Below you’ll find the latest notable shifts in chefs and personnel amongst restaurant kitchens throughout South Florida.
January 15, 2020
DOWNTOWN MIAMI — Fooq’s has a new chef helming its kitchen, former Boulud Sud chef Clark Bowen. Bowen got his start in the kitchen at Pascal’s on Ponce in the early aughts, then worked his way up to executive chef at Daniel Boulud’s db Bistro Moderne, before overseeing the launch of Boulud Sud in 2017, where he was until 2019. And he’s apparently already put some of his own touches on the menu like adding items like a charcuterie board, stuffed quail severed withe seared foie gras, cauliflower salad, and a vegan khoresh (Persian stew) made with pomegranate glazed eggplant and jeweled crunchy saffron rice.
August 7, 2019
CORAL GABLES — Antonio Alfano has been named executive chef of the longstanding Coral Gables restaurant, Caffe Abbracci. He becomes just the second person to hold that title since the restaurant opened in July 1989. According to reps, owner Nino Pernetti was “sensing that it was time to update the menu” and brought abroad Alfano, a native of the Amalfi Coast area who worked at Zucca in Coral Gables prior to Abbracci. Regulars, fret not, as the chef plans to keep the restaurant’s classic dishes on the menu but with the addition of more up-to-date dishes as well. The restaurant just celebrated its 30th anniversary this year — unheard of in the Miami restaurant world — with 16 staff members with Caffe Abbracci since its doors opened.
July 24, 2019
CORAL GABLES — Yet another chef shuffle at Ad Lib, the 50 Eggs eatery in Coral Gables that replaced Swine this past spring. This time the departure is Hedy Goldsmith, the popular James Beard nominated pastry chef. According to The Miami Herald, 50 Eggs’ founder John Kunkel wanted to “change the parameters” of their working relationship, using her for other forthcoming projects and Goldsmith “balked” at the idea. While Kunkel said in a statement that Goldsmith “will be working in additional projects with us in the future as always planned,” Goldsmith said that she’s “not sure” what her next chapter is but that she is looking to “sweets that speak to my soul and make me sing in the kitchen.” This is just the most recent departure at the new eatery, which already has seen its executive chef Jamie DeRosa and lead sommelier Daniel Toral depart.
June 28, 2019
COCONUT GROVE — Pastry chef Devin Braddock has officially joined the culinary team that makes up Ark Hospitality Group, which is led by Michael Beltran. Braddock was tapped to oversee the bread and pastry division for Ariete, Chug’s and Taurus Beer & Whiskey House. Braddock desserts can be seen all over town, she first got her start at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink under pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith, before doing a stint at Wynwood mainstay Alter, and heading up the pastry program at Mignonette and Blue Collar and her own pop-up ice cream shop called Tricycle, where she served up desserts with a comfort food slant like molten brownie batter cookies and café con leche pie on a stick.
CORAL GABLES — More additions have been announced for the Ad Lib team, this time they’ve tapped chef Joe Mizzoni, the former Chef de Cuisine at Stubborn Seed, to the Norman van Aken and Hedy Goldsmith led restaurant. He’s already added his touch to the new menu with items like a slow cooked octopus in a tomato chorizo sofrito, crispy skin duck breast with mole roja ad charred poblano tamale, a NY Strip with habanero carrot puree, and more.
June 4, 2019
WYNWOOD — It’s official, Norman van Aken has parted ways with his Wynwood eatery, Three. The departure was amicable according to reps, who says he’s taking time to focus on Ad Lib and his two new outposts inside Time Out Market. Instead of replacing him with a permanent chef, Three has opted to do kick off a new chef-in-residence program, with the program commencing in July with chef Ari Taymor of Little Prince in Los Angeles. Taymor will design new menus for dinner, brunch and a featured cocktail at Three, as well as leading classes and private interactive dinners at “In The Kitchen” cooking school.
April 2, 2019
CORAL GABLES — And just two weeks after Jamie DeRosa’s sudden, much-buzzed about departure from Ad Lib, the eatery has a new chef, none of than Norman van Aken. According to The Miami Herald, the chef started at the restaurant on April 1 (and no, it wasn’t an April Fools’ joke). The Mango Gang member will be taking over for DeRosa, while still overseeing his two other eateries: Three in Wynwood and NORMAN’s at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando.
FORT LAUDERDALE — Rashaad Abdool has been named Executive Chef at Diplomat Prime. He joins the team from Steak 954, where he served most recently as executive sous chef, and replaces chef Nicolay Adinaguev who moved to 3 Sons Brewing.
MIAMI BEACH — Gianni’s at the Villa Casa Casuarina at the former Versace Mansion, has tapped Valter Mancini as its new Executive Chef. Mancini, whose most recent stint was at Miami Beach’s Casa Tua restaurant, relocated from Rome to Miami in 2014 to run the kitchen at Sapore di Mare in Coconut Grove. He has already added new touches to the menu including dishes like a truffle gnocchi and a seafood tower.
March 18, 2019
CORAL GABLES — Late last week, the management team for new Coral Gables’ eatery Ad Lib announced it was parting was with its executive chef Jamie DeRosa after only two months. In the statement DeRosa said, “It’s with a heavy heart to announce my departure in order to focus on my family. I am grateful to have been part of something so special, so intimate, since inception.” When pressed for further comment Ad Lib owner John Kunkel would only say that “we wish him well and thank him for his contribution.” For now, corporate chef Patrick Rebholz and executive pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith will run the kitchen.
