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Ten Miami Chefs Take on the Biggest Burn Challenge

By Laine Doss | Originally appeared in Miami New Times

A chef's life isn't easy. Long days on their feet in the kitchen, along with the stressful running of a business, can take its toll. Many of Miami's chefs spend far too little time staying healthy as a tradeoff for keeping a steady eye on their restaurant.

Julie Frans thought the mindset of putting oneself last was counter intuitive to operating a successful establishment.

The chef and culinary director of the annual Seed Food & Wine Festival joined Orangetheory Fitness about a year ago. She, in turn, recommended the workout studio to Dirt's Nicole Votano about a month ago. Together, they decided to challenge some of their peers to participate in the Biggest Burn, a 12-week weight-loss and fitness challenge.

"We needed to get chefs into this, and now is a good time of year for us to do it," Frans says. She decided to incorporate chefs who participate in Seed to tie in all aspects of a healthful life. "I wanted us to look at the whole body. These chefs all do different styles of cuisine and have different fitness levels, but they are all committed to being more healthful."

Ten chefs have accepted the challenge, which consists of working out at Orangetheory at least three days a week and eating cleaner. They've agreed to also motivate one another to lose weight and get fit. In addition, they will post weekly "meatless Monday" recipes on their social media accounts to share their healthier ways with their followers.

Yesterday, chefs Brad Kilgore (Alter), Soraya Kilgore (Alter), Darren "Paco" Laszlo (Jugofresh), Jimmy Lebron (27 Restaurant & Bar), Jeff Maxfield (Toscana Divino), Steve Santana (Taquiza), Venoy Rogers (Essensia), and Rose Flynn (Choices Cafe), along with Frans and Votano, met at 10 a.m. at Orangetheory's South Beach studio for their first weigh-in and class.

Here's Where to Find the Best Açaí Bowls in Miami

  By Greyceli Marin | Originally appeared in Miami Eater

Health forward restaurants are on the rise and DIRT is ahead of the pack. It's only been open a few months, but there's already a lot of buzz around its quinoa and veggie bowls, cold-pressed juices and sandwiches, all delivered in true farm-to-counter fashion.

Best Inexpensive Restaurant

Originally appeared in Miami New Times

There's so much to love about Dirt, not the least of which is that no single item costs more than $16. Such prices are rare in South Beach, especially when you consider Dirt isn't serving just run-of-the-mill fare. Indeed, this fast-casual concept is committed to offering clean food that's locally sourced whenever possible, and best of all — it tastes amazing. That's largely because the restaurant's director for culinary operations is Nicole Votano, a classically trained chef who was the top toque at Fooq's, where she garnered praise for her comforting yet chef-driven cuisine.Dirt has four menus: vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and Paleo, but most dishes are built around vegetables and allow for a choice of protein. A favorite is the nourish bowl ($12), starring quinoa, sprouted chickpeas, lentils, roasted curried cauliflower, caramelized onions, roasted red pepper, golden raisins, shaved carrot, mole vinaigrette, and cucumber-mint yogurt. Throw in some orange-basil chicken, and call it a very healthy day.

Readers' choice: Batch Gastropub

232 Fifth St., Miami Beach, 33139




The Ten Best Healthy Restaurants in Miami

By Nicola Haubold | Originally appeared in Miami New Times

3. Chef Nicole Votano offers fast-casual dining in a bright and airy environment at Dirt in South Beach. For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, customers can order from Paleo-friendly, vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-sensitive menus depending upon dietary restrictions. Dishes change seasonally, but some crowd favorites are almond butter and jam toast ($6) and the nourish bowl ($12), which is made with farro, sprouted chickpeas and lentils, roasted curried cauliflower, and caramelized onions.

Neighborhood Guide: Where to Get the Best Iced Coffee in Miami

By Mallory Evans | Originally appeared in Ocean Drive

Lavender Ice Tea Latte

Lavender Ice Tea Latte

Miami Beach: DIRT

After enjoying a lavender iced latte during a trip to Napa, California, chef Nicole Votano knew she had to recreate this "perfect and delicate" drink at her Miami Beach café, DIRT. "It’s the [ideal] drink for summer, as lavender grows like wildfire this time of year," Votano says, noting that the flavor profile is amplified when paired with one of DIRT’s house-made cherry crostatas or rosemary-spiked rice crispy treats. 232 Fifth St., Miami Beach, 305-763-8548

Where to Eat Lunch in South Beach Right Now

By Priscilla Blossom | Originally appeared in Miami.com

There are so many beautiful things about South Beach: the ocean, the people, the architecture and, also, the food. You can find a wonderful variety of culinary delights here, from first-rate steak houses to refreshing vegan juice bars--fitting for an area that prides itself on its diverse population. No matter what you crave at noontime, you’re certain to find something to fill you up and keep you satisfied and we’ve rounded up the best of the best for your future eating pleasure.

