Chef Ryan Martin approaches food with a mix of science and art, balancing just the right ingredients to create the desired effect, yet leaning toward the unconventional and indulgent in his menu. This union of logic and fantasy has allowed Martin to breathe new life into the pub formerly known as DRB (Democratic Republic of Beer), which is now relaunched as 180° @ the DRB (apparently he’s turning the place around). In the new incarnation of this welcoming corner spot in downtown Miami, you’ll find a laser-sharp focus on upscale food that pairs beautifully with a staggering collection of more than 150 craft and imported beers. We caught up with Martin to chat about his culinary background, his go-to comfort food, and his favorite beer for apres-ski relaxation.
What inspired you to be a chef?
I fell in love with cooking when I was 13. My parents had been through some financial trouble, so my dad started cooking wok-style food at home instead of getting takeout or going out for dinner on most nights.
What’s your favorite thing about Miami? What makes it magical to you?
Miami is a beautiful place to live. The scenery and weather make it for me.
If you’re not eating at 180°, what are some of your go-to places?
Pubbelly Sushi, Pubbelly, and Otentic.
If you’re cooking at home, what’s your go-to comfort food?
I cook at home the same way I cook professionally. Most of my dishes over the years have been cultivated in my home kitchen for myself, friends, and family. I remember coming up with the “bacon egg ‘n’ cheese” late one night after a club promoter friend stopped in for a nightcap and asked for something to munch on. I couldn’t just give him some bar nuts, so I pulled a few ingredients together and made this dish that’s still on the menu.
If you’re not cooking, what are you doing?
Rollerblading, shooting pool, hanging out with my dogs and cat, or playing with rocks.
What are tomorrow’s beer trends?
I think we will continue to see an explosion of craft breweries and a continued loss of market share for the bigger breweries, discounting the acquisition of said craft breweries. The IPA market and the use of hops in general will continue to grow and get much more diverse. I also believe we will see an explosion of Belgian-style ales being produced here in the U.S.
What’s the most expensive beer on the menu and why?
Delirium Tremens. High-quality Belgian imports do not come cheap.
What’s your favorite beer (for different occasions)
I love IPAs first and foremost. Single IPAs on a hot day while doing manual labor, and a nice double IPA for evening affairs. I love farmhouse ales with food more than any other brew. A double-chocolate stout while sitting by the fireplace after a long cold day on the slopes in Vermont. A hopped-up wheat while having lunch by the water. I could go on and on.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The look on people’s faces when they enjoy my food.
Got any advice for someone looking to get started as a chef?
Don’t go to culinary school unless you can really afford it. In my opinion, most people who want to learn how to cook should go to work for a really great chef. Let them pay you to learn instead of the other way around.