Design District Ambassador: Dena Marino & MC Kitchen



Dena Marino

“MC Kitchen is not just the best and best-looking restaurant in Miami; it’s also one of the best in America” - John Mariani, Esquire Magazine

Dena Marino hails from Aspen where she gained reputation as the chef of the much respected D19, Ellina and Ajax Tavern. She spent three years under the tutelage of acclaimed chef and restaurateur, Michael Chiarello. It was at his celebrated Tra Vigne, Napa Valley, that she polished her family-style, Italian-American roots. In November of 2012, Marino opened MC Kitchen in Miami’s Design District.

Just shy of MC Kitchen’s first anniversary, restaurant critic and international gourmand John Mariani named MC Kitchen one of the nation’s Best New Restaurants in Esquire’s November 2013 issue.

She has also received accolades from Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, La Cucina Italiana, Wine Spectator and the New York Post. She has appeared on several episodes of the Food Network's acclaimed series “Follow That Food with Gordon Elliott”; Tom Colicchio’s “Eat Drink or Die” series and in January of 2010 she challenged Masaharu Morimoto to “Battle Fig” on “Iron Chef America”

When Marino is not in the kitchen she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, Cash. And loves cheering on the Miami Heat.

What's the first piece of art you fell in love with? Mark Stock's "Butler in Love" hanging on the wall at one of my favorite restaurants, BIX, in San Francisco.

Who are your favorite designers? OCD, our graphic designers for MCK. Ralph Lauren and Tom Delavan, nationally. Joe Fava and Luis Pons, locally.

What is the best piece of style advice you've ever heard? Simplicity is the keynote of all.

Who are your favorite writers? John Mariani, these days!

What is inspiring you these days? The small local farmers out there who are slowly introducing us to their secret treasures.

What is your motto? LET'S GO HEAT! ....... "Eat well, be well."



What is your favorite indulgence? Haagen Das, "Rocky Road" in bed, after a long day.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? Cash, my son who's 6 years old and an absolute prince.

What career other than your own would you like to attempt? A pediatrician.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I would live a more balanced life.

Photo credit: Justin Namon/ RA Haus