What's Healthy


For those concerned with the environmental impact of their meals, look no further than Dirt--a fast casual eatery that’s committed to serving up meals that are seasonal, organic, and local. Vegan and vegetarians love it for the avocado toast, santorini salad, and berkley beets wrap. Omnivores and the paleo crowd fawn over the dirty steak and cheese (served in a collard wrap) and curried cauliflower bowl.

232 5th Street, Miami Beach; 305-763-8548

Best Dishes to Celebrate Summer

By Alexandria Guerro | Originally appeared in Doral Magazine

For those looking for a healthier treat that bursts with flavor, DIRT is Miami's newst groundbreaking succes that can be described as "fine fast food." Executive Chef Nicole Votano, uses fresh, seasonal ingredients.  For their summer offerings, the sustainable eatery collaborated with local tea purveyors behind JoJo Tea. The DIRT xJoJo Tea Salad by TIco combines local greens from Sun Fresh Farm & Ranch tossed with broccolini, English peas, asparagus, multi-colored carrots, and sauteed mushrooms. The salad is then lightly tossed with JoJo's fresh matcha green tea and lemon vinaigrette and finished with pumpkin, sunflower, and hemp seeds. 

232 5th Street, Miami Beach, FL, 33139

8 Superheroes of Miami’s Dining Scene

8 Superheroes of Miami’s Dining Scene

At this fast-casual health-food haven in South Beach, an array of organic, affordable options are on offer, including customizable quinoa bowls and greens topped with proteins like grass-fed beef or free-range chicken, creative sandwiches, cold-pressed juices, smoothies and espresso drinks. Outfitted with wooden furniture, marble countertops and metallic accents, the cool decor is just as chill as the veggie-forward menu.



It’s time for all of you to get the dirt on Dirt restaurant nestled on 232 5th Street, Miami Beach. I’ve been on a gluten-free and clean food kick for the past year (I know, I’m a little late to this party) and I’ve been hooked on Dirt since its opening — because the eats are a triple threat: Delicious, healthy and inexpensive.

Eating Clean at Dirt: Serving Fine Food Fast

Eating Clean at Dirt: Serving Fine Food Fast

Since opening in November of 2015, DIRT has been successful in its mission to serve high-quality, well-executed dishes that you’d expect at a sit-down restaurant.

The Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce has also recognized the restaurant for innovative design and architecture. Housed in a bright, airy space on a busy section of South Fifth Street, it is an example of how counter-service can be elevated to meet the standards of customers typically accustomed to a typical restaurant setting.

4 South Florida restaurants to try right now

By Carlos Frías | Originally appeared in Miami.com

There's no need to save tasty dining for the weekend.

Here are four restaurants to try today from "Dining Discoveries" food writer Linda Bladholm. Mom-and-pop restaurants are the heart of Miami and Bladholm gives us an inside look at what makes these special.

Her column highlighting South Florida restaurants appears weekly in the Miami Herald.


"Whether you adhere to a vegan, vegetarian or Paleo diet, there is something for all at Dirt Eat Clean in South Beach. It’s a hip café with all-day smoothies, housemade juices and nut milks flavored with cocoa powder. Most of the menu is plant based with vegetables the star." (Read more)

232 5th Street, Miami Beach (at Washington). 305-239-3000, dirteatclean.com

DIRT Restaurant in South Beach

By Santiago Cardona| Originally appears in Miami Food Tours

If you’re in South Beach looking for local and healthful food, there is no question that the one place you should head to is DIRT. Helmed by Chef Nicole, who was the executive chef at Michelle Bernstein’s Crumb on Parchment and Fooq’s, the food coming out of the kitchen is not only conscious of its environment and community, but also downright inspiring. While trying to adopt a mostly local approach to its food offerings, the menu manages to be seasonal and flavorful, relying more on the essence of the ingredients instead of the things that are added to them.

