Rising Star Pastry Chef Malka Espinel of The Forge - Biography

Miami Beach, FL

November 2011

Growing up on a farm in Colombia, Malka Espinel learned the foundations of her culinary style from her grandmother, an avid cook and baker who taught her to use what’s in season and to embrace tropical fruits. Espinel graduated from the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago, and went on to work for Chef Mark Militello in Grove Isle, 1220 at The Tides, and Nick’s Place in Miami Beach. Soon after, she joined Chef Johnny Vinczencz at Astor Place on Miami Beach; she’s been with Johnny V ever since, traveling with him to De la Tierra at Sundy House in Delray Beach, and then to the eponymous Johnny V’s, where she earned a 2008 StarChefs.com Rising Stars Award.

Espinel’s pastry is boldly American. It plays with familiar flavors and forms, and gives old classics a new twist. The veteran pastry chef now teaches at the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale and is a consulting pastry chef at The Forge in Miami Beach.