Michelin-Award Winning Chef Opens New Restaurant In Palm Beach

Mauro Colagreco, an Argentine-born, French-based chef, debuted a new restaurant, Florie’s, in Palm Beach, Florida, earlier this month and simultaneously earned three Michelin stars at Mirazur, his restaurant in in Menton, France, just minutes from the Italian border on the French Riviera.

Mirazur, ranked third on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, is known for bold, Mediterranean-inspired seasonal produce and seafood dishes. Colagreco , 42, will serve a similar menu at Flories, which is located in the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach.

“There is a similar spirit here, so it felt like a natural place to open,” Colagreco tells Food & Wine. “I took many trips to Palm Beach over the past few years to get to know the area since it’s crucial for me to be emotionally connected to all of my restaurants. Here, it feels like home.”

The chef, who owns more than ten restaurants in Argentina, France, and China, had never dreamed of being a cook. While studying economics at La Plata University in Argentina, he spent one summer helping a friend at his restaurant. He says the experience was a revelation.

Florie’s embodies Colagreco’s multicultural background and showcases his passion for Mediterranean cuisine and gardening. The menu is centered on global fire-cooking techniques, namely items à la broche – a spit-roasting method – or with a stone hearth oven. “I have learned many of these techniques from traveling,” he says. “At Florie’s, we use a stone hearth oven and a rotisserie, similar to what I use at Mirazur. We also use a yakitori grill, tandoor oven, and spit-roasting. Fire is the heartbeat of the restaurant.”

As an example, Aubergine and Mozzarella is baked inside the hearth oven, while the Wagyu Beef with grilled red peppers and the King Prawns marinated in garlic with a spicy avocado sauce are prepared on the yakitori grill. The Truffled Chicken, Beef Rib for Two, and Roasted Lobster are cooked à la broche, and the Pork Ribs and Lamb Shoulder are roasted in the tandoor. The hearth oven also serves to cook pizzas and pasta, such as the Black Truffle with porcini mushrooms, and the Oxtail Calzone with chili, egg, and coriander.

“Florida is known for its citrus and seafood, so you see lots of Meyer lemon, oranges, and grapefruit at Florie’s, as well as local fish like wild Florida pompano,” Colagreco says. “I consider myself a chef without borders, so there are many dishes that also represent memories of my travels.”

Colagreco personalizes each dish with a an herb, flower, or ingredient from his on-site chef’s garden. “It’s simple and natural to start any meal preparation with a walk through a vegetable garden,” he says. “Picking perfectly ripe vegetables and fruits is something that never left me, and I am so happy to have the chance to offer the best and freshest produce day in and day out. With a name like Florie's, herbs and flowers will continue to be incorporated into our plates as we go on.”

The bar at Florie’s specializes in garden-inspired cocktails that range from the Field of Flowers with lemon, mint, lavender, vodka and prosecco to the Worth the Wait, made with orange, cinnamon, and Bacardi. Among Colagreco’s favorite dishes are the sharing bread plate that is served before each meal, as well as the club sandwich, which combines smoked salmon, avocado, horseradish, sweet potato, and lemon confit.

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“The sharing bread is served at Mirazur, too,” he says. “It’s very personal to me since it’s my grandmother's recipe of fresh-baked bread with lemon-ginger olive oil. Otherwise, the lobster cooked à la broche is special since you normally don't see it cooked this way. I prefer to let the ingredients shine on the plate without overwhelming them with too much preparation.”

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