It seemed that Jonathan Eismann might have been giving up on Miami when several of his restaurants closed in 2010, including the ever-popular Pacific Time, a Miami staple for almost two decades. However, it looks like Eismann is back and ready to make history again. He is responsible for creating the concept behind the new restaurant, Spartico, a Roman style trattoria at the Mayfair Hotel in Coconut Grove. The new place is right up Eismann's alley considering he was already named by the New York Times for creating Miami's best pizza at Pizza Volante.
5. Ingrid Hoffmann
Chef Ingrid Hoffmann has a flair for Latin cooking, and is a especially famous in the Spanish-language entertainment world. In addition to starring in her own show on the Food Network, "Simply Delicioso," which is filmed in Miami Beach, (her home for more than 25 years), Chef Hoffmann also hosts her own Spanish-language cooking show, "Delicioso," on Galavision/Univision. She also has a month culinary column for People en Español, her own cookware kitchen accessories lines, and has a best-selling cookbook, Simply Delicioso: A Collection of Everyday Recipes with a Latin Twist.