Chef Tristen Epps (Owner of Ocean Social by Tristen Epps)

Tristen Epps brings award-winning, hard-earned culinary skills to his position as executive chef at Eden Roc Miami Beach. In this role, he oversees culinary operations at the iconic resort, from his newly launched namesake restaurant, Ocean Social by Tristen Epps to room service, poolside dining, banquets and much more. Epps has worked alongside some of the culinary world’s most distinguished names including Richard Rosendale, Thomas Keller, Troy Guard, and most recently, Marcus Samuelsson. Now, he is taking center stage with his own restaurant in the heart of Miami Beach, showcasing an eclectic style rooted in both his classical training and far-ranging international inspirations.

Born in Trinidad, Chef Epps (35) traces his interest in cooking back to his childhood, which was spent traveling the globe with his active military mother. Postings in Guam, Japan and the Philippines helped fuel his passion for international flavor; even as a youngster, he immersed himself in the food culture wherever they landed, developing his nuanced globally influenced palate. Since that time, he has cooked all over the United States and on three continents, continuing to expand his knowledge and ardor for new flavors.

When it came time to take on a career path, Epps knew what he was destined to do. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts and Food & Beverage Industry Management at Johnson & Wales in Charlotte, NC.  Subsequently he completed a grueling three-year apprenticeship at The Greenbrier, the legendary national historic landmark hotel, under the thoughtful and exacting eye of AFC certified Master Chef Richard Rosendale. From there he moved onto restaurants throughout the U.S., eventually finding his way onto a competitive cooking show, ABC’s The Taste in 2014. There, celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson became his on and off-screen mentor, ultimately hiring him as sous chef at Samuelsson’s wildly successful and acclaimed Red Rooster restaurant in Harlem, where he worked for 9 years before embarking on other ventures.

Epps ultimately returned to work with Samuelsson again when he was tapped to take on the role of executive chef for Red Rooster’s Miami offshoot, which is located in the historically black neighborhood of Overtown. Here the menu benefitted greatly from Chef Epps’ training and his Caribbean roots which perfectly complemented Red Rooster’s soul food core.

Epps’ talent has not gone unnoticed. At Red Rooster Overtown, the talented chef garnered rave reviews, and was named a Rising Star Chef by Star Chefs of America. Under his purview, the restaurant was recognized by the Michelin Guide with a Bib Gourmand. Additionally, he has appeared on CBS This Morning, been crowned Chopped champion on Food Network‘s cooking show of the same name, been featured in Conde Nast Traveler and Bon Appetit, and has had his dish featured on Cooking Channel’s Best Thing I ever Ate.

Epps is known among his peers as a natural nurturer; a catalyst for creativity who is all about helping people to rise up. He is a passionate defender of the under-represented, using his position and platform to help bring recognition to culinary champions that may otherwise be looked over. His food helps articulate that which he is most passionate about. Through “breaking bread”, the compassionate and talented chef believes that people will find common ground. It’s fitting that his new restaurant is called “Ocean Social” and not just for its waterfront setting.


Contact Tristen Epps

Instagram: @eppsandflows



DATE POSTED: March 2, 2023

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