By: JEN KARETNICK
Lifestyle maven and chef Amaris Jones has spent her lifetime honing the perfect iteration of the modern Soul Food concept. Personified at Chick’n Jones, her modern fast-casual fried chicken spot on South Beach, and a myriad of other buzzy pop-ups and catering events she conceives and spearheads, Jones means business when it comes to good eats.
WHAT’S YOUR PREFERRED DISH TO PREPARE FOR A CLIENT? I often opt for a stunning branzino with local veggies. The appeal lies in the freshness of the fish, and clients genuinely enjoy savoring locally sourced ingredients.
WHICH SPICES DO YOU CONSISTENTLY RELY ON IN THE KITCHEN? My go-to spices are allspice, cumin, and turmeric for their versatile flavor profiles.
WHAT ARE YOUR LOCAL INGREDIENT STAPLES? Citrus is a must, and I adore the sweetness of local Key West pink shrimp for a delightful seasonal touch.
ANY FAVORITE MARKETS OR STORES? While I shop everywhere, I have a soft spot for artisanal shops. Mr. Fresh, an indoor farmers market, is excellent for produce, and I highly recommend “Proper Sausage” for their fantastic selection of organic meats.
DO YOU COOK ON A DATE NIGHT? I’d rather not. “Silverlake Bistro” is my ideal spot for a chic rendezvous.
WHO ARE THE MOST INTERESTING CLIENTS YOU’VE COOKED FOR? I’ve enjoyed preparing meals for Rick Ross and NBA champ Chris Bosh.
WHAT MAJOR INFLUENCES SHAPE YOUR COOKING STYLE? My cooking style is
a blend of childhood influences, family traditions, the women of my father’s church, and my experiences exploring flavors of the African diaspora during my travels.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ASPECT OF LIVING IN SOUTH FLORIDA? The rich diversity of cultured food trends is a highlight, and the absence of the Michelin Guide is an inspirational challenge for chefs.
WHICH NEIGHBORHOOD DO YOU FIND MOST FOOD-FRIENDLY? While Miami Beach, where my restaurant is located, stands out, I appreciate the historically black/Caribbean communities for their incredible and flavorful food offerings.