Michael Shikany, once a luminary of the local culinary scene and a pioneer of Wynwood restaurants, has passed away, several sources reported Saturday. He was 38 years old.
The blog the Whet Pallette says he died Friday. No cause of death was mentioned. "Gone too soon," a blogger named Brenda wrote. "Heartbroken. Forever missed." The death was confirmed in a comment on Shikany's Facebook page.
Larry Carrino, a local public relations company owner who represents many restaurants, says he heard of Shikany's death Saturday morning but had no details. "He was a very big part of our culinary community," Carrino says. "He was doing very avant-garde stuff. He was an incredibly talented guy."
Memory was full on Shikany's phone. His death was noted on the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner's website.
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Shikany opened an eponymous 4,000-square-foot restaurant on NW 25th Street in Wynwood in 2013 that he called a "culinary creative environment." Before Wynwood had become a culinary destination, he served a small-plates menu with rotating cuisines. He also taught cooking classes.
The restaurant closed suddenly in 2015; plumbing issues were cited. Carrino says Shikany moved from Miami after the restaurant's closure. However, according to the Shikany Hospitality Group Facebook page, he leased a space in Allapattah in February, writing, "First of two concepts."
Shikany graduated from the French Culinary Institute and worked at Le Bernardin, Gramercy Tavern, and Babbo in Manhattan. In South Florida, he was a general manager at SushiSamba and Ortanique on the Mile before opening his restaurant. He was also a sommelier and and restaurant consultant.