Food News

The Real Reason Top Chef's Micah Edelstein Left Grass

While it was reported that executive chef Micah Edelstein left Grass in the Design District a few weeks ago, no official reason was given for her departure. Short Order called the former Top Chef contestant and dug up the inside scoop. Edelstein says Grass' owners approached her and asked that she put the place on the "culinary map of Miami." To do so, she crafted an adventurous menu with items such as bison carpaccio with pan roasted focaccia croutons and rooibos tea-smoked tomato oil and caramelized shallot focaccia with hibiscus-rosemary mascarpone and black lava sea salt.

"We were getting great reviews," she notes of the revamped dishes, "but the owners didn't do a lot to promote it. Previous diners were coming in for menu of the past, which had items like skirt steak, crab cakes and tuna tataki. To them, my menu was a bit off-putting and  intellectual. It was a menu for foodies. I like to get people to try new things. The owners told me they were going to relaunch Grass and promote it, but it never happened. And most people wanted skirt steak and mashed potatoes. I was having difficulties with the management because we had differing views of how a restaurant should be run. And I wasn't interested in doing a doing a pub menu. I bowed out at that point."

All told, Edelstein's stint at Grass lasted five months. Short Order checked out the website: more traditional dishes have indeed been restored.

Micah is now fully concentrating on her catering company, which is called Wandering Chefs. Meanwhile, she has been approached by several local restaurateurs to do a new project. "I want a small space to play around in," she describes. "I want more control of everything. I'm about quality not quantity." Until then, Edelstein will be appearing at the Yellow Green Farmer's Market in Hollywood when it opens this summer. She'll be selling sauces, chutneys and condiments, alongside her six-year-old daughter, who will be hawking Silly Tilly cupcakes. Maybe, we'll see Tilly on Top Chef in 2025.