Miami's Local Haitian
Talent: Chris Valdes & Amrit Kapai
Director: Eduardo Albuquerque
photographer: Dmitry Zhitov
Wardrobe: amiani Miami
Producer: Luisa Acosta
Make up: Julia Brig
Stylist: Daniella Estrella|
words: Michelle Wallace
creative , June 1, 2022
In a city that can make or break people overnight, two men have climbed to the top of their
fields—and the view is nothing but inspiring.
Amrit Kapai has been an attorney for over 10 years, focusing on corporate bankruptcy and litigation. Chef Chris Valdes showcases his culinary talent on YouTube starring in his very own series, Cooking with Chris. But these gents aren’t just South Florida stars. They’ve both made a name for themselves in the national spotlight, with Amrit appearing on Bravo TV’s Family Karma and Chris competing on Food Network’s Star and Star Salvation. And since June is national Men’s Health Month, we wanted to take the opportunity to learn from these industry titans a little bit about what it’s like to reign supreme.
What does it feel like to be at the top of your game?
Kapai: To be at the top of my game is an incredibly exhilarating yet humbling feeling! I strive to always exude confidence while at the same time remaining humble. Humility is a rare virtue that is too often overlooked.
Valdes: Being on top of my game means having a no excuse policy with myself and making sure that I get it all done and make it all happen. People think it’s all about the results and I always say that is where they are wrong because it’s all about the work that YOU PUT IN! That means waking up early, being healthy, delegating work to others to get more done, getting things done in a timely matter, and getting them done right.
At what point did you know you had
Kapai: The point at which I knew I was succeeding as a practicing attorney was when
Harley J. Goldstein, the chairman of Goldstein & McClintock LLLP, asked me to relocate to Florida to help grow our Miami office. This opportunity exemplified not only my capabilities and competency as an attorney, but also the confidence the partners of my law firm have in me.
With the support of the other partners of the firm, I have been working diligently to build my own book of business and see that our Miami office flourishes.
Valdes: As humans we are never satisfied, and I think that is true with me. I wake up every day with the mentality that yes, I have many extraordinary accomplishments, but they aren’t enough. I wake up and make sure to grind even harder to make sure that I never settle, so that I can continue climbing the ladder.
Who do you look for inspiration within your industry?
Kapai: My role models in the legal industry are and have always been Harley J. Goldstein &Matthew E. McClintock – the two founding partners of Goldstein & McClintock LLLP. Matt & Harley took me in as a young attorney fresh out of law school and have been my guiding light
throughout the years. Putting aside their astounding brilliant legal minds and notable recognition in the field of corporate bankruptcy, Matt and Harley have always been my biggest advocate, encouraging me to be my most authentic self. They genuinely care for both my professional and personal growth, and I am forever grateful for them.
Valdes: Many times, we find the best answers within, that is why any time I feel lost, or feel I need guidance, I look within and into my inner child. Young Chris was very brave, courageous, strong, and he never gave up. He has guided me with his dreams, inspirations, and even pain to
fulfilling my goals and to continue to build upon them!
What advice can you give to others looking to succeed within your industry?
Kapai: Never. Stop. Trying. You will make mistakes. They are inevitable. However, be sure to learn and grow from your mistakes. Additionally, make sure to build strong connections with more experienced attorneys in your field – they have a wealth of knowledge and experience they can impart on you.
Valdes: For others looking to succeed, I always say to follow this simple recipe, anything you do, do it with love, passion, and with 110% commit-
That’s the truth! There is no secret but to continue giving it your all. That means that on days that they say no, you keep trying. That means on days that it doesn’t come out your way, you keep knocking. That means on a day that something went wrong, you learn and use that knowledge for the next opportunity. Most important of all is to NOT GIVE UP!
What does Men’s Health Month mean to you?
Kapai: I pride myself in placing a very high value on health and well-being. As no stranger to the gym, I do a mix of lifting weights, cardio, and CrossFit 5-6 days a week. Exercise is my outlet from the hustle and bustle of the day and also an opportunity to recharge. Hitting the gym is also my way of ensuring that I live the longest and healthiest life possible. Men's Health Month specifically for me means pressing the pause button for a moment to reflect on where I am in terms of emotional and physical health. I ask myself questions like: have I had my annual physical with my primary care physician, have I had my semi-annual dental exam, have I had my eyes checked out, how are my cholesterol and blood pressure. In terms of emotional well-being, I ask myself if I'm investing my time in worthy pursuits that bring me joy or if I need to give up things which just don't.