Introducing our Culinary Manager, Steve Santana. Born and bred in Miami, Steve has been reppin’ the 305 since day one. Between mezcal cocktails at the Broken Shaker, web developing, and his love for music (from J Dilla to Krisp), you can find him hard at work at Freehand Miami ensuring our kitchen’s running like a well-oiled machine. We recently caught up with Steve to find out more about him.
Freehand Miami: What’s a typical day in the life of Freehand Miami’s Culinary Manager?
Steve Santana: I come in around noon, perform a quick inspection of our storage, prep areas and kitchen, and then take care of some office work; responding to emails and such. Then, I quickly recap upcoming events and parties with the F&B team, check the inventory for Freehand Miami’s complimentary breakfast, place orders for the following day, receive deliveries for the day, tackle my prep list for dinner, set up the main kitchen, begin dinner service at 7pm and finally breakdown the kitchen and prep areas around midnight. Before heading home, I ensure all surfaces are wiped down, cleaned and ready for the next day.
FH: What makes Freehand Miami and The Broken Shaker different than the typical Miami spot?
SS: They’re authentic. The people behind the scenes really make Freehand Miami and The Broken Shaker what it is. They provide an escape from the madness of South Beach for both locals and fellow industry workers and offer some of the most creative and innovative cocktails with no red ropes, doormen or pretentiousness.
FH: What will your go-to cocktail be this summer?
SS: Mezcal, bartender’s choice.
FH: Growing up Cuban in Miami, what is the best spot for authentic Cuban food?
SS: El Palacio de los Jugos. (Grab a greasy brown bag of chicharróns for the road.)
FH: What’s something you feel like everyone should experience while visiting Miami?
SS: Visitors should seek out the local spots in neighborhoods like Wynwood and the Upper East Side.
FH: If you could hang out with anyone, alive or dead, real or imaginary at the Broken Shaker, who would it be?
SS: I would love to be able to gather all my close friends together at the same time and place for a night. It usually proves to be quite the challenge!