Sam Gorenstein Leaving BLT Steak To Join Forces With Michael Schwartz

Is there a chef-leaving-South-Beach-steakhouse epidemic going on or what? First Ralph Pagano announced that he was leaving STK Miami, then days later we learn that Daniel Ganem is on his way from Kane Steakhouse, and now Sam Gorenstein has informed Short Order that his last day as chef de cuisine with BLT Steak will be this coming Sunday, October 23.

"I have decided to pursue new challenges in my career," Sam says, adding that he "will be involved in a new project," sometime around "early 2012."

Naturally we pressed him a bit for more info. "I'm joining Michael

Schwartz @ The Raleigh," he texted us, "where I will have more freedom

to create. 80% fish, which is what I truly love to cook. More details to


We haven't heard from BLT Steak yet,

but losing Gorenstein has to hurt a lot more than losing a Pagano or

Ganem. Gorenstein, after all, was a James Beard nominee in 2010 as Rising Star Chef of the Year -- and then was nominated again this past year for the same award.

Miami-native Gorenstein had moved to New York to work with BLT's Laurent

Tourondel in 2004, helped to open BLT Fish up there, and then moved back

here in 2006 to work as sous chef for Michael Schwartz at MGFD. A

couple of years later, he was back with BLT as chef de cuisine at the

then-new BLT Steak in South Beach. Now he will rejoin Schwartz at the Raleigh, which is a solid one-two chef tandem for sure.

When we find out more details, of course we'll share them with you first.

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