2. Myles Chefetz: The King of South Beach
Courtesy of WorldRedEye
New Times' Best of Miami 2014 issue is here. To celebrate, Short Order is paying tribute to Miami's culinary all-stars. These people forged our city's food scene into what it is today -- a thriving amalgam of tastes and cultures. Through their insight and talent, they've given the city a unique flavor and paved the way for bright new chefs and restaurateurs to follow their lead and take the Miami food scene into the future.
Myles Chefetz is a prisoner of his own success. Throughout the day, his cell phone buzzes with friends and acquaintances begging for a seat inside his celebrity-powered steakhouse Prime One Twelve. He never turns anyone down, but knows they'll have to wait at least an hour for a seat.
He describes himself as an "overpaid reservationist," and goes back and forth between pride and modesty when discussing his own triumph. Prime One Twelve has been the nation's top grossing steakhouse for at least a decade, earning upwards of $23 million annually. When Prime Italian across the street opened in 2008, it was laid out in such a way that each diner would be afforded a glimpse of the million-dollar fleet of cars lining up outside its sister steakhouse.
Lest we forget, however, that Chefetz's success stems from a gamble taken decades ago when South Beach's glitz was just beginning to twinkle and the island across the bridge was still a haven for retirees and drug dealers. There he partnered with current culinary powerhouse Michael Schwartz to open Nemo. The Asian-influenced seafood restaurant redefined Miami's food scene and was a mainstay for 15 years before it shuttered in 2011.
Chefetz describes himself as a perfectionist, nearly to a fault. He bounces between his hotel and three restaurants -- including the recently opened Prime Fish -- nightly, ordering and tasting dozens of items off each restaurant's sprawling menu
He's rebuffed offers to open Prime outposts in New York and Las Vegas, saying that he won't open a restaurant someplace where he can't be a fixture throughout the week.
Chefetz attended law school at the University of Miami before moving to New York City to become a real estate lawyer. After a few years, he got into the nightclub and restaurant industry, and later a vacation to Miami Beach turned it into a full time gig.
In His Own Words
"I always worry this is going to be gone tomorrow."
Miami Food All-Stars
25. Dewey LoSasso
24. Mark Soyka
23. Jason Starkman
22. Lorena Garcia
21. Barton G.
20. Mike Hampton
19. Chef Creole
17. Cindy Hutson
16. Jack Homes
15. Shareef Malnik
14. Bruce Ozga
13. Robert Is Here
12. Julio Cabrera
10. Norman Van Aken
9. Lee Schrager
7. Allen Susser
5. Felipe Valls
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