Chef Michael Beltran
Executive Chef / Partner
Miami born and bred Michael Beltran grew up in Little Havana where every night his family would gather around the table for a traditional Cuban meal, except on game nights. A football player since childhood, Beltran attended Averett University in Virginia where he earned a degree in Sociology while playing sports and working part-time as dishwasher at a chain restaurant; a job that would unknowingly act as the catalyst to his career as a chef and restaurant owner.
It was washing the plates people enjoyed some of the best moments of their life around that Beltran saw the heat in the kitchen first-hand, and just couldn’t keep away from the fire. Upon returning home, Beltran learned the ins and out of working a dining room and kitchen (from bartender to line cook) at Miami institution Casa Juancho in his very Little Havana.
Fate would have it that while reading the work of Miami culinary legend Norman Van Aken, Beltran serendipitously got word of construction for Norman’s starting and instantly knew it’s where he wanted to go next. Working under the tutelage of Mango Tree Gang member and founding father of New World cuisine Beltran was not just able to learn the foundation for fine dining — from curing charcuterie to use of acids to the stratification of sauces– but master proper technique and flawless execution. That perseverance and attention to detail earned him the title of sous chef at Tuyo’s and subsequently at Michael Schwartz’s Cypress Room where Beltran was part of the opening team alongside Thomas Keller protégé and chef de cuisine Roel Alcudia. Akin to Norman’s, Cypress Room received a three and a half star rating from the Miami Herald during Beltran’s tenure as sous chef.
In summer of 2015, Beltran left Cypress Room to chase his dream of opening a New World American restaurant after reconnecting with high school friend, nightlife veteran, and Sidebar owner Jason Odio and realizing Coconut Grove lacked a neighborhood restaurant dishing out elevated cuisine. At Ariete, which opened in just January of 2016, Beltran is using his innumerable experience in fine dining and working with seasonal and native ingredients as well as global flavors to bring something totally different to the table and usher the next wave of Miami dining, one dish at a time.