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Former ‘Top Chef’ Jeremy Ford’s New Florida Restaurant Leans Into the Piquant Power of Dry-Aged Delicacies

The aptly named Beauty & the Butcher is "world-spice driven,” according to the chef.

Dry-aged yellowtail crudo at Florida's Beauty & the Butcher. Beauty & the Butcher

Jeremy Ford has become known for the plates he serves up at his Michelin-starred Stubborn Seed. But the Florida-based chef’s latest venture, Beauty & the Butcher, hits a bit closer to home.

“This is in my backyard. I live 12 minutes from the restaurant,” he told Robb Report. “This restaurant really has a lot of soul from me.”

And that motif goes beyond just the location. The name is a nod to his first daughter Madelynn (the beauty) and himself (the butcher). Much of the food is inspired by what Ford would cook at home on a day off: With his family, he uses a lot of different spices, and that’s reflected across the new menu. “It’s not one concept, it’s not one style of food; it’s world-spice driven,” he adds. “It’s a combination of really yummy flavors that you’re going to crave over and over again.”

Charred octopus anticucho
Charred octopus anticucho Michael Pisarri

One of Ford’s favorite dishes actually veers away from the restaurant’s meat-focused moniker. Jerk-marinated carrots are slow-cooked and fire-charred, then served over local Stracciatella, imbuing the dish with a punch of flavor that combines sweet, sour and crunchy. He’s also excited for diners to try the dry-aged hamachi crudo, which uses a technique he said he hasn’t seen a lot in the Miami area.

Of course, meat does feature heavily on the menu. As you can imagine, Ford is pretty pumped about that side of things. Dry-aged cuts are a particular star, with some being marinated in whiskey and others appearing in a cacio e pepe. Ford tried that version just the other day, and “it was so freaking good. I was thoroughly shocked by what we were able to dry-age.” Covered in black pepper and “a ton” of Parmesan then wrapped in cheesecloth and then left to sit for 60 days, it’s a steak meant for the pasta lovers among us. (While not on the opening menu, it could potentially appear someday soon.)

The Beauty & the Butcher Truffle

The food is rounded out by top-notch desserts and drinks. Ford brought along the executive pastry chef Ana De Sa Martins from Stubborn Seed, and here she’s created a number of delights, like an apple Dutch baby and carrot cake. The cocktails, meanwhile, really tie the whole concept together, according to Ford. His current fave? A “mezcal Mai Tai on steroids,” made with an in-house cashew orgeat. The Little Piggy is another riff on a classic, an Old Fashioned variation made with hickory-smoked, pork-belly-washed Maker’s Mark. What else would you expect from a restaurant with “butcher” in its name?

Around this time next year, Ford will be opening another new concept in Fort Lauderdale, where he initially lived when he first moved to Florida from LA. Details on that project are scarce for now, giving Floridians and visitors to the state alike a chance to truly focus on Beauty & the Butcher’s goods.

“Across the board, it’s an amazing collaboration,” Ford said. “We truly made a menu where there’s something for everybody… [And I want diners to experience] how much time and effort and love we put into the food here.”

Beauty & the Butcher opens Wednesday, December 21.

Click here to see all the images of Beauty & the Butcher.

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