Meet Chef Samantha Cruz

📷 Photo courtesy of Sodexo Live!

Hey there, Samantha! What do you do here in town?

I’m Sodexo Live!’s Executive Chef for the newly-opened Rum Room and Venu on the Miami Beach Convention Center campus.

How does Miami help you do what you do or influence your work?

Miami is a melting pot. The diversity of cultures teaches you so many skills, perspectives and traditions, which influences the way I cook and lead my teams.

What neighborhood(s) are you reppin’?


What brings you most alive about the 305?

The foooooooood!

What’s your favorite Miami memory?

That’d have to be hot summers at Crandon Park.

If you could eat only one meal from a local restaurant for the rest of your life, what would it be?

A plate from Caña Brava, of course. Gallo pinto, carne asada, queso frito and maduros. If you have never eaten this, you have not lived life.

Outside of the obvious stop above, share your other top three destinations for where you’d go on your perfect Miami day.

Papa Llega y Pon, Lung Yai Thai Tapas, and Bocas House.

What’s your favorite local social media account and why?

@OnlyInDade, it has the rawest content.

If you could give any one piece of advice to locals, what would it be?

Spend a day in Miami Beach trying new restaurants and soaking up the sun.

If there was one thing you could change, address, etc. about Miami, what would it be?

The traffic.

What are you looking forward to in 2023?

Personal growth, career growth and new experiences.

That’s a wrap on this week’s Locals to Know. Know someone who ought to be featured or would like to be featured yourself? Reach out by sending an email to [email protected] with the subject line “TNT Locals to Know 2023.” If chosen, you might just see yourself or a friend in a future newsletter.