International ‘MasterChef’ winner looking to ‘tattoo’ his mark with new fusion restaurant in Miami

MIAMI – An international “MasterChef” is spicing things up and plans on bringing the flavors and vibes of Israel to what’s known as the “Magic City.”

Former MasterChef winner Tom Aviv has set up shop in Miami’s Royal Vista neighborhood with his new restaurant Branja!

Branja is serving up a variety of fusion dishes that are all under $50.

When asked what Branja means, Aviv told Local 10 News, “Branja, it’s like slang in Hebrew, not very known though. It’s to say I’m in the right clique, I’m in the right crew.”

Aviv says his restaurant creates dishes daily that infuse his native regional dishes with ingredients and methods influenced by his travels.

”You will have a lot of Mediterranean touch, Middle Eastern touch, and we try to fusion it up with Asian and Latin because we’re in Miami,” he said.

The indoor-outdoor spot sits inside upper Buena Vista and takes you back to the 1970s with its décor.

Customers will have the opportunity to dine outside or pull up a chair at the 12-person “Chef’s Table” and watch the magic happen.

“We take basics and we kick them. We tattoo them like me,” said Aviv.

Aviv says he is hoping to tattoo his mark in Miami after having four successful restaurants in Israel and Morocco.

“With cooking, you need to have a little bit of courage,” he said.

Customers will be able to try one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes called “fishwarma” and for a dessert, a fan favorite called the “crack pie.”

“We brought something new to Miami (and) we do it with a lot of love. We want to host as many people as we can. We are a different breed in Miami,” said Aviv.

Aviv told Local 10 that he won the MasterChef competition with no formal training and now he is grateful that he gets to share his creations in South Florida.

Click here to read more about Aviv’s journey and his new restaurant.

About the Author:

Alexis Frazier joined the Local 10 family in April 2020. The Fort Lauderdale native came to WPLG from the ABC affiliate in Columbia, S.C., WOLO-TV. She's glad to be back in South Florida.