Chef Amol Agarwal Dishes on Art Basel

By Carissa Chesanek  |  November 26, 2013
Credit: The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach

Art Basel is coming up next week, and everyone is prepping for its arrival, including Miami's top chefs. We sat down with The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach chef Amol Agarwal to talk about how he prepares for the world-famous festival, and why the food served during this time of year is just as important as the art and the scene.

Zagat: How do you prepare for Art Basel?
Amol Agarwal: This is time for our high-profile repeat guests, so the focus is to make sure the ingredients are top-notch and the specials are as unique as the artwork.

Zagat: What specialty items/events/food/drinks are you offering during Basel?
AA: We do a culinary showcase in our lobby for our guests to enjoy little bites on their way: “a warm welcome and a fond farewell with a delight.”

Zagat: Why should guests come to The Ritz during Basel? What do you feel makes it stand out?
AA: Our hotel has a lot of architectural history for guests to enjoy, as well as the multi-million dollar art collection throughout the property. I don’t know any other hotel which has such a unique combination of rich history and art on display in one place.

Zagat: What's your favorite thing about Art Basel?
AA: Being able to serve a clientele with such refined taste, and see that they are enjoying every dining experience.

Zagat: Describe the food/dining scene during Art Basel. Are people as excited about dining as they are about the art?
AA: I know it feels like the food is behind the scenes during Art Basel, but we forget that all the guests who are here to enjoy the art are talking about their new prized possessions over meals with their friends. The meal has to complement the refined art. During this week, it’s all about high-quality ingredients and food presentation worthy of an art piece. 

Zagat: Are you bringing any menu items back from last year's festival?
AA: Of course not. Picasso didn’t paint any two paintings the same. It’s all about creativity and pushing the boundaries.

Art Basel runs December 5-8. More information here.