SWEET LIKE SUG­AR­CANE

CHEF-PART­NER TI­MON BAL­LOO DISHES ON THE PAST, PRESENT, AND FU­TURE OF THE EX­PAND­ING, GLOB­ALLY IN­SPIRED HOT SPOT NEARLY A DECADE AF­TER ITS OPEN­ING.

Ocean Drive - - Contents July/august 2017 - BY CARLA TOR­RES

Chef-part­ner Ti­mon Bal­loo dishes on the past, present, and fu­ture of the ex­pand­ing, glob­ally in­spired hot spot nearly a decade af­ter its open­ing.

Look­ing back, did you think Sug­ar­cane would be­come the in­sti­tu­tion it is to­day?

I told [my] part­ners I wanted to build a brand. I feel like Sug­ar­cane has be­come syn­ony­mous with Mi­ami.

Not just Mi­ami…

We opened Ve­gas in Novem­ber and now Brook­lyn [this month]. You know what they say, if you can make it in New York, you can make it any­where.

How are the lo­ca­tions dif­fer­ent?

I’m half Chi­nese and half In­dian but orig­i­nally from Cal­i­for­nia, and my par­ents are from Trinidad, so Sug­ar­cane Mi­ami is more trop­i­cal and Latin whereas Ve­gas is more Asian with mod­ern twists. Brook­lyn is go­ing back to In­dian roots with flat­breads and a fo­cus on veg­eta­bles.

You were ap­pointed South Florida chair for Share Our Strength’s culi­nary ben­e­fit, Taste of the Na­tion.

Allen [Susser] was one of the peo­ple who put it in my sight that we had a re­spon­si­bil­ity to give back, so I’m very lucky that he sees me as his suc­ces­sor and trusts me enough to pre­serve his in­tegrity and do my part in mak­ing it the prime event in fight­ing child­hood hunger.

Like Sug­ar­cane’s monthly ini­tia­tive, Can­vas (which in­vites guest chefs to cre­ate a dish to ben­e­fit No Kid Hun­gry)?

This was a good way to make a [mark] while get­ting friends and chefs I’m a fan of to give back and build ca­ma­raderie. What’s new at Sug­ar­cane?

Mi­ami has evolved very much through the years. Now that I have this big busi­ness, I have to be strate­gic to make sure it is ex­e­cuted prop­erly. We started a Satur­day bot­tom­less brunch with a live band and want to do other fun things like cigar rollers. 3252 NE First Ave., Mi­ami, 786-369-0353; sug­ar­cane raw­barand­grill.com

Sug­ar­cane’s Mi­ami flag­ship lo­ca­tion. ƛƞƥƨư ƟƫƨƦ ƥƞɵƭ: Av­o­cado toast with charred corn and whipped goat cheese; chef Ti­mon Bal­loo brings trop­i­cal and iatin in­flu­ences to the menu.

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