Top Fine Dining Chefs in Coral Gables: Chef Christian Chirino
Chef Christian Chirino, a native of Chile, is the newest of Coral Gables’
top chefs,having taken the helm at TUR Kitchen just over a year ago. But in that time, he has taken the restaurant to new culinary heights with a flavor palate from the Eastern Mediterranean – Turkish, Middle Eastern, North African and Greek.
Trained initially at culinary school in Santiago, Chirino spent four years working in Paris following an internship at 3-Michelin-star restaurant Le Chateaubriand. While
there he met the famous Basque chef Andoni Aduriz at a food conference in Madrid,
who became an early mentor. “At that time,I understood that [cooking] was my thing. I felt the passion, and the satisfaction of people saying, ‘I love your food.’
There is no money that can buy that satisfaction.”
Also, during his years in Paris, Chirino spent time traveling through Morocco and Tunisia to study their cuisine, something that would pay off at TUR – but only after he returned to Chile, finished his university studies, and became executive chef for a mining operation that employed – and had to feed – 5,000 workers. After nine years of that corporate chef role, he moved to Miami and worked at No. 3 Social in Wynwood.
A year later he started at TUR.
Chirino stays within the spectrum of Eastern Mediterranean cuisine but uses only local produce (the fish are flown in from Spain and Turkey). Working twelve- and thirteen-hour days, he uses traditional ingredients but not traditional recipes. “I do it my way,” he says. “In every dish we have a touch of citrus, a touch of sweetness, a touch of the spicy – we need to have more than two or three flavors in the same dish. And we need to have surprise flavors.” For example, his braised goat dish includes gnocchi, sun dried tomatoes, artichokes and medjool dates.