Benjamin Murray Azul Chef de Cuisine

Benjamin Murray is chef de cuisine at Azul, the waterfront signature restaurant at Mandarin Oriental, Miami, which is lauded as one of the city's most acclaimed high-end dining destinations and was awarded the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star award rating.

Chef Murray brings his elegant, progressive cuisine of modern American flavors with Asian influences to the menu at the 120-seat restaurant. The menu features Murray's robust flavors inspired by his childhood in California and Florida, paired with the sophistication of Asian cuisine, including Warm King Crab with Asian pear, mango, cucumber, umeboshi butter and Thai basil, and the Maple Leaf Farms Duck with beet, foie gras, morel, celery, coffee and roasted onion jus, both of which present the balanced use of worldly spices, alongside local ingredients and inventive technique.

Chef Murray began his career path at an early age with inspiration from his mother, who introduced him to international flavors from her native Japan as well as traditional American cuisine from his father's family background. With her influence he developed a deep appreciation for diverse ingredients, which paired with his inquisitive nature is reflected in his innovative, dynamic menus.

The rising star chef honed his culinary skills in positions held across the country, including the Fairmont in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Eliot Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts and top Miami restaurants Zuma and Area 31. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University.

Learn More About Benjamin Murray

What is your earliest memory involving food or wine?
My mother was an incredible cook and made oyakodon and gyoza one day, then macaroni & cheese and meatloaf the next. I tasted a vast variety of flavors and learned various cultures through her cooking. She was definitely my inspiration to enter the culinary industry.

If this is your first year participating in SOBEWFF, what are you most looking forward to?
I am very excited to present my new cuisine on behalf of Azul. Participating in SOBEWFF is an amazing opportunity to work alongside some of the greatest talent in the industry and I can't wait to partner with them to share our passion at the Best of the Best event.

If you could cook with anyone in the world, who would it be?
Grant Achatz. Alinea was the best dining experience I've had so far. Grant is very innovative- not just in cooking technique, but how he creates dining trends. From ice chefs at The Aviary, to selling tickets online to dine as if it is theater, he never stops evolving. He is a visionary.

I never leave home without my:
Tweezers and a Sharpie permanent marker. I can’t do without either one. Tweezers are extremely versatile, not just for plating herbs. And I write everything in permanent marker. Sometimes it gets me in trouble, but it's just a habit.