February 11, 2019
SOUTH BEACH — Over the weekend Hiden, the secret omakase restaurant behind The Taco Stand, parted ways with its chef Tadashi Shiraishi. The announcement first came through over Instagram stories on Hiden’s official account on Friday, February 8. The chef then took to Instagram on Saturday, February 9, to confirm the departure. In his post he said that him and his wife, Caroline Martinez, had to “disassociate” themselves with the restaurant, effective immediately, noting that “certain circumstances forced us into this decision and left us with no choice.”
Hiden then reiterated the same sentiments from Friday’s IG story on Facebook this afternoon saying “Hiden has always been far more than any one chef. We respect our craft, and designed our guest experience with the highest of standards. We have different ideals and ultimately worth ethic and therefore have parted ways with Chef Tadashi.” Reps for the restaurant told Eater Miami that Hiden is part of a large restaurant group, Showa Hospitality, and it’ll utilize chefs within the group until Hiden finds a permanent replacement for Shiraishi. The restaurant will remain open as usual with normal dinner service.
July 19, 2018
SOUTH BEACH — One of Miami’s OG pastry chefs, Hedy Goldsmith, is making her grand return to the Magic City, according to Miami.com. Goldsmith has been tapped to be the Corporate Executive Pastry Chef for Yardbird Group, a role she’s been serving in a Beverly Hills since April. The restaurant currently has locations in Beverly Hills, Miami Beach, Las Vegas and Singapore and plans to roll out a larger expansion plans over the next two years, which she will oversee the pastry programs for. Goldsmith will also be working with Yardbird’s parent company 50 Eggs to help develop new projects.
March 26, 2018
CORAL GABLES — The duo behind The Local 150, Phil Bryant and Veronica Valdivia, are departing from the restaurant that they helped put on the map come Saturday, March 31. The two, who ran the front and back of the house, plan to pursue new projects with their small restaurant group and private consulting firm, Heirloom Hospitality Group. “We are looking to explore other opportunities and take time to develop projects that have been in our plans for a while now,” said Bryant. Details on those projects haven’t been released yet. Stay tuned for more updates.
February 7, 2018
SOUTH BEACH — Chef Max Santiago has departed from his post at Sugar Factory, both him and Sugar Factory reps confirm. The former Salty Donut chef said they parted ways with the over-the-top sugary spot so he could focus on his upcoming, yet-to-be named doughnut concept coming in March 2019. While Santiago wouldn’t disclose too many details about the new restaurant, he says to expect both sweet and savory options at it in a neighborhood one might not expect. For those who want to get a sneak peek, he’ll start debuting his new flavors at upcoming events, which can be found on his Instagram channel.
October 2, 2017
FT LAUDERDALE — Paula DaSilva has taken her talents back to Fort Lauderdale. DaSilva is now leading the kitchen at Burlock Coast inside the Ritz Carlton Ft. Lauderdale. The former 1500 Degrees chef has been most recently heading the kitchen at Artisan Beach House inside the Ritz Carlton Bal Harbour
SOUTH BEACH — Bagatelle Miami Beach has recently appointed two new members to their culinary team, including executive chef David Allan Russell Jr. and pastry chef Odille Arias. On the menu are a bevy of new French dishes like Pâté de Lapin Braisé, Saumon Grillé Sur sa Peau and Salade de Homard du Maine Chef.
July 27, 2017
MIAMI RIVER — River Yacht Club has a new chef and new menu. Manning the kitchen now is executive chef Jun Hee Lee, who has spent time working at places like Fontainebleau Miami Beach and L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon in the MGM Grand Las Vegas prior to taking over at River Yacht Club. On his new menu are dishes like foie gras sliders and calamari ceviche.
MIMO — Vagabond Kitchen and Bar, has tapped Andres Villa, former sous chef at Upland Miami as its new chef. He plans to add lunch service starting August 1 to the rotation, along with a revamped brunch menu and new menu items added to the dinner menu.
SOUTH BEACH — Former chef de cuisine of the now defunct Izzy’s South Beach, William Crandall, has been tapped to lead the kitchen at StripSteak by Michael Mina inside the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. This isn’t Crandall’s first time manning the kitchen at high profile hotel restaurant, he also served as chef de cuisine at Azul inside the Mandarin Oriental and the Park Hyatt Chicago.
June 21, 2017
DOWNTOWN MIAMI — Fooq’s has officially tapped former Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink chef de cuisine Saul Ramos to head its kitchen. Ramos’ latest additions to the menu can be seen through dishes such as the burratta with tomato jam and watercress, the smokey eggplant with homemade Barbarian bread, and the lamb chops with couscous and tabbouleh.
SOUTH BEACH — While Lure Fishbar’s chef John Iatrellis has departed from the restaurant, it has tapped a new chef to man its sushi and sashimi offerings. Its new executive sushi chef Kiichi Okabe has worked all over the world from Hawaii, Los Angeles and Las Vegas to as far as Dubai, before setting up shop here in Miami. On his new menu expect dishes like torched salmon belly, salmon with truffle crème and a take on the traditional rainbow roll.
BRICKELL — While food might not be the first thing that comes to mind at Sugar at East (hello, sky high views) its hoping to change that with its newly appointed Ped Phommavong, also known as “Chef Ped,” as chef de cuisine, who plans on adding dishes inspired by Southeast Asia to the menu. Dishes already added to the line up are sashimi served on pink salt, Beijing salmon and coconut pandan leaf crepe with Florida mangoes, lime zest and palm sugar.