After under a year and a half on the job, 29-year-old Adonay Tafur has been appointed executive chef of the Dutch inside the W Hotel, taking over for former executive chef Conor Hanlon.
Tafur joined the resort's food and beverage team as a sous chef in March 2014. He hoped to one day take over but never thought it would happen this soon. "When I first started working, I expressed what I wanted to do and where I wanted to one day be," says Tafur. "It really took me by surprise to take over, though. I had no idea it would be this quick."
Now as the man in charge, Tafur looks forward to adding his own flavor to Andrew Carmellini’s NYC roots-inspired American restaurant. "I have a lot more leverage to play around now," he says.
Two of Tafur's first goals will be supporting local growers and adding more farm-to-table plates "Miami has a lot of great products and amazing people to work with," he says. "I want to be more involved with farms and local growers, and adjust our menu to what's available and in the best condition for our customer."
Tafur began his culinary journey as a teen in Spain, interning at a series of Michelin star restaurants. After returning to the States, he worked in restaurants in Los Angeles, New York, and Miami. While in the Big Apple, he perfected his craft under culinary giant and James Beard award-winning chef Alfred Portale at Gotham Bar and Grill. "The first time I actually got into a kitchen was the moment where I knew I wanted to keep going and learning," he says. "It was a very cool feeling."
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Now Tafur finds himself right back where he started. "My house and family are here in Miami," he says. "I knew my time away was done, so I came back and started working at The Dutch."
But the new executive chef says this is still just a means to a goal. "This really puts me closer to where I want to one day be," he says. "Eventually I want to have my own restaurant with my own style, and this is a great step toward that. For now I'm obviously fully committed to the Dutch and the W, but I know that's ultimately what I want to do."
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