21 Almeria Avenue
Coral Gables, FL

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NORMAN'S | Coral Gables, FL

A Florida native, one of Jeffrey Brana’s earliest food memories was picking oranges from the tree in his grandmother’s backyard and taking them to her kitchen to juice. His father’s family is from Spain, but spent many years in Cuba, and his mother’s family is from England. While enjoying the bounty of seafood, fruits, and vegetables that can be found in Florida, the daily meals growing up consisted mainly of Cuban food.

After returning from college, Jeffrey began working in several restaurants in Florida and then landed a job working for Chefs Marly Blitz and Scott Howard. He supplemented his hands-on training with extensive reading on international and American culinary masters. It was Chef Howard, who had previously worked for Chef Norman Van Aken at “A Mano” in Miami, who suggested Brana go work at NO RMAN’S.

Brana mastered each station in the kitchen at NORMAN’S, including pastry, before leaving to St. Thomas, where he worked at The Ritz-Carlton. Afterwards, he went to San Francisco to assist in revamping the kitchen and consulting at a popular San Francisco restaurant. With the pending opening of NORMAN’S restaurants in Orlando and Los Angeles, a position became available in the flagship restaurant in Coral Gables, and Brana rejoined the team as Chef de Cuisine, where he leads the award-winning kitchen.

   Published: October 2004