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Trust the Chef

Dine, Miami

Every few months, chef Erik Melendez evolves the omakase offerings at El Secreto with new in-season ingredients to ensure the menu is always full of secrets and surprises.


Newly added dishes for fall and winter include a Peruvian-style ceviche made with suzuki (a Japanese seabass) bathed in leche de tigre sauce and seasoned with aji, pumpkin seeds, apples, and Japanese sweet potato.

“A lot of my inspiration comes from trying to combine Japanese ingredients and techniques with my Hispanic heritage,” said Melendez.

Another ode to autumn is the scallop crudo dish. Sourcing the seafood from Hokkaido, Japan, Melendez pairs it with pomegranate vinegar, gooseberry relish, and crispy shallots, topped with a drizzling of extra virgin olive oil.

There’s also a new smoked sawara (Spanish mackerel) dish that is cold smoked in-house with applewood, then combined with Asian pears, golden raisins, blood oranges, pine nuts, and finished off with san bai zu, a mix of vinegar and orange oil. “This one really reminds me of Thanksgiving when you stuff your plate with a little bit of everything,” he said. “The smokiness of the fish almost tastes like ham, and you have the freshness of the sweet fruit with the pine nuts, adding a nice texture.”