Walking in, you are treated by an apt Florida sculpture that pin-points which ingredients are coming from where in Florida. Conversely, DIRT is also extremely transparent as to which ingredients aren’t local and also highlights where they are from. “There are some ingredients that you just can’t find locally,” mentioned Nicole. “We don’t want to miss out on some amazing micro-seasonal produce that other cities get.” Ingredients like rhubarb and leeks, amongst others,  are hard to find locally, but still produce incredible dishes. These are the type of dishes and ingredients Nicole is referring to. DIRT works with small, organic, local farms using practices that support and sustain the earth, and the DIRT team meets with their farmers personally to ensure that standards for produce and how it is grown is mutual between both of them.

The harissa-spiked Hummus served with olive oil grilled Zak the Baker toast was an apt way to start the meal. The hummus has a great, ultra-smooth and -creamy texture, while maintaining a subtly spiced flavor that quickly became one of my favorite hummuses in the city. The grilled bread served to dip into the hummus took it over the top, as I’m sure we all know how great Zak the Baker bread can be. Next came the quinoa-crusted fish Po- Boy. Served with zucchini jalapeño slaw, local tomatoes, basil leaves, and Greek yogurt remoulade, this sandwich was an exercise in how to properly lighten up a notoriously heavy dish. The quinoa breading properly mimicked the cornmeal breading you normally see on Po-Boys, and the fish was as great as what can be expected from locally caught fish in South Florida. The delightful slaw added a refreshing and somewhat spicy element to a sandwich that was extremely balanced. - See more at: http://www.miamiculinarytours.com/dirt-restaurant-south-beach/#sthash.xfAmOHbq.iU1KaZ9n.dpuf

Most impressive of all was the Spring Plate, which allows you to choose a protein and have it served alongside greek yogurt and olive oil smashed potatoes, spicy grilled broccolini, with herbs and shaved vegetables. Nicole wouldn’t stop raving about how special her eggs were, so I definitely decided to go with that as my protein. Nicole was right about her eggs, which were as pure tasting as any eggs I could imagine and had a golden yolk that essentially acted as its own sauce on the plate. The mashed potatoes were perfectly seasoned and somewhat lumpy, yet balanced due to the extra tang coming from the greek yogurt. Bringing it all together was the charred broccolini, which added a different aspect of flavor to the dish while adding some texture as well. Overall, this was a great way to highlight the ingredients the season has to offer.

Even though DIRT is trying to appeal to those looking for healthy alternatives in South Beach, there is no doubt that what is coming out of the kitchen is some of the best local food in the city. By focusing on maintaining the integrity of the ingredients, DIRT brings something new to the beach. Something that the beach was missing.

Food Editor, Santiago Cardona

- See more at: http://www.miamiculinarytours.com/dirt-restaurant-south-beach/#sthash.xfAmOHbq.iU1KaZ9n.dpuf

- See more at: http://www.miamiculinarytours.com/dirt-restaurant-south-beach/#sthash.xfAmOHbq.iU1KaZ9n.dpuf

Where to Spot a Celebrity in Miami Any Day of the Week

By Ashley Brozic | Originally appeared in OceanDrive Magazine

DIRT: When David Beckham is in town, you can almost always find him at DIRT, South Beach’s hippest healthy food spot. It’s a favorite of stars looking for a casual and healthy bite, especially in the AM. 232 Fifth St., 305-763-8548

The dirt on DIRT

By: Dana Rozansky | Originally appeared in Miami Food Porn

My Saturday mornings typically start out one of two ways.

Scenario 1: Wake up early feeling like a million bucks. Thanks to my lame Friday night, I’m feeling energized and ready to tackle this day. I’ll usually hit the gym then grab a smoothie, acai bowl or a healthy breakfast with friends.  

Scenario 2: Need. Water. And Advil. Stat. Can’t peel myself from the comforts of my bed thanks to last night’s shenanigans. After the water & Advil, this girl’s going to need a big ole plate of carbs. ASAP.

Now, if you’re anything like me, you have your go-to healthy spot and your go-to cheat spot (or as I like to call it, my hangover helper) for each of these scenarios.

What if I were to tell you that you could have ONE go-to spot for BOTH scenarios, all wrapped up into one pretty little package? Well, it’s my DIRTy little secret, but I’ve decided to share it with all of you today.

I’d like to present to you my new weekend staple: DIRT. Whether I’m stumbling in straight from the gym or straight from a night out, I know that Chef Nicole is whipping up some guilt-free goodness that’s going to hit the spot. The masterminds behind DIRT have figured out a way to make eating clean an experience that won’t make you run to the nearest Domino’s to relapse on an XL-sized “personal” pie. DIRT is a stomping grounds for people who like to do their body good without having to forego delicious indulgences like carbs & sweets. Everything in moderation, my friends!

