Beloved pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith is now the executive chef of Verde, the restaurant inside Pérez Art Museum Miami.
Verde is her first chance to create a full menu to call her own — an opportunity she was hesitant to accept. “My very first answer was no. But then I thought about it a bit more. The Constellation Culinary Group [the operator of Verde] is one I really enjoy and respect, and I knew I would love working with them.” Goldsmith says it feels like she has come full circle is ready to find her culinary voice on the savory side of things.
Guests can expect a slow transition, beginning with the brunch menu, followed by a revamp of the restaurant’s grab-and-go counter, for which the chef seems most excited. A full relaunch of the menu will follow.
The restaurant’s stunning waterfront location is perfect for alfresco dining, and Goldsmith plans to create dishes that will reflect the surroundings. The goal is to compose a menu that pleases the museum’s international visitors but also appeals to locals wanting something a little different. “I’m really looking forward to playing around with bread. It’s both an old-found and newfound passion because there’s so much you can do with it,” says Goldsmith, who reveals that a really great sandwich is the way to her heart.
Expect scones, specialty loaves, and plenty of gluten-free and vegan options for those who typically miss out on the joy of carbs. “I’m really into Japanese milk bread lately and have some fun ideas for it,” she says.
When it comes to the lunch and dinner menus, the flavors will take on a bit of a Middle Eastern twist with lots of roasted vegetables and bowl-style options. “I’m going to create a menu that’s similar to the way I like to eat — lots of fresh flavors and options that are hearty and filling but not overly indulgent,” says Goldsmith, who promises to also crank out a plethora of the rustic desserts for which she has become known.
She’s also taking the museum’s exhibits into consideration by designing special seasonal menus that will mirror with the works on display. The first art-inspired menu is scheduled to debut this spring. “I want to give Miami the chance to experience seasons with the menu. Everyone loves Miami’s weather, but I think it would be nice to create a menu that really lets the seasonality of things shine through,” Goldsmith says.
She also hopes to build a new menu that’s diverse enough to inspire youngsters to dine like their parents. “I want dishes that sound fun to eat and will appeal to everyone — even kids,” she says. “I think having a kid-forward menu is important, and that’s something I plan on putting effort into.”
Miamians who fell in love with the chef’s sweet treats will now have a chance to savor a whole new side of her cooking as Goldsmith takes on the biggest transition of her culinary career. “I just want to be successful and have fun while I’m doing it,” she says.
Though she originally hails from Philadelphia, Goldsmith moved to the Magic City 30 years ago and created some of Miami’s most memorable desserts alongside Michael Schwartz at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink.
As a two-time James Beard Award finalist, author of Baking Out Loud, and mentor to some of the city’s most talented young pastry chefs, including Stubborn Seed’s Dallas Wynne and Ariete’s Devin Braddock, Goldsmith is best known for her pastries. After a stint on the West Coast, she returned to Miami, where she joined the 50 Eggs team as executive pastry chef overseeing all of the hospitality group’s concepts, including the short-lived Ad Lib in Coral Gables.
Verde. 1103 Biscayne Blvd, Miami; 305-375-3000; pamm.org/dining. Monday and Tuesday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.