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Brad Kilgore on Frozen Pizza and Crafting a Culinary Empire in Miami

Rectangle image with navy background of Brad Kilgore

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About this episode

#52. Welcome to a special episode of The meez Podcast, hosted in the vibrant streets of Miami! In this episode, we're thrilled to feature the acclaimed Chef Brad Kilgore as our guest. This episode was recorded shortly after the meez team's annual summit, a time when our global team unites to share, connect, and sometimes even meet each other in person for the first time.

We had the pleasure of recording at Chef Kilgore's new culinary venture, Oise, a unique fusion of Japanese and Italian cuisines.

Our conversation with Chef Kilgore dives deep into his illustrious career, starting from his formative years working under the guidance of renowned chefs, to accolades such as being named Best New Chef by Food and Wine, and beyond. Chef Kilgore shares his philosophy on leadership, the importance of systems and processes in the kitchen, and how he navigates the highs and lows of the culinary world, including the personal impact of opening and closing restaurants.

We also get personal, discussing the balance between professional ambition and personal life, especially with the recent arrival of Chef Kilgore's second child. Through laughter and earnest discussion, this episode is a testament to the journey of a chef who is as much a technician as he is a visionary.

For those who love to put a face to the voice, check out the video of our sunny Miami rendezvous on YouTube.

Where to find Brad Kilgore:

Where to find host Josh Sharkey:


Just give the code "meezpod24" to your meez Services Manager for 25 FREE Recipe Uploads (must be a meez customer to qualify)

What We Cover

(04:18) All about Brad Kilgore

(06:25) What's up with Miami Roosters?

(07:46) How Miami has shaped Brad as a chef

(12:09) How being a dad has changed the way Brad works

(16:41) South Beach Food and Wine Festival

(19:10) Frozen Pizza and Pizza Freak Co.

(26:14) How Brad maintains consistency

(31:53) R&D and receiving feedback from Brad's team and his customers

(38:58) How Brad handled his closures during COVID

(45:52) What makes Brad angry

(47:59) What Brad does when he's not cooking and final thoughts


[00:00:00] Josh Sharkey:

You're listening to season two of The meez Podcast. I'm your host, Josh Sharkey, the founder and CEO of meez, a culinary operating system for food professionals. On the show, we're going to talk to high performers in the food business, everything from chefs to CEOs, technologists, writers, investors, and more about how they innovate and operate and how they consistently execute at a high level.


And I would really love it if you could drop us a five star review anywhere that you listen to your podcast. That could be Apple, that could be Spotify, could be Google. I'm not picky. Anywhere works, but I really appreciate the support. And as always, I hope you enjoy the show.


Hello ladies and gentlemen. My guest today is Chef Brad Kilgore. This was a fun episode because we were on site in Miami. We were actually there for the meez team's annual team summit and we were the whole team flies in from around the world. We get together, we have fun, we connect. We were staying in Little Havana. It happened to coincide with the South Beach Food and Wine Festival.


So obviously, as you can imagine, a lot of fun ensued. We met up with Chef Bradley Kilgore at, well, first at his restaurant in the Arlo Hotel, Marigold Brasserie, which we had eaten at, at least the leadership team ate at, the Sunday before. Delicious, but it was busy. He had some event going on. And so we ended up going to another one of his concepts around the corner called Oise, which was sort of this cross between Japanese and Italian cuisine.


I hope I'm pronouncing that right, Brad, by the way. Anyways, we had a blast. Fun fact, I actually forgot to press record for the first 10 minutes, I think, of this episode, but luckily we have redundancy as we always do with some lav mics. So you might hear a difference in audio the first 10 minutes from the rest of the episode.


But Brad and I had a blast catching up. We met in San Diego last year. We were on a panel together at the Anti Conference, led by Chefs Roll That's where I first met Brad in person. So we caught up in Miami. Talked about his past, his really incredible pedigree working for chefs like Laurent Gras, among others, and came to me at Miami, won Best New Chef from Food and Wine, and a bunch of other awards.


Man, he is definitely a chef's chef. He's a technician. And we spent a lot of time talking about not just his background, but how he goes about leading in the kitchen and systems and processes. He's definitely a very systems driven individual. Then like we do on the show, we got a little bit personal and talked about how wins and losses affect us as individuals, right?


So like if a restaurant of ours closes, how does that impact us in terms of how we see ourselves in terms of success or failure? And it's a tough thing to think about, but we tried to get as real as we could. We also talked just generally about how Brad deals with mistakes, with his team, how he's trying to be a better leader.


He just, I think, like maybe a couple weeks prior had given birth to his second kid, so of course we talked about parenting and how that's impacted his life. Still pretty early for Brad, given, uh, He's got a newborn, so he's got a long way to go there. I was lucky enough to be in sunny Miami, so the weather was beautiful, and there's a great video of this that you can catch on YouTube.


I hope that you enjoy the conversation as much as I did.


Brad Kilgore. How we doing? Welcome to the damn show. Thank you. We don't know each other that well. Yes, although I met you in San Diego, like,

[00:03:42] Brad Kilgore:

I think we were sitting on a panel near each other.

[00:03:44] Josh Sharkey:

That's right. That's right. I forgot about that. Yeah. We were at a panel together at the chef con conference, the Anti Con.


The Anti Convention. The anti convention convention. I think they did a great job, by the way. Yeah, they crushed it. I love those guys. We do a lot of work with them. But anyways, for myself and for the audience. I know some of your background because we research, but I didn't hear from you. Uh, so maybe just a little bit of like, you know, where you come from and also if you don't mind, I mean, we're sitting in one of your restaurants now, but just a general landscape of like, here's all the projects that you have.

[00:04:18] Brad Kilgore:

Yeah. So Brad Kilgore is my name. Originally from Kansas city, Kansas side, grew up a pretty blue collar Midwest family, started working in a diner. 10 years old. It was a Christmas break, sixth grade. So my best friend's older brother got a job there and we always followed, did whatever he did. And, uh, steam rolled into, I just kept working in kitchens.


So, um, 37, I've been working in kitchens for 27 years at this point and made my way up all the way from. McDonald's to Little Caesars to three, three star Michelin chefs. And now I landed in Miami about a dozen years ago at this point via Chicago previously. so,

[00:05:02] Josh Sharkey:

So I learned how you came to Miami, but maybe just, what are the current projects you have for, uh, Live.


You had a bunch of other restaurants as well, but right now, what's

[00:05:10] Brad Kilgore:

We're sitting in Oise Ristorante. So Oise is a, uh, casual Italian Japanese called Itameshi. And I've taken sort of that red sauce, American approach. Pomodoro, chicken, parm, um, carbonara, and then we put our twist onto it. You know, that's what we're having here at Oise.

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