Rising Star Chef Niven Patel of Michael's Genuine Food & Drink - Biography

Miami, FL

September 2016

Niven Patel’s home state (Florida) and heritage (Indian) are his restaurant destiny. After attending culinary school, Patel cut his teeth at 3030 Ocean in Fort Lauderdale, where he met mentor Dean Max. From there he took a six-month trip, traveling around Italy, honing his skills, and learning that essential immediacy between chef and product.

Back stateside, Patel was part of the opening team at the Watertable in the Renaissance Baltimore, eventually moving back down to his home state to be executive chef at the four-diamond Cheeca Lodge and Spa resort in Islamorada, Florida. It wasn’t a long leap from there to join former boss and mentor Max at Brasserie Restaurant and Market in the Cayman Islands. Patel met Michael Schwartz in Cayman, and the Miami celebrity chef recruited Patel to run his flagship restaurant in the Design District.

At Michael’s Genuine, Patel ran a juggernaut of a restaurant while continuing his hands-on commitment to local agriculture. In fact, on his days off from Michael’s, Patel harvested vegetables, tropical fruits, and herbs for the restaurant from “Rancho Patel,” his micro-farm south of town in Homestead. In 2016, Patel won a StarChefs Rising Stars Award, and he also decided to strike out on his own. Later this year, he’ll open Ghee in South Miami, a restaurant that will marry fresh-from-the-garden produce and ethos with Indian cuisine.