The South Beach Wine & Food Festival is not only a great place to eat and drink your way through thousands of dishes and vintages, but it's also the best time to catch up with chefs.
Without the assistance of PR machines and lubricated by a few drinks, restaurateurs and toques are more apt to talk about new restaurant plans and potential moves. Here's the latest intel on restaurants to look out for and potential chef moves.
5. Michael Shikany Moving Out
Even with the closure of his Wynwood restaurant Shikany, Michael Shikany was seen just about everywhere at SoBeWFF. The chef plated a gorgeous dish at Best of the Best and was a culinary captain at the Grand Tasting Village. When we caught up with him, the chef said his departure from Shikany was amicable and he wasn't sure what would happen to the space now that his ties were severed. He added he's looking to open a restaurant in the Midwest, possibly in Chicago or Cleveland. Asked if that meant he was leaving Miami, the chef answered in the affirmative, although he added he would return at some point.
4. Dale Talde's Restaurant Opening at the Thompson Miami Beach
Former Top Chef contestant Dale Talde will open his well-priced restaurant at the Thompson Miami Beach this summer. The chef is no stranger to Miami, having helped open Makoto in Bal Harbour. Talde Miami Beach will feature casual Asian-American fare and will be open until the wee hours of the morning on weekends -- perfect for a postclub snack.
3. Alex Stupak Is Shopping for a Restaurant in Miami
Pastry maven Alex Stupak wants to take a ride on the taco wave that Miami is experiencing. The 35-year-old chef with a resumé that includes WD-50, Alinea, and Clio, is looking at opportunities in Miami and has a dream to open a Mexican restaurant, telling New Times: "There's a community here dying for good stuff, and Miami's got its own style. People are concerned about art and lifestyle and beauty and things that I'm 100 percent aligned with."
2. Spike Mendelsohn Is Opening Sunny's
It's no secret that Spike Mendelsohn loves Miami. For years, the chef has been making the trip south for SoBeWFF. He's been seen running on the beach, dressing as the Hamburglar, and organizing chef volleyball tournaments. So it's no shocker that the chef is opening his own place in Miami Beach. Mendelsohn spilled the beans at the Art of Tiki event, telling us that Sunny's is set to open in April on Collins Avenue. The potent potable served at the event hinted at the liberal doses of fun and good cocktails to come.
1. Carla Hall Is Opening a Restaurant in New York
The Chew cohost Carla Hall stopped by Geoffrey Zakarian's Food Talk radio broadcast to chat with the Food Network celebrity. The striking Hall is opening her first New York City restaurant, Carla Hall's Southern Kitchen. The restaurant, which will offer comfort food like mac 'n' cheese, collard greens, and fried chicken, is still in the works, and an opening date has not been announced.
Additional reporting by Zachary Fagenson, Valeria Nekhim, Carina Ost, and Carla Torres.
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