In the kitchen with… Cyrus Jean,

Viva Argentinian Steakhouse

Cyrus Jean is chef at Viva Argentinian Steakhouse on Duval Streeet. COURTESY PHOTO

Cyrus Jean is chef at Viva Argentinian Steakhouse on Duval Streeet. COURTESY PHOTO

The space that now is home to Viva Argentinian Steakhouse has been a brothel, a hotel and a strip joint.

That was its past.

Its present is as Key West’s first and only Argentinian steakhouse, serving Argentinian grass-fed beef, as well as pasta, seafood, burgers and an extensive list of wines from Argentina. You also can order such Argentine specialties as empanadas.

We caught up with Chef Cyrus Jean, who tells us a little about his philosophy in the kitchen.

Name: Cyrus Jean

Age: 44

Original hometown: St. John, Virgin Islands

Restaurant: Viva Argentinian Steakhouse, 903 Duval St., Key West; 305-414-8947 or www.vivaargentiniansteakhouse.com.

Mission: To every day be a better person than the day before.

Cuisine: Argentinian fare — steaks and seafood.

What’s your footwear of choice in the kitchen? Birki clogs.

What’s your guilty culinary pleasure? Ice cream.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a chef? The mouth is the gateway to the heart. ¦

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