Seven dishes you must try in Miami: Cornelius Gallagher

CHEESE SAGANAKI, MANDOLIN AGEAN BISTRO

The location is completely inconspicuous – a restaurant space that was formerly someone's home, with a look and feel straight out of Greece. They serve an amazing saganaki that is made from kefalograveria cheese. It's served bubbling in a cast iron skillet and doused with fresh lemon at the last minute. The only thing missing is the view of the Mediterranean. See mandolinmiami.com

DUCK BURNT ENDS, KYU

Tucked in a hidden corner of the art district in Wynwood, this restaurant always delivers. Burnt ends is typically made with brisket, but Kyu's version is made with roasted duck that is cooked over hickory wood and dressed with a light ginger soy reduction. If you pair this with a Maple Porter ale it's absolutely extraordinary. See kyurestaurants.com

KUROBUTA PORK BELLY, ZUMA

Zuma is one of my favourite restaurants in Miami. It's consistently excellent. Kurobuta is a fatty heritage-breed of pork from Japan. This version is cooked slowly until completely tender, chilled, skewered and grilled over Japanese binchotan charcoal, and served with a yuzu mustard miso sauce. The result is a dish that's smoky, crispy, spicy and sweet all at once. See zumarestaurant.com

GREEK CEVICHE , MILOS

Milos makes the best version of ceviche that I've ever had. Its version incorporates fresh Mediterranean sea bass, gigante beans, tomato, lemon, sea salt and, with an unexpected twist, it adds feta cheese. Milos serves crispy grilled bread on the side and if you pair this with a chilled glass of sauvignon blanc, you have a perfect summer afternoon lunch. See milos.ca

CHU TORO SUSHI , MAKOTO

Makoto is another amazingly consistent restaurant. Its medium fatty toro sushi is among the best you will find anywhere in Florida. The key to the success of this dish is the attention paid to making the sushi rice. Its sake list is fantastic as well. See makoto-restaurant.com

SOFT EGG, ALTER

Alter is producing food that's unlike any other restaurant in Miami. One of the signature dishes from chef/owner Brad Kilgore is a soft egg that's cooked in a thermal circulator and topped with scallop espuma, then torched. It's consistently one of the most talked about dishes in Miami, and easily one of the most delicious. See altermiami.com

DRY AGED PORTERHOUSE, SMITH AND WOLLENSKY

My last meal on earth would be a dry aged porterhouse, and if I was in Miami it would be at Smith and Wollensky on the water in South Beach. It selects only USDA prime steaks that it dry ages to perfection. It cooks the steak on a 1800F (about 1000 degrees) broiler, which produces a dark char on the outside while still allowing the interior to stay a perfect medium rare. Give me this steak and a glass of Brunello di Montalcino and I'm the happiest man on earth. See smithandwollensky.com

As associate vice-president, food and beverage operations for Celebrity Cruises, Cornelius Gallagher has headed up the culinary programme on the all new Celebrity Edge, launching this month from Miami. See celebritycruises.com/edge

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