Chef Jeremiah Bullfrog
Chef/Owner at Gastropod 2.0, located in Wynwood and Aventura Mall
Location: Gastropod 2.0 Wynwood
Photography by: Dro Photography
We wanted to introduce you guys to a new project for The305.com, simply called the #MiamiPeople Project and we decided to launch it on…when else…305 day (March 5th). With this project, we hope to introduce you to a new Miamian every day of the week (Monday through Friday) with a nice portrait of them in their element and a short interview to go along with it that’ll mostly discuss what their favorite place in Miami is, among other facts about what they do and their business. We wanted to introduce this new section to The305.com to coincide with a relaunch of the site that is happening soon. In the meanwhile, we hope you enjoy what we have in store for you in the coming weeks and all of the interesting #MiamiPeople that we will be introducing (or re-introducing) you to. And stay tuned for an event announcement (with food, drinks for charity) to see all the photos gallery-style and to meet all the people featured in the first wave of the project.
Up first is Chef Jeremiah Bullfrog. A throughly trained chef with years of experience under his belt and tons of history in the Miami culinary scene. His classic Bullfrog Eatz establishment (now closed) eventually led to the infamously pioneering Gastropod food trucks that then opened the door to the current Gastropod 2.0 physical location in Wynwood and in Aventura, which just opened recently. You may also know Chef Jeremiah from his many Food Network appearances, or even for being Rick Ross’ personal chef (check the super dope chef cameo in this Reebok commercial. We linked with Jeremiah for a quick convo that eventually became the first #MiamiPeople entry that you see here.
[dropcap type=”circle” color=”#ffffff” background=”#f2594b”]1[/dropcap]What’s your favorite place in Miami…
I’ve been going to Steve’s Pizza (off 121st and Biscayne) since like ’81, you know since like a youngin’. So I’ve been going there and getting slices for forever and a day. It was always my spot. My folks would take me there after soccer games. And now, having my own children, it’s nice for me to be able to take my kids there [too]. You know, the pizza is still great. I can grab a beer and I can tell my kids “look, look! I’ve been coming here since I was your age.” So the whole full circle thing for me is really important, it’s still owned by the same family, which is nice. Me being a local business owner, I have to go out and support other local business owners, you know? There’s just not enough of that around. I was fortunate enough to live in a neighborhood where Steve’s would deliver. And the thing with Steve’s was that you can get a large pie delivered, but it isn’t the same pie that they give you by the slice. So those in the know, they go for the slice. Sometimes I’ll call him up and say “I don’t want a pie, just slices!” but it’s kinda like those XL joints. And like I said, it’s always been a part of my life. I went to Johnson & Wales, which was right there. So when we took a break for lunch, we’d walk across the street to Steve’s. I’m sure I had my picture up on the wall, I’m sure I tagged the wall more than enough times. Yeah.
[dropcap type=”circle” color=”#ffffff” background=”#f2594b”]2[/dropcap]Tell us about the new and growing Gastropod 2.0 concept…
Yeah GastroPod, this is GastroPod 2.0. We’re here in our own little piece of glory on 26th street in Wynwood. We saw this lot and we kinda knew we wanted to make a move on it. We originally approached the landlord and told him what we wanted to do and he shot it down at first, and we just persisted. But we just stayed with it because we knew that this is where we wanted to be in Wynwood. So we offered him just a little more money and that was enough to open his eyes and say “okay, these guys are legit. They know what they’re doing.” And so we solidified the deal. We had just enough time to open for Art Basel, which is big for us. We originally launched GastroPod in 2009 as a food truck for Art Basel. We then bought our second food truck the year after in 2010, which we also launched for Art Basel. So it’s always like…a reoccurring them, you know? It’s something to hustle towards because people think it’s getting commercialized and people are like “it’s not about local artists or Miami anymore”. But you gotta realize that the whole world is coming to our backyard. So it’s time for us locals to step up and be like “yo, this is the real Miami.” You don’t have to go to South Beach and rent an orange Lamborghini to chill and things like that. There’s also the real Miami. You know, so it’s important for us to represent and do what we do.
[dropcap type=”circle” color=”#ffffff” background=”#f2594b”]3[/dropcap]What’s your go-to item on the menu…?
Well it’s different here. This is kinda’ like our fast casual game.I come from fine dining. I do intellectual food. I pull it together. That’s more of my thing. But here at GastroPod, our [Mo’ Betta] Burger is you know, lights out! We really source the best meat possible. We have a special grind that lot of the cats are doing, but when we started it five years ago, that was our thing. So it’s about good product, we cook it well using good techniques, we season it well so it tastes good and we keep it simple. Our burger day in and day out, I can serve 50 of them a day or I can go to Bonnaroo and serve 1000 of them and they’re all gonna be the same. It’s about that consistency and just doing the little things right.
[dropcap type=”circle” color=”#ffffff” background=”#f2594b”]4[/dropcap]So how exactly did you link with Rick Ross and do you still cook for him since he’s on his new #RossFit regiment diet?
We started doing a lot of catering, and personal chef-ing and that’s when I linked up with Rose. I actually met him in at record release party at Circle House Studios. I used to do some stuff for them too. And you know, he’s always been good to us and we knew him when he was hustling. We’ve see him go from that to a mega mogul who’s got his own label. He’s got houses from all over the country. There’d be months passing without seeing him but when he’s in town, he hits me up. I get that text, I roll through and I drop everything and I go and I do my thing. It’s like when Rozay gets called up to do a guest spot on a track, he says it best…“You gotta come up with you’re A-game.” When Jay-Z calls you, Kanye calls you, you go spit. It’s not like you’re gonna get another chance at that. You gotta go on and do your thing and go in and you put the work and you lay it down. It’s the same thing for us. If the boss is in town and he wants food, whether it’s for him or his girl or he wants to feed the dudes at the studio, whatever it is. We roll up and we basically drop everything. And with him, I used to get a little warning, it used to be like “yo, I’m gonna come through a little later” or “tomorrow come by and let’s do this.” But lately it’s been “what are you doing? I need you right now.” But you know, I think that’s part of the relationship that we’ve developed over the years and he has entrusted me and the loyalty is there so it’s always been good.
You can check out Chef Jeremiah and his culinary creations at Gastropod 2.0 in Wynwood and the newly opened location in the food court at the Aventura Mall. For more info, go to gastropodmiami.com.
Want to suggest someone to be a part of the #MiamiPeople project? Please email their/your information and why we should include them to firstname.lastname@example.org.