Miami’s Top Chefs Share Their Favorite At-Home Summer Cooking Traditions

Miami chefs share their favorite summer cooking traditions.

By Jennifer Agress

Summer is a nostalgic time of year for most of us. Even as adults when the season no longer means taking a three-month break, every time it comes around, the warm weather brings us back to childhoods spent at summer camp, playing pick-up soccer, swimming, chasing the ice cream truck, adventuring with friends, or even simply staying up late to watch a movie because we didn’t have to get up for school the next day. In summer, the livin’ is easy.

Food is always a part of those memories too, and for Miami’s culinary kings and queens this is especially true. To find out just how they keep things cooking at home today, we asked a handful of our favorite chefs – including a couple from Acqualina’s new culinary tours – about their summer food traditions. Here’s what they had to say:

Executive Chef André Sattler of Acqualina

Chef André Sattler of Acqualina Resort.“I enjoy a good barbecue with family and friends. I grew up in Germany and actually grilling is very popular there just like in the United States. When we have friends to our house, I cook big cuts of meat like whole tenderloin, flank steaks, New York Strip, and sirloin. I also like to grill octopus. I always make a big salad to keep it healthy.”



Chef/Partner Brian Nasajon of Beaker & Gray and Mason Eatery

Chef Brian Nasajon of Beaker & Gray in Miami.“During the summer, my dad and I always grill out. We keep it super simple — skirt steak and salt over red oak – and we hit it with herbs and chili that we pull from his incredible garden.”





Executive Chef Michael Lewis of KYU

Chef Michael Lewis of KYU in Miami.“One of my favorite kitchen traditions is having breakfast with my daughter. We’re both still a little sleepy as we walk from her room to the kitchen. She’s like my shadow as I make my coffee, and afterwards, we start the day with a comfy cuddle on the couch, where we talk and watch cartoons. Once we get the sleep out of our eyes, we head back to the kitchen to make her breakfast. She picks what she wants from the fridge and cupboards — eggs, oatmeal, arepas, fruit, yogurt, or a little of everything. We cook together, her with her Tupperware, pots, and spoons on the floor, and me on the stove. Whatever she picks for breakfast we both eat and enjoy together.”

Executive Chef Justin Smillie of Upland

Chef Justin Smillie of Upland in Miami.“I’m a huge fan of grilling out. There’s nothing greater than having my family together outside, on a nice day, and cooking over fire. I like to make yakitori on the grill, and the boys can just take the skewers off the grill and eat them when they’re ready. Pair that with a nice, seasonal salad and you’re good to go.”




About the Contributor

Jennifer Agress is a freelance writer covering food, drink, and culture. When she’s not combing the streets of Miami for a bagel and a latte, she’s likely covering luxury travel and dining for Dining Out MagazinePrivate Air Luxury Homes MagazineHaute Living MiamiUpscale Living Magazine, and Epicurean Charlotte.