By Clarissa Buch for Food & Wine

Brad Kilgore Opens the Restaurant of His (and Our) Dreams

Brad Kilgore will soon debut the restaurant of his dreams. It’s not his first opening; it’s actually his fourth. But unlike the others, Kilgore has fantasized about this specific concept – where lasagna is roasted over an open flame, and angel food cake is grilled and served with blistered strawberry compote – for more than a decade.

The concept dates back to his days as a young cook, working on the line for chefs like Grant Achatz to Jean-Georges Vongerichten. As Kilgore advanced in his career ­– leading kitchens, opening restaurants, and piling up awards – so did his idea for what will soon become his latest venture.

“I almost jumped on a location years ago before I worked for Jean-Georges,” Kilgore says. “It’s something that’s been in my head for such a long time. I’ve known the name for years, too. I guess the best way to describe it is food I love to eat. That’s why it’s so special to me.”


Expected to open before the end of May, imagine Ember, located just below Kilgore’s Tokyo-inspired cocktail bar Kaido in the Miami Design District, as a wood-fired American bistro, where the 2016 F&W Best New Chef will flex his culinary know-how by serving unique interpretations of classic dishes. Think beignets stuffed with pimento cheese, roasted cornbread custard, smoked fried chicken, and ravioli in the form of mozzarella sticks.


Brad Kilgore