More than 80,000 artists, dealers, collectors, celebrities, journalists, models and hangers-on will descend on Miami this week for Art Basel, North America’s premier art show. With more than 200 galleries and 20 satellite fairs—not to mention parties—food may not be attendees’ first priority, but for visitors who want to fuel their weekend with more than passed hors d’oeuvres and vodka soda, we asked chef Jeremy Ford the best places to dine during Basel.
Ford won season 13 of Top Chef while helming Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Matador Room at the Edition Hotel. He opened Stubborn Seed with Grove Bay Hospitality in 2018, and, more recently, Krun-Chi Korean fried chicken in Time Out Market.
If you can snag a reservation at Stubborn Seed (there are a few tables left), Ford recommends sitting down for the eight-course tasting menu comprised of snacks, some of the restaurant’s greatest hits (sourdough-crusted halibut, fava beans, soubise and kombu-lemon broth), newer experiments from the kitchen, and a blend of rustic and refined dishes.
“Stubborn Seed is a project where like-minded cooks and I get to collaborate and learn from each other. We have a great respect for ingredients and serve really high-end, beautiful local fish and South Florida produce,” says Ford, who grows some of that produce in his backyard farm.
Ford says, too, that Stubborn Seed, located just 500 feet from Joe’s Stone Crab, will have the freshest claws in town. “We have a guy who harvests stone crabs, boils them, and delivers them the same day. He has even rolled up to the restaurant at 6pm, right when service starts, because that’s the soonest he can make it off the boat and up to South Beach.”
Ford also is chef of long-delayed Afishonado, now slated to open in Coral Gables in fall of next year and just in time for Art Basel 2020. For this season, though, here’s where Ford recommends eating—in between shows, pool time, and events—while attending the art party of the year.