Moderation shmoderation…let’s just say I don’t exactly practice what I preach. It’s time to take a look at my scrumptious Saturday spread.

But first, coffee. Especially if you’re experiencing Scenario 2 (see above), this is a MUST! DIRT’s got a wide variety of coffee options including this lavender latte which was a serious treat.

Sometimes it’s the simple things in life…and this certainly applies to DIRT’s tried and true avocado toast. With a generous portion of smashed ‘cado, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt on top of Zak the Baker bread, you really can’t go wrong.

If you’re craving something fruity and refreshing, the Dragon Fruit Bowl is your answer. Sure, you can always opt for the Acai bowl, but take it from Robert Frost – you’ll want to take the road less traveled. This heaping bowl of heaven has got Dragon fruit, banana, pineapple, house-made almond butter and local wildflower honey blended with house-made almond + Brazil nut mylk, topped with blueberries, banana, kiwi and house-made granola.

Now for those of you who are looking for a heartier meal for post-workout or post-night out, the next two options should do the trick.  

First up, Chef Nicole’s Seasonal Breakfast. This colorful bowl is filled with 2 eggs over easy served over farro, sautéed with English peas, asparagus, shiitake + oyster mushrooms and pea shoots, topped with Parmigiano Reggiano. Filling, healthy and delicious!

Next we’ve got the DIRTY Sandwich. Word to the wise – whenever a restaurant puts its name on a dish, you know you’re working with a winner. This sandwich is no exception. Nestled between two slices of Zak the Baker you’ve got 2 eggs over easy, house-made chicken apple sausage, peppers, onions, Monterey jack cheese and house-made hot sauce. The DIRTY Sandwich is the real deal.

And with that, it’s safe to say you’ve got the dirt on DIRT.

6 Healthy Salads That Will Keep You Energized This Summer

6 Healthy Salads That Will Keep You Energized This Summer

Billed as a "fine food fast" eatery and wellness bar, Miami Beach’s DIRT has been serving up a delightful assortment of vegetable-centric and seasonal dishes since its inception last November. Currently on deck is the DIRT x JoJo Tea Spring Salad by Tico, a bright blend of veggies finished with matcha tea-infused vinaigrette. When you visit, be sure to order a cup of passion fruit kombucha or private label coffee made with house-made almond and Brazil nut mylk. 

DIRT Named Best Inexpensive Restaurant in Miami

DIRT Named Best Inexpensive Restaurant in Miami

There's so much to love about DIRT, not the least of which is that no single item costs more than $16. Such prices are rare in South Beach, especially when you consider Dirt isn't serving just run-of-the-mill fare. Indeed, this fast-casual concept is committed to offering clean food that's locally sourced whenever possible, and best of all — it tastes amazing.

DIRT Launches Seasonal Summer Menu Inspired by Light, Fresh Flavors and Locally-Sourced Ingredients

DIRT Launches Seasonal Summer Menu Inspired by Light, Fresh Flavors and Locally-Sourced Ingredients

Miami Beach’s “fine food fast” casual eatery and wellness bar, DIRT, debuts a new menu with the warmer weather of the Summer months in mind. The menu is rooted in seasonality, using many local ingredients to create light yet satisfying dishes filled with crisp refreshing flavors and vibrant colors.

A Dozen Delicious Dishes

By David Rosendorf | Originally appeared in Edible South Florida

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In South Florida, it can also be the most interesting. Do a little exploring, and you’ll find several ways to start your day that are a lot more exciting than a bowl of soggy cereal.


Jalisco Bowl at Dirt

Why We Love It: Fast casual no longer has to mean junk food. At Dirt, you order at the counter, but you get fresh, clean stuff like their Jalisco Bowl: a hearty but health-conscious breakfast of quinoa or farro.

Get Directions

|232 5th St., Miami Beach, FL, us

| Website

Where to Get a Healthy Meal That Feels Like You're Cheating

By Alejandra Torres | Originally appeared in Ocean Drive

DIRT is making clean eating an easy (and appetizing) lifestyle. Their full menu offers vegan and vegetarian selections, as well as paleo-friendly and gluten-sensitive choices. The best part? Every ingredient is sourced locally for the freshest flavors. And as a farm-to-table restaurant, the menu is modified as the seasons change. This month try the spring plate, which includes Greek yogurt and olive oil smashed potatoes, spicy grilled broccolini, herbs, and shaved vegetables along with your choice of protein. 232 Fifth St., Miami Beach, 305-239-3000