It has been only a little over a year since Chef Julia Doyne took over as Executive Chef at the iconic Forge Restaurant replacing Michelin starred chef, Christopher Lee. The classic steakhouse has benefitted greatly from her passion and commitment to providing top-notch food and service, and recently she added her own touch with some new menu items to the classic "Steaks and Bone-Ins".
No stranger to fine dining, Chef Julia has worked alongside top chefs, Marcus Samuelsson at Aquavit in NYC, and with Chef Lee at Aureole NYC before joining him as Chef de Cuisine when he moved to Miami Beach’s legendary steakhouse.
We caught up with Chef Julia recently to pose a few questions and sample a couple of the new items on her re-imagined Forge menu:
· As the first woman Executive Chef at The Forge, do you feel like being a woman there is a big deal?
Being a female head chef at a steakhouse is somewhat unusual. I hope that young women everywhere can look up to me, and it helps inspire them to realize their dreams as well.
· Is there another woman chef you admire in Miami? or anywhere?
Any woman that is trying to make it in this business is admirable.
· Your least favorite ingredient?
Anything processed. We like cooking everything from scratch.
· What ingredient could you not live without?
· Food shows on Reality TV: Good or bad?
Good. They do provide a somewhat unrealistic interpretation of what it's like to be in a kitchen but it's typically amusing and they've brought a lot of awareness to the industry and as a career…educating people about food and creating a foodie culture.
· What is the last dish you cooked for yourself?
A quick salad made from swiss chard from my garden, garbanzo beans, pickled onions and jalapenos I had leftover in the fridge.
· Your favorite restaurant other than your own (naturally)?
Pinch Kitchen. I live in the neighborhood and love their home-style cooking and attention to ingredients.
· If you could cook alongside any chef…alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Julia Child!!! She represents everything that is love for food.
· Tell us about the new dishes you have added onto The Forge menu?
We have a few new sides. Eggplant Parmesan is a great way to enjoy the classic dish in a smaller portion alongside your favorite steak. We do a classic version with breaded eggplant, fresh mozzarella, and house made marinara.
We also have shaved caramelized Brussels sprouts, which are pan charred and finished with horseradish butter.
Haricot verts are now served with a play on sweet and sour sauce, with the addition of yuzu to brighten it up a bit.
We replaced our market fresh ceviche with a Market Crudo that has black olive crumble, greek yogurt, grapefruit, and fresh vegetable crudite dressing. It’s a very bright and colorful dish with interesting textures.
And we are most excited to have added some new entrees:
A Lobster pot pie!!!! It has a whole 2-pound lobster, baby root vegetables, and a mustard lobster bisque sauce topped with a flaky pastry crust. It’s the most luxurious pot pie you will ever have!
Salt baked Branzino. It’s baked whole in a salt crust and served with lemon dill potatoes, roasted tomatoes, and smoked paprika vinaigrette.
We're also changing up the local red snapper. It has edamame, candied kumquats, mushroom dashi broth, and spicy roasted peanut oil.
· What inspires you in the kitchen?
When I'm coming up with food ideas I always start with something I'd like to eat. I get inspiration on how to plate things by thinking of colors and looking at magazines. The final determining factor is how many smiles the food brings to my kitchen's faces. Just look at our new dessert, The Birthday Cake Souffle, with colorful sprinkles and buttercream frosting.
· What piece of advice would you give to an aspiring chef? man or woman.
Keep working!! It's not an easy job. If you really want it and do your best, you will succeed. And stay true to yourself in the kitchen and support your team.
If you have not been to The Forge recently, take a step back in time to visit and dine that way Miami Beach used to…in wood paneled rooms with crystal chandeliers hanging from soaring ceilings, Tiffany windows and a cavernous 29,000 bottle wine cellar with private "wining and dining" rooms galore.
And enjoy Chef Julia’s new twist on the classics.
432 41St St
Miami Beach, FL 33140
305 538 8533
(Photo Credit: Romain Maurice Photography)