This afternoon, two of Miami Beach's most beloved chefs took their partnership to a new level — on national television.
Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth got engaged on ABC's The Chew — a fitting marriage proposal for two toques who rose to national fame on Bravo's Top Chef.
McInnis, who recently celebrated his milestone 40th birthday, met Booth, 30, about four years ago on the line at the now-shuttered Gigi. Since then, they've partnered on NYC's Root & Bone, Stiltsville Fish Bar, a Miami Beach Root & Bone pop-up, and their daughter, Sunny. McInnis also has a daughter, Bryce, from a previous marriage.
The Miami Beach chefs appeared on The Chew under the guise of making braised squash with shrimp. But instead of talking up the dish as celebrity chefs are wont to do, McInnis said he had a better idea. As the show's cohosts — Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly, and Michael Symon — looked on, McInnis pulled Booth aside and said, "Janine, you've been the most amazing woman to me and the best mother. Before I start crying, I have something to ask you."
A surprised Booth answered in the affirmative, "Yes, baby."
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Kelly said he hoped McInnis wouldn't chicken out on the air, because they hadn't prepared any of the squash dish ingredients.
Lest anyone think this engagement was staged for television, McInnis texted me earlier this morning to ask me to tune in but not to text Booth anything beforehand.
It's turning out to be a big year for Booth, who was recently named a James Beard Award semifinalist. Congratulations to the happy couple.
Stiltsville Fish Bar. 1787 Purdy Ave., Miami Beach; 786-353-0477; stiltsvillefishbar.com.