Tampa | Meet Chef Sean Brasel

Sean Brasel is the executive chef and owner of Meat Market, a celebrated American Steakhouse chain boasting four locations in Tampa, Boca Raton, Palm Beach, and San Juan. With an impressive reputation as a “grilling god” by Food Republic, Brasel is a force to be reckoned with in the culinary world. As a talented chef, he’s among the contenders vying for the coveted title of Heritage Hero, and he’s getting ready to showcase his skills at the upcoming Heritage Fire Tampa on April 30th. In this blog, discover Brasel’s go-to protein for grilling, his tips for aspiring fire chefs, and more.

How do you prepare for an event like Heritage Fire?

A. We will start our cure of the roast we are making two weeks before. I am also designing a special stand for our creation.

What does cooking with heritage breed protein mean to you?

A. Heritage means to me small and grown with love and deeper richer flavors, not mass-produced.

When did you first cook with fire and why?

A. I used to do a lot of camping and backpacking. It was always nice to cook fresh trout over an open fire. The flavor is just so good. It was also exciting to forage a few things to add to the fire to either add flavor or to try cooking, like wild sage and wild mushrooms

What is your favorite protein to cook? How do you like to prepare it?

A. I love cooking braises; you can do much more with the broth that you’re preparing so the same protein can have ten different outcomes.

Do you have any advice for beginners who want to try outdoor fire cooking?

A. Start with making sure you know the flame and understand how to control fire; too much versus too little

Did you always want to become a chef?

A. As a kid, I loved cooking and just naturally gravitated to it.

What farms do you typically source from in Tampa? And why?

A. Having just moved to Tampa, I don’t have many connections here yet. We have a few strawberry farmers, but in Palm Beach I use Swank and they have amazing items.

What’s the most popular dish at your restaurant, and what makes it so special?

A. Our Special Fishes (local catch and tuna) are always very well sold. We change the entire special page daily of our menu so the menu never gets old (12 items) and our daily fresh fish feature seems to always sell out. We get so creative with it and our regular customers seem to appreciate that.

Tell us something interesting about your restaurant.

A. We incorporate a wood grill in all the Meat Market locations because I believe the fire and oak combination is irreplaceable.

What excites you about participating in Heritage Fire?

A. I think it’s a cool and rustic event to get the primal cooking urges going.

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