By: Dana Rozansky
Tourists come from far and wide to indulge in all that Miami has to offer – from our beaches to our culinary scene to mixology and more. So it’s no surprise that one of the go-to hotels on South Beach, the Kimpton Surfcomber, decided to combine all that and more into its bag of tricks.
The good news is you don’t need to be a tourist to put on your ‘vacation face’ and enjoy a night (or day) at this chic South Beach hotel where delicious food and tasty cocktails await.
Upon entering The Surfcomber, you just might want to take in your surroundings before making a beeline for the beach or whatever swanky party might be going on out back. If you do, you’ll stumble upon a hidden gem called The Social Club, the beloved South Beach dining destination adjacent to the hotel.
If you’ve never tried The Social Club, now’s your time. Why? They’ve got a brand new chef in the kitchen and he’s heating things up like never before. We sat down with Chef Jeffrey Williams so he could tell you firsthand what’s cookin’. But to really understand, you’ll have to try it for yourself. So go ahead and get social...you know you want to.
Miami Food Porn: Tell us about your culinary background and what inspired you to become a chef.
Chef Jeffrey Williams: In my family almost everyone can cook, so a lot of my memories with family is centered around the kitchen. My grandfather was a chef and grew a lot of his own produce and did a lot of local shopping at the 9th Street market in Philly. So picking out the best produce, going to slaughter houses, and fish markets was instilled early; I decided I wanted to do what not only made me happy (cook), but also what makes other people happy, as well (food).
Miami Food Porn: Since you joined The Social Club, what have been some of the key changes?
Chef Jeffrey Williams: Since I’ve taken over, I’ve just tried to build and improve on the great base we already have here. I think the focus has drawn a family social environment. We offer items that generally gather people from all regions, as well as some of my favorites: fried chicken, collards, and biscuits have always been a staple with my family. I have friends from all parts of the world; the paella on the current menu is a recipe that some of my Spanish friends shared with their family and friends; the Fettuccine Nero is a fresh pasta that ties back to a lot of my friends from Italy. We offer all of those diverse dishes and flavors with the intent to give a feeling of family and friendship, and incredible flavors from all parts of the world. Perfect for South Florida!
Miami Food Porn: Describe the food and overall experience guests can count on at The Social Club.
Chef Jeffrey Williams: A sense of family and friendship. This is a place where you can talk about anything and everything over great food, and great drinks. It’s one of those places you come for brunch (served every day!) or dinner and you just have a great time.
Miami Food Porn: What are some of your dishes that consistently ‘wow’ guests?
Chef Jeffrey Williams: For sure our fried chicken – I love the expression when someone sees a half a chicken dropped in front of them, when the smell hits them they smile a bit, and then the fear sets in like “how am I gonna finish this.” Always a classic!
Miami Food Porn: Tell us about the new cocktail program at The Social Club. Which drinks are the crowd pleasers?
Chef Jeffrey Williams: Just like with our menus, we try to stay current and change every couple months. One of my favorites as a Chef/ whisky connoisseur is the Whistle While You Work, that features Whistle Pig rye whiskey and their maple syrup. Another is My Tequila Story, a fan favorite almost like an earthy margarita, with ginger beer, cucumber, and fresh lime.
Miami Food Porn: Can you tell my brunch-loving audience a bit about your brunch offerings (and daily schedule)?
Chef Jeffrey Williams: At brunch, we try to offer a little bit of everything. We have the classics like omelets and eggs, all from Sun Fresh Farms. We also offer some spins on classics like our carrot cake waffles, chicken and waffles with cinnamon waffles and our own maple berry mustard glaze, El Cubano- our take on the Cuban with slow roasted mojo pork, ham, gruyere, Sweetfire mustard, our dry-aged cheese burger with creamy mumbo, crispy onion, caramelized onions and pickles, smoked salmon with everything bagel, and our award-winning “The” Breakfast Sandwich. And of course, our bottomless mimosas served with a flight of fresh juices and nectars including Kennesaw orange, peach, mango and guava. .
It is definitely one of the liveliest brunches I have ever been a part of!
Miami Food Porn: Finish this sentence: If there’s one reason to check out The Social Club, it’s:
Chef Jeffrey Williams: Cheffrey, I’m here to please, and have a hell of a time!