Brad Kilgore, Food & Wine’s Best New Chef 2016, recently announced he will be opening two new restaurants in Miami Design District’s newly-constructed Paradise Plaza.
The District is a neighborhood and shopping center focused on dining, design, fashion, art and architecture. Paradise Plaza is slated to open within the cultural destination this fall, and it will host various restaurants from renowned chefs, such as Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Joel Robuchon. Kilgore—also the chef/owner of Alter and Brava, and the culinary director of the Adrienne Arsht Center—will open Ember and Kaido in early-to-mid 2018.
Ember and Kaido will span 6,000-square-feet over two floors, but they will feature two different concepts. Kaido will be a Japanese-influenced cocktail lounge and restaurant, and Ember will be a wood-fire bistro with an exposed kitchen.
“I think there’s a real connection between the diner, the chef and the food when you can see into the kitchen," Kilgore says of Ember.
Kilgore adds he will be experimenting with foods not typically grilled at Ember, and he’s also working with his designer, Mark Diaz, on creating new tools for grilling. He says the food will be “classical but with a creative edge.”
“I really want people to feel like they can still have approachable, delicious and interesting food,” Kilgore says. “It can be a little bit creative and still very interesting, but it doesn’t have to be bland.”
Kaido will be a “lounge restaurant” boasting two cocktail menus, Kilgore says. One menu will feature “experiential cocktails” that are meant to be shared and will act as a showpiece at the table’s center. The other menu will focus on seasonal cocktails that are “simple and more approachable.”
For food, Kaido will offer restaurant classics with a modern Asian twist, such as an uni crème emulsion “fondue” served with small bites, like marinated mushrooms and bay scallops.
Diaz will be the designer behind both restaurants. He says Ember is the masculine aspect and Kaido is the “divine feminine.” Patrons can expect a “cosmopolitan, suave and worldly” atmosphere at Ember, while Kaido will feature a “sophisticated” and “punk” look, according to Diaz.
Kilgore says Kaido’s design is part of the experience for customers. “I want people to feel like they’re taken away because of the design and decor going into this space,” he says.
The artistic food and design elements of both Kaido and Ember align with what Miami Design District has to offer. The District, developed by Craig Robins, is a 700,000 square-foot cultural destination. The latest addition, which includes Paradise Plaza, will add an additional 250,000-square-feet of dining, shopping, art and architecture.
“There’s so much thought that’s gone into the neighborhood,” Kilgore says. “There’s so much culture going into the area.”