Photo credit : Dave Meall
Professional chefs and food enthusiasts don’t see cooking as an everyday endeavor like every other person out there. To them, cooking is an art form far beyond what most people think. As an Entrepreneur, Chef Ray approached Ruben & Jessica, owners of Tinez Farms (a local farm located in homestead about 30 miles south of miami) to produce items not commonly grown in the area. One of them being, Padrón Peppers which are native to Spain and illegal to import. Today, this sought out pepper is ready for harvest.
Chef Raymond Li’s cooking is a unique avant- garden – fusion of his rich heritage, having Chinese, Cuban and Colombian blood running through him . Chef Raymond Li recently joined KAORI MIAMI, mid december, a new Asian Mediterranean restaurant located in the heart of Brickell.
When it comes down to food inspiration, you can expect something different every time because this chef has been putting in the time, work and effort needed to become a top international culinary professional. More importantly, Chef Raymond Li is not afraid to make bold decisions. As a matter of fact, he has displayed resiliency and his success is a product of risks, chances, and sacrifices in several words.
Armed with excellence and the desire to make a difference, it didn’t take long before opportunities started to open up for Chef Raymond Li, beginning with a three-month stint at Benu, which has three Michelin stars and ranks number 47 on the World’s 50 Best lists, located in San Francisco. Subsequently, few months later he flew to Paris, France, where he worked at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Saint Germain for 6 weeks.
In late 2017, he returned to Miami, where he considered home and went on to work on impressive projects, which included the development of the kitchens of One Door East and Valentinos in Fort Lauderdale. After departing Valentinos he signed up with Palmar, a humble Chinese restaurant located at Wynwood; he quickly rose up the ranks and became an executive chef a few months later.
Brilliant successes have marked chef Raymond Li’s career as an experienced chef. During his time with Palmar, the restaurant was named one of 50 Best New Restaurants in America by Bon Appetit magazine. Subsequently, the Miami Herald rated him 4 stars, making him one of the highest-rated chef. He would go on to act as a corporate chef for El Cielo Hospitality Group, where he attained further experience and helped opened EL cielo DC, which got its first Michelin star last year.
By diversifying into growing Padrón peppers with Tinez Farms, Chef Raymond is making intentional moves as he taps into the farm’s well-known ability to grow natural products that are both clean and healthy.
“Honestly, it’s exciting to team up with locals and be able to create this synergy to bring something different to the community. Truly Grateful for the opportunity to team up with Ruben & Jessica.”
The family-owned farm that grows organically and pesticide free, is a testament to the hard work of its owners, Ruben and Jessica Martinez, whose goal of making Padrón peppers accessible country-wide seems realistic with the vision of Chef Raymond.
Tinez Farms is open to the public Saturday & Sundays from 10am-7pm and is located : 16405 SW 177th Ave. : Miami, FL 33187