Q&A with Chef Jose Mendin of the new Pubbelly Sushi Market

In Aventura Mall

Pubbelly Sushi Market recently opened on the first level of Aventura Mall’s Nordstrom Wing, offering sushi rolls, seafood and meat entrees, a variety of beverages and more.

Founded by The Pubbelly Restaurant Group, Pubbelly Sushi is led by five-time James Beard-nominated chef, Jose Mendin. Collectively known as the Pubbelly Boys, Mendin and his partners successfully operate six food and beverage concepts including Pubbelly Noodle Bar; Pubbelly Sushi (Miami Beach, Brickell City Centre, Casa de Campo, American Airlines Arena); Food Republic aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s Escape ship; Pubbelly Station and Pawn Broker in the Langford Hotel; and the recently opened PB Ysla in Puerto Rico.

A native of Puerto Rico, Mendin was born into a culinary culture as the child of “food enthusiast” parents and a great-grandmother who was a cooking instructor. We recently spoke with Mendin to learn about his background and what Aventura Mall visitors can expect at the new Pubbelly Sushi Market.

Chef, what’s your earliest food memory?

My mom stewing her red bean casserole in the kitchen.

How’d you learn to cook?

I started cooking for myself in college. Then I took a job in a restaurant in Puerto Rico and quickly learned the basics. After that, I went to culinary school at Johnson & Wales.

You’re originally from Puerto Rico and have worked in Spain, London, Chicago and Las Vegas. Why’d you choose South Florida for your home base?

I moved to Miami in 1998 and fell in love with it right away; there is no other place I’d rather live, besides my hometown of San Juan. The weather, multicultural setting and everything about this city makes it my home.

Where did the name Pubbelly come from?

I was playing with words for the name of our restaurant and combined the word PUB from gastropub and BELLY from Pork Belly, which I used a lot in my original menu. When I said the name, my partners loved it and we thought it was catchy.



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