Chef Elida Villarroel Talks About Creating an All-Organic Menu for Fresh Break, Miami

Chef Elida Villarroel Talks About Creating an All-Organic Menu for Fresh Break, Miami

As the creator of Fresh Break´s menu, Chef Elida Villarroel brings a lot to the table: her experience at Michelin-starred restaurants and a love for healthy foods.

Villarroel, a well-known name in the culinary world, has worked at famed restaurants such as Laguiole, under the mentorship of Chef Michel Bras. She also founded the chef’s-table-only restaurant Canta La Mesa in her native Caracas, and is a Chef Instructor at the Mariano Moreno Culinary Institute in Miami.

What can customers expect from Fresh Break restaurant, now that it´s opened?

Fresh Break´s concept is a 100 percent organic -no additives, everything made from scratch, healthy, beautiful, delicious food. A completely accessible menu, where I worked with Asian flavors, combined with Latin -especially Mexican, flavors. For example, we have shrimp aguachile, ceviches, and also sushi bowls, with homemade chili mayonnaise for all of our tempura dishes. And again, all of the ingredients at Fresh Break are organic.

Is there a healthy food “star ingredient” in the dishes?

For any dish, Fresh Break´s clients have the option to choose sushi rice, basmati brown-rice and quinoa -quinoa being the darling of health-conscious eaters.

I love quinoa because it´s got Omegas 3s, it gives you energy. More than “farm-to-table” it is “earth-to-mind”. A bowl of quinoa will fuel you for the entire day. We need to let people know that they don´t need to have a heavy meal to face their day. On the contrary, by eating healthy, lots of veggies, grains, and some protein, you´ll do well. You can have a Fresh Break food bowl at lunch and feel satisfied enough to skip dinner!

It sounds like I could lose some weight by eating at Fresh Break!

I believe everyone could! Fresh Break is a place of health-conscious people: we use oil very moderately, and our dishes barely have any sugar: the sweetness stems from fruits such as mango and pineapple. For our sauces, we use only a pinch of organic cane sugar. Eating at Fresh Break could set you on the path to improving your eating habits.

Granted, we have some fried options, like panko and tempura dishes. But they are still made with organic flours, whole wheat or rice flour, which is great. The fried dishes are flavored with curry or wasabi. So you once in a while you can indulge and be ok. You shouldn´t eat fried food every day, obviously. But you´ll be fine if it’s only occasional, and you generally eat healthy.

Sounds like there is something for everyone…

Yes. We have many amazing options for vegans, pescetarians and vegetarians.

We are also featuring summer rolls, which are made with rice paper. There is one that is stuffed with spicy avocado, which is completely vegan, another made with salmon, and the all-veggie roll.

For protein, we have tuna, salmon and shrimp. And the vegetable protein is tofu. These are all featured in a variety of preparations: sashimi, tartare, ceviche, tempura and panko.

We also use a combination of fresh herbs on all of the dishes: green onion, coriander and mint. Green onion, for an Asian touch; coriander, which is used heavily in Mexican cuisine, and mint, to provide freshness. The herbs are cut at the time of serving the dish: we´ll never use dried herbs.
Another ingredient I use a lot is radish, which is very cleansing, it has detoxifying properties.

What is your favorite Fresh Break dish?

Oooooh! That´s a hard question. It´s like asking a mother to say which of her children she likes best.

But seriously, it depends on what flavor I want that day. There are some dishes that have a stronger marine flavor, which I love. I also like the ones with spicy peanut sauce, and the ones with Portobello mushroom, very earthy.

We have 31 different dishes, including sashimi, ceviche tartare, vegan options, salads, sea salads, tempura and panko. And all of them are related to each other. Like a family.


Sharon Rapoport
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