Chef Janine Booth grew up in a family of restaurant owners – halfway around the world in Australia. Her parents, John and Irene, never wanted her to follow in their footsteps. Yet that’s just what she did. Chef Booth made that decision once she began studying at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Miami in 2010.
“From an early age, I cooked for my family,” she says. “My zen place is in the kitchen. But, when I went to Cordon Bleu, I found exactly what I wanted to do. I have never thrived so much.”
After that, Chef Booth rose quickly in the culinary world. Her formal training started at Miami restaurant Gigi’s under the tutelage of Jeff McInnis, a renowned executive chef from north Florida. Later, she joined the opening team of Thai restaurant Khong River House in Miami Beach as sous chef.
That’s where she came into her own. She had acquired a love of Asian food and flavors on an eight-month backpacking trip around the globe. Within three months, Khong River House was nominated for a James Beard Award, and, in 2013, Booth reached the final rounds on the “Top Chef” cooking competition show.
A year later, she and Chef McInnis, now her business partner and fiancé, moved to New York City. There, they opened Root & Bone, a Southern-style restaurant.
Despite the popularity of that restaurant, the couple decided to return to Miami to launch several eateries, including Stiltsville Fish Bar in 2017. It has since become so successful – to a great degree due to Chef Booth’s creations, such as royal red shrimp, sautéed in coconut oil, and a Key lime dessert laced with cilantro – that she was nominated as a Rising Chef of the Year by the James Beard Awards this year.
Today, Chef Booth, 30, and Chef McInnis share a home in North Miami with their two children. They’re currently planning two wedding celebrations: the first in Perth, Australia, and the second in New York City. O