By Sara Johnson
Miami-based chef Brad Kilgore keeps himself busy. He currently oversees four restaurants in the city: Alter (223 NW 23rd Street), Brava at Adrienne Arsht Center (1300 Biscayne Blvd.), Ember (151 NE 41st, Unit 117), and Kaido (151 NE 41st Street, Unit 217). Located just above Ember in Miami’s Design District, Kaido is inspired by Japanese cuisine, and its website self-describes as a “Tokyo-Style Cocktail Lounge.”
“I really just was inspired by the District,” Kilgore says. “Every single wall and building here is a work of art, and it allows us to be creative on the inside of the restaurant as well as of course on the outside.”
Kaido’s menu includes sushi as well as dishes such as Blue Crab Rangoon, Charred Kimchi, and Korean Style Short Ribs. Both the kitchen and bar frequently rely on sous vide and vacuum-sealing for storage, infusion, and cooking.
“Probably my favorite dish on the menu is the [Iberico] Pork & Mushroom Dumplings—it’s kind of an east-meets-west,” Kilgore says. The dumplings appetizer is served with Parmesan-Mushroom Dashi and Chive. “We use the sous vide to keep the integrity of the meat, and—for lack of a better term—impregnate, the marinade process,” Kilgore says. “We cure the meat in a wet cure and then cook it in that cure. And that really transforms the flavor. And then we use every bit that comes out of the sous vide bag back into the filling.”
Nico de Soto, who also worked with Kilgore on Alter, developed the cocktail menu for Kaido. Bar manager Zabdi Cobon says about 80 or 90 percent of the cocktails use sous vide in some form, such as infusions for the Culantro Negroni (Bombay Sapphire, Martini Rubino, Campari, and Culantro Leaves) and the Shiitake Old Fashioned (Legent Bourbon Infused Shiitake Mushroom, PX El Maestro, Roasted Cocoa Maple Syrup, and Black Walnut Bitters). Although the cook times vary, Cobon says, “The perfect temperature to go with spirits is 52.5° Celsius.”
Is there another restaurant in Kilgore’s future? “Four in four years has been quite a run, but I definitely have ideas, you never know,” he says. “I’ve always wanted to do just a very traditional Kansas City barbecue.” (Kilgore is from Kansas City—and we know how well sous vide pairs with barbecue.)
Read about more Miami dining destinations in Sous-Vide magazine’s 2019 Fall/Winter issue.