The management team searching for a new executive chef for the Oceanaire Seafood Room in downtown Miami evidently didn't have to travel very far. They announced yesterday that Kareem Anguin has been promoted to replace recently departed Sean Bernal. Anguin, from Jamaica, is a graduate of Johnson & Wales (uh-oh) and has been cooking at Oceanaire since 2005. The restaurant also announced Jorge Morgado has been promoted to general manager/operating partner.
On one hand, it's always heartwarming to see a company elevate its own loyal employees through the ranks rather than hire outsiders. On the other hand, considering the Oceanaire Seafood Room's pricey fare, you'd sort of hope the place had looked for a more veteran hand for the executive chef position. Of course, that would have meant a veteran salary.
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I suppose the real downfall of Oceanaire occurred when the 12-unit chain was purchased for $23.6 million in April by Landry's Restaurants, Inc. Landry's owns and operates more than 200 properties and restaurant chains across the nation -- including all of the Golden Nugget hotel-casino venues in Las Vegas. When a corporation has that much on its plate, quality-of-cuisine details at one Miami restaurant are bound to be less than the primary focus.
The Oceanaire Seafood Room
900 S. Miami Ave., Miami