by Eva Nagorski | September 1, 2017

The Spread: Estefan Kitchen’s Iconic Cuban

Entertaining Estefan style, with inspiration from the famous family’s upscale Cuban eatery


Music superstars Emilio and Gloria Estefan have certainly found their rhythm in Miami. The Estefans own several restaurants and hotels and are constantly reinventing the way people enjoy an evening out.

“Food and culture bring people together,” says Emilio. “I’m so happy we live in a country where we can bring who we are in music, in food.”

Their latest venture is Estefan Kitchen in Miami’s Design District. Chef Odell Torres uses organic ingredients to make everything from scratch.

“Cuban food is simple,” says Emilio. “Garlic, lemon, onion, great seasoning.”

Rooted in tradition, the recipes cater to both Cuban flavors and health-conscious sensibilities. “Things change,” he adds. “Years ago, everything was fried. We have brown rice. We have vegetarian black beans. We even have low-calorie. We bake instead of frying!”

Discover Estefan’s Traditional Mojito Recipe Here.

Avocado salad appetizer at Estefan Kitchen. Photography Felipe Cuevas

Avocado Salad

Serves 1–2
  • 1 1/2 Hass avocados, diced
  • 2 tablespoons plum tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tablespoons cucumber, diced
  • 1 tablespoon red onions, diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

PREPARATION: Season avocado with olive oil, vinegar and salt. Place all ingredients together and mix. Mold into round shape and serve.

The restaurant offers more than thoughtful culinary creations. Every waiter auditions for the job—Estefan Kitchen staff double as singers. The restaurant’s design pays homage to 1950s Cuba, with a combination of modern art deco-inspired black-and-white furnishings and mosaic murals, including a bar decorated with oyster shells.

The Estefans have been as successful in marriage as they have been in music. Miami’s iconic couple has been together for decades and in recent years created On Your Feet!, a musical based on their professional and personal lives. Their secret? Emilio smiles. “If you make the other person happy, you’ll be happy.”

Emilio also knows that if you make customers happy, you can keep them coming back for more.

This simple Cuban sandwich is a signature Estefan dish. Photography Felipe Cuevas

Cuban Sandwich

Serves 1–2
  • 18-inch loaf of Cuban bread
  • 4 slices of roasted pork
  • 2 slices of Swiss cheese
  • 4 slices of boiled ham
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 8 pickle slices
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

PREPARATION: Slice bread and spread with butter on both sides. Place ham, cheese, mustard, pickles and pork, in that order. Bake in oven at 350 degrees until cheese melts. Cut into small sections and garnish with flags.


Estefan Kitchen

 — Location —
140 NE 39 St. Ste. 133
Miami Design District
 — Hours —
Sun—Thurs 11:30 am–11:00 pm
Fri—Sat 11:30 am–12:00 am


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