Steven Acosta is the executive chef for The Balfour Hotel in Miami Beach. With formal training from one of the world’s leading culinary schools, Acosta boasts extensive knowledge in world cuisine. With a passion for tradition, chef Acosta brings a global perspective to the tastes and culinary wonder only found at The Balfour Hotel in South Beach. His menus reflect the area’s roots, with a strong focus on South Florida produce, a nod to the area’s tropical landscape and Latin history.
At The Balfour, Acosta manages all operations for the hotel and the onsite restaurant and conceptualizes the menus. For guests dining at The Balfour Hotel, Acosta looks to his Latin American roots to bring the menus to life. Acosta grew up in Miami, Florida with his half-Costa Rican, half-Cuban family and credits his grandmother for inspiring his dedication to his life in the kitchen. He has fond memories of preparing Arroz con Pollo with his mother and making Costa Rican Vinagreta with his grandmother. His passion for cooking was ignited after being taught how to turn produce from the local flea market into delicious, home-cooked meals for his family.
After graduating from the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Miami, chef Acosta began working on the da Campo culinary team as its executive sous chef upon the restaurant’s debut in 2008. At da Campo, Acosta prepared traditional northern Italian cuisine with a contemporary twist, including the restaurant’s infamous house-made Fresh Pulled Mozzarella. There, Acosta fell in love with the simplicity of Italian dishes, where the emphasis on exceptional ingredients combined with proper technique allows them to shine. Some of his favorite entrées included a classic spaghetti with a jumbo meatball and the braised veal that was reminiscent of his grandmother’s recipe for oxtail.
Acosta continued his professional journey in 2009 with executive sous chef positions at several distinguished restaurants throughout South Florida, such as the Cascada Grill at the Turnberry Isle Resort, Vix’s Restaurant at Hotel Victor, the former Solea restaurant at the W Hotel South Beach, and Kimpton EPIC hotel in Downtown Miami. Besides cooking gourmet meals in some of South Florida’s most notable restaurants, he prides himself on promoting a sense of camaraderie among his team members, creating a culture of positive energy, accountability and passion in the kitchen.