Remember when good food was scarce in Miami? Yes… and no.

Now, with so much flavor popping up its hard to even reminisce on those thrilling days of yesteryears when chain restaurants were the solution to our meals.

In a short amount of time, Miami is putting itself on the food map and getting recognized for its local chefs and restaurateurs.

This week we attend the first Food Entrepreneurs Dish at The Wynwood Yard where we were inspired to keep doing what we love with the help of two panels titled: Driving Cultural Change and The Art of Culinary Innovation moderated by Evan Benn, Editor in Chief of Miami Indulge Magazine and former Food Editor of the Miami Herald.
Panelist included: Zak Stern (Zak the Baker),Franco Stanzione (Stanzione 87, Ash By Stanzione), Richard Hales (Sakaya Kitchen, Blackbrick Chinese, Dim Ssäm à gogo), Cindy Hutson (Zest Miami, Ortanique on the Mile), Eileen Andrade (FINKA Table and Tap), Isabel Garcia (Cacao Art Chocolates – Miami) and Javier Ramirez (Alter, Cake Thai kitchen, Bachour Bakery + Bistro).

#Repost @fricepastry: Two great panels tonight at @wynwoodyard’s Dish! with @evanbenn and @indulgemiami

A photo posted by Evan Benn (@evanbenn) on

These were our biggest takeaways of the night:

The food leaders in Miami are on a mission of educating the consumer on what and how to eat. There is a learning curve on appreciating a dish, how it is conceived and envisioned by the chef, and not with all the substitutions you would like to make. (Stanzione)

Increasing rents is preventing great culinary minds to venture off into new projects just because it’s not affordable. Is there something we, as a community, can do about this? (Stanzione)

Miami is a world of opportunities in every food sense. (Zak the Baker)

It’s all about supporting locals and creating local partnerships. Let’s Buy Jojo Tea and Panther Coffee vs other commercialized and international brands. (Hales)

Miami is growing to have the variety a city needs. Growing the restaurant scene is not only about having bug names and deconstructed desserts. Sometimes we just want homemade food for the soul. (Andrade)

You need money to keep your staff happy. That’s what really moves the needle. (Hales)

There is no “next” big neighborhood… Let’s fight for what we have and not let the big developers take over Wynwood. We don’t want JCrew and Banana Republic in the neighborhood. (Zak the Baker)

I wish that we as restaurant owners could review customers on yelp too. Yelp has become a tool to destroy local restaurants. It’s more the people that write bad reviews than good reviews, and that crushes my team’s hearts. People need to understand that there is a lot of work and effort put into food. Everyone has a bad day, no? I will gratefully take feedback from my clients, just don’t destroy my staff online. (Huston)

Miami is still missing good agriculture. We need more farms and good farmers. This is definitely a missed opportunity in this state, given the land and the weather of Florida. It all comes down to good, true ingredients. Let’s make them ourselves. (Zak the Baker)

I’m not a chef but I’m just in love with food. I’m the kind of person who travels to eat, and of course I book my restaurants before my hotel. I have a finance background so i came in this industry to give my perspective in numbers. My biggest learning from past experiences has become my number one rule: location, location, location. (Gourmandj)