"Miami's going through an interesting renaissance in its gastronomic scene for a lot of different reasons," says Acme Bakery's Alejandro Ortiz, a native Miamian who's worked in the industry for years.
"I think number one, there's a lot more smaller restaurants going on. I think there's a lot more of us who grew up here, who are from here that maybe left but came back, and I think the spirit of the restaurant industry is changing."
Of course, Ortiz is one of the homegrown talents helping push that spirit forward. He's helping change Miami's take on bread from behind the counter at Acme, the latest outpost from his partners at The Pious Pig Restaurant Group, the folks behind the pop-up Phuc Yea! and The Federal Food, Drink and Provisions.
No one, in fact, cares more about bread -- and you can taste the difference. Ortiz's handmade loaves are made with local yeasts and ingredients, producing unique baguettes, brioche, biscuits and beyond. (And never mind the old wives' tale that Miami's humidity keeps the quality down.)
"It's no secret that 90-95 percent of all the bread in Miami that you see, whether it's a baguette or whether its a nice round loaf, is frozen and comes in a box," he laments. "And on top of that, most baguettes out there are shaped by a machine, spit out by a machine, and then they go into ovens. Every single one of our breads is touched by a human being and a human being had to make it from beginning to end, and that's very important. Each loaf is not perfect, and that's the beauty of it."
Watch the video above to get Ortiz's take on the local scene, why his coffee selection has such strange names, and when you can find eggnog cheesecake and gingerbread made with lager beer and black pepper.