James Beard nominated chef/restaurateur and one of five 2014 Interactive Dinner celebrity chefs, José Mendín returns to VeritageMiami as the creative force behind our Bubbly Brunch menu. Born to parents with an appreciation for cuisine (and a great-grandmother who was a cooking instructor), Mendín didn’t discover his own love of cooking until he was off at college on a volleyball scholarship and preparing his own meals. He arrived in Miami from his native Puerto Rico in 1998 to enroll at Johnson & Wales University, from where he earned his bachelor’s in 2001. He went on to help open Nobu Miami that same year and Nobu London in 2002, with chefs Mark Edwards and Thomas Buckley, respectively. In 2003, Mendín traveled to Spain to work for chef Jesús Ramiro in Valladolid, and later chef Juan Pablo Felipe in Madrid at Michelin-starred El Chaflán. Upon returning to Miami, he joined Rising Star alum Jordi Vallès to open Mosaico.
In 2004, Mendín opened Sushisamba Miami Beach as chef de cuisine, rising to assistant corporate chef for the company in two years and later opening Sushisamba Vegas. Continuing his streak of successful openings, Mendín opened Mercadito Chicago in 2009 and Mercadito Miami in 2010, where he met chef de cuisine Sergio Navarro. The pair partnered up with Andreas Schreiner to found The Pubbelly Restaurant Group in 2010, where the trio won StarChefs Rising Star Restaurateur Award in 2016, and are now gearing up for their most ambitious projects to date under their new banner, Food Comma Hospitality Group.