The Miami dining scene was rocked last week when Hedy Goldsmith announced a major life change.
The talented executive pastry chef at the Genuine Hospitality Group will relocate to Los Angeles with wife Heidi Ladell in the spring, leaving her position with chef/restaurateur Michael Schwartz come April.
See also: Hedy Goldsmith Leaving Michael's Genuine
Goldsmith's departure is the end of a relationship with Schwartz that spanned two decades.
Goldsmith says the opportunity to move to Los Angeles is something that just feels right -- even though she doesn't have anything solid lined up. "We're going to throw caution to the wind. We both have been there a half-dozen times, and it's where we were married. It's very exciting to have this next phase of my life begin."
Goldsmith says the hardest part of her imminent departure was telling her longtime employer and friend the news. "I had this apple in my throat, and I couldn't breathe. I always said to Michael that I don't want to bake for anyone [else] in Miami. That never attracted me. I'm very happy with what I do. I'm so thankful that the talk was kind and genuine. It really was. It was me and Michael hanging out and talking shit, and it was a wonderful moment. I think the world of this man. Now that the news is out, I can finally be happy and bake."
Asked about whether she might open her own shop, Goldsmith says she's more interested in exploring California. "I'm looking forward to the Santa Monica farmers' market, where I can get a variety of peaches to make a pie with -- just because I can. I want to wear a leather jacket and boots and sweaters, and my wife wants good-hair days. I want to surf."
Goldsmith says that with all she has to look forward to, leaving Miami won't be easy. "I'm so grateful to have spent 25 years building friendships that are lifelong. I have been touched by every single tweet and Instagram. I'm really emotional. It's a beautiful thing."
Over the phone, Michael Schwartz says his relationship with his executive pastry chef went far deeper than merely working together. "I feel sometimes like we were married."
The restaurateur says the news brings "a wide range of emotions. I'm happy for her, and it's going to be great. Ultimately, I'm happy and proud and sad. All those things.
"Hedy and I have a very special long-term relationship personally and professionally that transcends all titles. I said it at the [James] Beard Awards that a large part of my success, both personally and professionally, has a lot to do with her influence and support."
Goldsmith will continue to work through April, and Schwartz says he hasn't yet appointed a successor. "I know that she has worked with so many people and has been such a great nurturer and teacher and delegator that whoever steps up into that position is going to have a great foundation and we're going to build from there. We don't expect any drastic changes in style and quality. In the meantime, she has another few months. Nobody wants the success of that department more than she does."
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Schwartz, who is working on several projects, including the opening of Harry's Pizzeria in Coconut Grove, another pub launch on a new Royal Caribbean ship, and future restaurants at Paraiso Bay and SLS Brickell, says his time with Miami's sweetest chef has "been an amazing run together. Our loss is L.A.'s gain, that's for sure."