Chef Bee: #TNTShowdown Chef Profile

The Taco & Tequila Showdown #TNTShowdown is locked in for Sunday November 8th 6-9 pm at the Vagabond Restaurant and Bar.  12 chefs and bartenders will battle it out to be selected for best taco and tequila drink and to whet your appetite and give you a little back story, MIAbites will be profiling each of the chefs leading up to the event. Tickets to #TNTShowdown are $65 in advance and available on Eventbrite link here

Chef Bee: Oishi Thai and NaiYaRa (coming soon to Sunset Harbor ).

It is hard not to be immediately taken with the enthusiasm and upbeat personality of Piyarat Potha Arreeratn, known to most simply as Chef Bee.  He has a winning smile, a passion for creating authentic Thai cuisine and is knowledgeable and very entertaining. His Oishi Thai in North Miami has become a destination for many in search of authentic and not-Americanized Thai cuisine.  Chef Bee was born to farmers in a small town in Northern Thailand, bordering Laos and Myanmar. He developed an appreciation for culinary early on from his mother who taught him everything from growing his own food, the different techniques of preserving and preparing food, as well as the vast array of flavors within the Northern Thai culture. 

At the age of 18, Bee came Miami where he pursued his passion for cooking. Having no formal experience, he worked his way up the ladder, before landing a sushi chef position at Nobu. While training under the tutelage of some of the country's finest chefs, it was here that he truly learned what it took to run kitchen and maintain the highest standards.

Following Nobu, Chef Bee went on to open his own restaurant, Oishi Thai, in 2005 on Miami's Biscayne Boulevard. Oishi, which means "delicious," quickly became popular for its authentic Thai cuisine, but also for its fresh and beautifully prepared sashimi and sushi and other Asian Fusion dishes. NaiYaRa, named for his daughter is due to open in Sunset Harbor over the next month. 

We asked Chef Bee a few questions to shed some more light on his style and personality and here is what he said:

How has being a chef/owner in Miami changed over the last few years?
Answer : I've seen Miami change drastically in the last 11 years. Being a
Chef/Owner has not changed although there are more people to serve in area.

If you weren’t a chef, what would you be?
Answer : In Architecture.  I would have become an architect. I love art and design.

 What ingredient could you not live without?  Your least favorite ingredient?
Answer : I cannot live without Thai chili paste. My least favorite ingredient is Thai Anchovy. 

What is the last dish you cooked for yourself? 
Answer : Silky Chicken jungle curry with heart of palm

Your favorite restaurant other than your own (naturally)?
Answer : Naoe 

If you cook alongside any chef…alive or dead, who would it be and why? 
Answer : Chef Kevin Cory from Naoe . He is the most talented chefs I've ever met.

Let’s talk tacos:  Corn or Flour?  Hard or Soft? What is the craziest taco combo you have ever had? And where?  Can you give us a hint as to what you plan on submitting as your “Signature Taco” at TNTShowdown?  
Answer :  Flour. Hard. Fish Taco at Bâoli. Teaser: It will be spicy

Do you think YOU will win?
Answer :  Winning or losing isn’t important to me. I’m excited to be cooking alongside some of Miami’s most talented chefs. I’ll leave it to the judges to decide whose taco is the best.

For more updates on Chef Bee and especially the upcoming opening of NaiYaRa in Miami Beach, follow Chef Bee on Twitter

Taco & Tequila Showdown #TNTShowdown is presented by MIAbites and The Liquid Projects and will be held Sunday November 8th 6-9 pm at the Vagabond Restaurant and Bar. Join us! Tickets available for $65 advance sale on Eventbrite