Meet Chef Josh Jordan of Smuggler’s Cove

Islamorada Times: Where did you grow up and did your upbringing have any influences on you becoming a chef?
Chef Josh Jordan: I grew up in the Florida Keys my whole life. Living in the Keys, I was influenced by our abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables along with our unique island life style.

IT: At what age did you know you wanted to become a chef?
CJJ: By the time I was ten I was always in the kitchen with my mother watching her make her key lime recipes for the family. 

IT: Tell us about any schooling, on the job training, and the different positions you have had in your career?
CJJ: Currently, I am the chef at Smugglers Resort and Marina in Islamorada. I have worked at various top restaurants in various capacities throughout the Florida Keys. 

IT: What are the things that influence your style of cooking? 
CJJ: Our culture at Smugglers is preserving the Florida Keys experience, so I do my best to infuse key lime and other local fresh products into all of our dishes. 

IT: What are some of your top ingredients, those that are must haves in your kitchen at all times?
CJJ: Key limes and local fresh cilantro. We have our own  herb garden on site and we pick daily to ensure freshness.  

IT: Do you have a signature dish or dishes you would like to highlight, if so, where did the inspiration come from? 
CJJ: One of our most popular dishes is our surf and turf burger. It's a burger made with a half pound black Angus Beef topped with a half pound of Florida Lobster covered with our signature Louis lime sauce. Lobster hunting is a big deal down here so we wanted a dish that allowed us to highlight this delicacy. 

IT: When you choose to dine out yourself, what type of cuisine do you enjoy? 
CJJ: I typically like local fresh seafood. It is abundant down here in the Keys and most places offer different varieties and preparations.  

IT: What do you consider to be comfort food?
CJJ: Any dish my Grandmother use to make reminds me of her and family.

IT: What is your wine preference? Any favorites you would like to recommend? 
CJJ: I'm a Cabernet guy and love cooking with it as well. Simi Cabernet is one I really enjoy and recommend to others.  

IT: What do you like to do in your free time?
CJJ: Well, I live in the Florida Keys, of course I love to fish and get out on the water.

IT: Any final thoughts?
CJJ: I enjoy working at Smugglers Resort and Marina. What inspires me is the culture to preserve the Florida Keys experience.  At the resort our goal is to make sure our customers get a taste of Keys living. This is reflected in our menu and in the laid back atmosphere throughout the resort. We want to maintain that old Florida charm because we feel that is the main reason people visit Islamorada and the Florida Keys. Also wanted to mention we have it all here at Smugglers, a great restaurant and tiki bar, a hotel, and a marina with bait, tackle and fuel. Come on down for a visit.