About area 31 in downtown miami
Area 31's breathtaking vistas provide the wow factor, but Chef Sezer's elegant yet approachable cuisine draws full attention to the plate. Our name is drawn from Fishing Area 31, an international zone designated by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization as a sustainable fishery, a vision that Area 31 embraces and advances. From the kitchen to the bar, we like to source local—so local, in fact, that sometimes we don’t even have to leave the premises! Our on-site herb garden provides fresh ingredients to both the kitchen and the bar and is located on our spectacular outdoor Terrace Lounge, Miami’s favorite elevated hangout. Habitually innovative, often breathtaking and always welcoming, Area 31 is here to make sure you're never more than an elevator ride from a singular Miami experience.
Chef Sezer Deniz
For Chef Sezer Deniz, a deep passion for the art of cooking has been the driving force of his culinary career which spans over 16 years in reputable kitchens throughout Northern Europe and the United States. Born into a family of chefs, Chef Sezer began his career in his hometown of Antalya, Turkey working at various five-star resort properties throughout the city, including Rixos Hotels, Calista Luxury Resort, and Mardan Palace where he had the pleasure of working under world-renowned French Chef Jean Paul Naquin.
In 2014, Chef Sezer made his way stateside and enrolled into the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Miami to hone his technique and graduated in 2015 as Valedictorian of his class. Following graduation, he went on to serve as Chef de Partie at the Michelin-starred Alinea Restaurant in Chicago and then served in multiple leadership positions at luxury properties across the United States and Turkey, including Chef de Tournant at St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort, Task Force Executive Chef at W Miami, and Head Chef at JW Marriot in Ankara, Turkey. Most recently, he served as Executive Chef of The H Orlando, an authentic Mediterranean steakhouse.
Having worked with multi-cultural culinary teams, Chef Sezer understands the diverse palates of global diners in Miami and his culinary philosophy is simple: to develop transportive dishes that inspire guests.
Lead Mixologist Eric Vargas
Eric Vargas brings more than a decade of experience in the service industry to his role as Lead Mixologist at Area 31. Born and raised in San Diego, California, Eric began his hospitality career in 2010 as a barback at Harrah’s Casino. He quickly rose through the ranks and was promoted to a bartender role at the property where his outgoing personality and knack for building rapport with, and positive experiences for, customers could truly shine.
While he was at Harrah’s Casino, Eric gained experience in multiple outlets throughout the property, from fine dining and wine bars to poolside outlets and nightclubs, ultimately falling in love with the art of mixology and crafting the perfect cocktail. After Harrah’s, Eric traded in casinos for hotels and took on a new challenge at the InterContinental Hotel San Diego, where he worked his way into a Lead Mixologist position before a trip to Miami in 2021 would ultimately bring him to Area 31.
After falling in love with Miami’s energy and cultural mix, Eric now brings his West Coast style, Mexican inspired flavors, and Puerto Rican heritage, to the city’s booming craft cocktail scene at Area 31. In his role as Lead Mixologist, he’ll be focused on elevating and transforming the restaurant’s cocktail program, including building new cocktails from scratch that are unmissable on any visit to Miami. While Eric truly enjoys crafting magical, flavorful cocktails, he gets the most joy from watching guests enjoy his creations.