Kitchen Inquisition: Frederick H. Kelly

Kelly believes the more cooks in the kitchen, the better.

Ever hear the phrase, "There are too many cooks in the kitchen?" If you've worked in a restaraunt or tried to help your mama while she's over the stove, we can imagine you've heard it once or twice. Well, JB Kitchen & Bar in Brickell knows that statement simply isn't the case. They believe the more cooks the better. 

Opened in February, JB Kitchen & Bar's kitchen is under the supervision of executive chefs Frederick Kelly and Jeremy Fernandez. Kelly, an American from New Jersey and Fernandez, born and raised in Peru, unite with a passion for food, and together they bring food to new heights by redefining their favorite childhood comfort foods into adult food cravings. Focusing on locally sourced ingredients and organic produce, the casual neighborhood eatery boasts reasonably-priced, simple yet sophisticated dining in a cozy, unpretentious setting.

Kelly, who refers to their menu as a conglomeration rather than a fusion of cuisines, sat down with us to talk about how he went from the Marines to cooking for Bruce Springsteen.

I'm sure all the dishes on each of your menus are like your children, but if you had to choose only one dish from the menu, which ones are you most proud of?

Caramelized sea scallops with blood orange vinaigrette and shaved fennel.

Most popular item on the menu?

Fresh Maine lobster macaroni & cheese.

How would you describe Miami's dining scene?


Marine to Executive Chef. How did that happen?

By accident mostly. It was meant to be.

What brought you from New Jersey to Miami?

My children live in Key West, so I moved closer to them.

What is it like to have two Executive Chefs in the kitchen?

A big relief to share the responsibility and still have time off to balance personal life.

You have turned your childhood comfort food into adult food cravings. What were some your favorite foods as a kid?

Spaghetti, pancakes, mac and cheese.

At what point did you realize you were destined to be a chef?

At age 13 in my family's restaurant in New Jersey.

The 5 ingredients every kitchen should have?

Fresh herbs, salt and pepper, passion, patience and laughter.

The 5 utensils every kitchen should have?

Mortar, box grater, sharp knife, zester and a very large stockpot.

First dish you learned to make?

Pancakes from scratch at age 9.

Favorite dish to make at home?


Favorite food-related memory?

Cooking for Bruce Springsteen in 1988 at Mc Cloon's Rum Runner, Sea Bright, NJ.

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