Founding Partner / Design Director
Founding Partner and Design Director of The Pubbelly Group, Sergio Navarro’s creativity is to credit for the interior of all the group’s restaurant and bar concepts. After many years of lending his culinary hand to pastries and desserts, he now channels his ideas into reflecting the Pubbelly Group’s brand throughout their venues. He thoughtfully designs their kitchens and floor maps, producing an effective structure for each location that works to provides great service. His memories as a child are filled with first-hand exposure to the specialties of Spain’s Basque country, a region rich with fresh, seasonally-focused fare. Navarro’s early-age love affair with food led him to attend Spain’s prestigious IES Hotel Escuela de la Comunidad de Madrid. After graduating, Navarro journeyed through the progressive techniques of Spanish cuisine, beginning in the kitchen at La Broche Madrid. During Navarro’s time as Sous Chef and Pastry Chef at La Broche, he skillfully turned familiar dishes into dishes with new and exciting flavors, an attribute that helped gain the restaurant two Michelin stars.
The opening of La Broche in Miami brought Navarro to the United States in 2001, where he worked under Chef Angel Palacios. He was part of a team at La Broche Miami that instantly made their mark on the city’s vibrant melting pot of culture. While there, Navarro explored the fusion of unfamiliar ingredients and techniques, ensuring that each new dish he created would be equally delicious.
Ready for a new challenge, he took a position under New World Cuisine founder and culinary grandfather, Norman Van Aken, at Mundo, and later moved on to the position of Corporate Pastry Chef for the SUSHISAMBA restaurant group. Conceptually strong, Navarro’s dishes nodded to the brands woven flavors of Japan, Brazil and Peru. His dedication to the craft showed in his ability to unite precision and creativity on the plate with fruit tiradito desserts that played with molecular techniques and experimented with fruit caviars.
As Chef De Cuisine of Mercadito, Navarro continued to build his culturally diverse resume and was able to incorporate his signature style flawlessly into their Mexican cuisine. It was during this time that he formed a connection with Chef Jose Mendin. The two along with with partner Andreas Schreiner, teamed up to create the popular and much-loved, The Pubbelly Group.
In 2010, The Pubbelly Group opened their original restaurant, Pubbelly, an Asian-infused gastropub. Following the success of their first venture the boys trail-blazed through several more concepts including: Pubbelly Sushi, Food Republic onboard the Norwegian Escape, PB Station and Pawn Broker. In early 2017, the group opened their fourth Pubbelly Sushi concept in Brickell City Centre and also PB Ysla in Puerto Rico, both of which have interiors overseen by Navarro.
Although he now predominately focuses on the creative concepts behind the restaurant group’s interiors and creative concepts, Navarro says his unquenchable sweet tooth ensures he still carves out time to wander into the groups kitchens to taste-test desserts.