Raw Master Matthew Kenney on His Wynwood Restaurant: "It's One of the Most Stunning Spaces We've Been Involved With"
A rendering of Matthew Kenney's Plant Food + Wine restaurant, opening in Wynwood in January 2016.
Rendering by Michael Klausmeier / courtesy Rene Gonzalez Architect
Raw guru Matthew Kenney's Wynwood restaurant and cooking school will open in mid-January. The launch date has been delayed by a year and a half because of construction-related issues; however, the James Beard Award-nominated chef says it will be worth the wait. What's more, the mostly raw, plant-based eatery will no longer be called White Lotus, but rather Plant Food + Wine. Kenney recently opened a restaurant with the same name in Venice, California, and said he wants his first Miami spot to share the moniker.
Local architect Rene Gonzalez designed the indoor/outdoor restaurant, as well as the attached Matthew Kenney Academy. "It’s one of the most stunning spaces we’ve ever been involved in," Kenney tells New Times. The Wynwood spot will feature high-end materials such as Carrara marble, natural woods, and stone and
Kenney was in town to prepare a feast at the Raleigh Hotel as part of the Seed Food and Wine Festival . He says that he will also participate in the South Beach Wine & Food Festival this February and that he's thrilled to finally have a restaurant of his own in Miami. "We’ve always found that the Miami audience is so receptive and welcoming to
Kenny boasts more than 15 restaurants/culinary schools under his brand
Matthew Kenney is a leading raw food chef.
Photo courtesy of Avery Yale Kamila
A graduate of the French Culinary Institute, Kenney owned seven restaurants at one point — all of which served animal protein. The accolades were pouring in, and he was named one of Food & Wine's best new chefs in 1998. But his restaurant empire expanded too quickly to maintain, so he had to start anew. That experience, along with body aches and pains and dedicated yoga practice, motivated Kenney to make a change to
"I went to a French culinary school, and you're taught that you need protein at every meal and this amount of butter and salt, and it's drilled into our head that that's our craft. So to go from that perspective to being a raw chef, you go through a lot. I went through a lot," Kenney said in a previous interview with New Times.
To help others deal with the challenges he faced while learning to work with raw food was one of the driving forces for the Matthew Kenney Academy. According to Kenney, the structured classes
He says that now is an amazing time for
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Miami dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.