Lee Brian Schrager is one of the nation’s preeminent event planners and media relations experts, serving as the vice president of corporate communications & National Events at Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. Known for his creation of both the Food Network South Beach and New York City Wine & Food Festivals, Schrager is the author of The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival Cookbook and the recently released Fried & True: More than 50 Recipes for America’s Best Fried Chicken and Sides. He studied at the Culinary Institute of America and at the School of Hospitality Management at Florida International University. His greatest culinary indulgence is that he travels for food. You can follow him on his culinary excursions on Twitter at @Lee_Schrager.
1. What are some of the best qualities of the Miami dining scene? Its diversity – from neighborhood joints to white-tablecloth fine dining, there’s a spot to fit any taste. There are strong cultural influences on Miami’s dining scene as well; mostly Latin due to our location, but you can find just about any type of food here.
3. If I come to Miami, where must I dine? That depends on how long you’re here and how many places I can give you – there are so many truly satisfying options now. Miami’s culinary scene has grown exponentially and continues to do so.
6. Favorite cities for dining outside your own? This is also a long list – I was recently in Tuscany, which I love, and also experienced the culinary scene in Israel, which I was amazed by. I’m also a fan of the street food scene wherever I travel.
7. Destination dining cities you’d love to visit? Berlin and Chile.
8. What’s your overall favorite type of cuisine? I’m a fan of Italian cuisine, but it all depends on what I’m in the mood for. I love fresh, simple, ingredient-driven food.
9. Small shared plates, tasting menu or app/entrée dessert? Depends on the group of people I’m dining with – it’s important to know your party when evaluating this choice. I tend to lean toward shared plates though, in an effort to try as many of the dishes offered as possible.
10. Dish you can’t resist ordering when you see it on a menu? Roast chicken and/or fried chicken – it calls my name.