Looking to balance the glitz and glamour of their upcoming restaurant Catch, the people behind The James Royal Palm have announced the desire to bring a taste of Florida history to their new hotel on South Beach. Who better to fulfill that need than a man who has Miami roots buried deep in the sand for over 100 years? Chef Kris Wessel of Red Light Little River will open the second restaurant in The James Royal Palm dubbed Florida Cookery, named after a 1940s-era Junior League cookbook that he found in his grandmother's kitchen.
Wessel, who has received numerous accolades including a James Beard nomination for Best Chef in the South, will bring his authentic and homey flair to South Beach with a new and unpretentious perspective on regional offerings, early thoughts on dishes include frog legs bathed in lime leaves, lychee roasted quail and mango pie. Wessel explained his vision for the casual South Beach eatery, "As a native Floridian, with roots spanning several generations, I want to establish Florida Cookery as an iconic culinary destination. My goal is to provide a hyper-regional experience that will allow me to utilize my knowledge of local product while also showcasing what a rich melting pot South Florida cooking represents." Florida Cookery, as well as the James Royal Palm, is slated to open in October of 2012.