Chef Niven Patel and Mohamed Alkassar’s Culinary Empire Wins Big As The Michelin Guide Debuts in Florida
Alpareno Restaurant Group announces today that the Michelin Guide, which debuted in Florida this year, has awarded Ghee Indian Kitchen with a Bib Gourmand award. The announcement was made during an exclusive ceremony at the Ritz Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes. Ghee Indian Kitchen is a part of Alpareno Restaurant Group, a partnership with celebrated chef Niven Patel and accomplished hospitalian Mohamed “Mo” Alkassar, who conceptualized Ghee, making it a staple in the buzzing South Florida culinary scene.
“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by The Michelin Guide with a Bib Gourmand award,” said chef Niven. “We create a community around our love for good food with the guest journey at the forefront of everything we do. Being recognized for doing what you love is the greatest reward I could ever wish for.”
The Michelin Guide is internationally recognized as one of the most universally respected culinary authorities of fine dining. All three of Alpareno’s destination restaurants are among the top dining recommendations for visitors to Miami, one of the leading travel and culinary destinations in the world.
“We are first and foremost proud to see the Miami culinary scene receiving the recognition it deserves,” explained Mo. “It’s an honor to be recognized by the Michelin Guide as we have always aimed for both service and culinary excellence, and this is the pinnacle of what we strive for.”
Upon winning the prestigious award, chef Niven and Mo paid tribute to their team and the extended members of the Alpareno family, acknowledging the number of people it takes to create memorable dining experiences each night. Specifically, chef Niven and Mo called out the local farmers, fisherman, cheesemongers, servers, hosts, line cooks, chefs, dishwashers, mixologists and of course, their supporters in South Florida.
“There would be no Alpareno Restaurant Group without Charles Nolan and Brent Reynolds,” said Mo. “Their unwavering support from day one gave us the platform needed to showcase the culinary excellence we have to offer.”
Alpareno’s culinary portfolio is a growing restaurant collection of chef-driven concepts, including Ghee Indian Kitchen, Alpareno’s debut concept. Ghee is a modern Indian restaurant known for seasonal and contemporary spins on traditional fare. Ghee, which means “pure,” is chef Patel’s love letter to his family as many of the dishes are similar to those that he grew up eating as a child in Valdosta, GA. The concept put chef Niven and Mo on the map and was well received by the community, in addition to the national culinary stage as the concept has been nominated by the James Beard Foundation. Food & Wine Magazine also listed chef Niven as Best New Chef of 2020.
Orno, which is located inside of THesis Hotel in Coral Gables, opened in October 2021, a New American concept centered around a wood fired kitchen. The menu is ingredient focused centered around the freshest available produce from Rancho Patel, Chef Niven’s home, farm, and the soul of Alpareno.
As is true of all Alpareno endeavors, Mamey, also located at THesis Hotel and named after the tropical fruit, showcases the exotic flavors and spices commonly found in the islands. Mamey’s seasonal offerings are complemented by fun, innovative cocktails that transport diners to a tropical oasis. Chef Niven and Mo curate every detail of Alpareno’s unique restaurants, by providing creative input on design, choosing the global portfolio of wines and curating the immersive experience that diners receive nightly.
Alpareno Restaurant Group is most known for sourcing local produce and herbs from chef Niven’s farm, Rancho Patel, that surrounds his family’s home in Homestead, FL. While the restaurants serve a selection of cuisine from various regions, chef Niven’s inspiration is consistently focused on showcasing fresh, seasonal produce. The menus at each of his restaurants are inspired by the ingredients. This dedication to sustainability and mindful sourcing is chef Niven’s lodestar and helped define his eclectic cooking style, which is deeply rooted in his heritage while simultaneously pulling inspiration from the region’s rich bounty.
As we look towards the future, chef Niven and Mo are hard at work planning new menus and offerings at each of Alpareno’s restaurants. Additionally, they are conceptualizing future endeavors including the summer 2023 debut of Erba Italian Kitchen, chef Niven’s ode to his apprenticeship in Florence. For more information, follow Alpareno Restaurant Group on Instagram at @AlparenoRestaurants.