Hedy Goldsmith Returns to Miami, Plus More Chef Shuffles


To spearhead the pastry program at Yardbird

Below you’ll find the latest notable shifts in chefs and personnel amongst restaurant kitchens throughout South Florida.

July 19, 2018

SOUTH BEACH — One of Miami’s OG pastry chefs, Hedy Goldsmith, is making her grand return to the Magic City, according to Miami.com. Goldsmith has been tapped to be the Corporate Executive Pastry Chef for Yardbird Group, a role she’s been serving in a consulting capacity in Los Angeles since April. The restaurant currently has locations in Beverly Hills, Miami Beach, Las Vegas and Singapore and plans to roll out a larger expansion plans over the next two years, which she will oversee the pastry programs for. Goldsmith will also be working with Yardbird’s parent company 50 Eggs to help develop new projects.

March 26, 2018

CORAL GABLES — The duo behind The Local 150, Phil Bryant and Veronica Valdivia, are departing from the restaurant that they helped put on the map come Saturday, March 31. The two, who ran the front and back of the house, plan to pursue new projects with their small restaurant group and private consulting firm, Heirloom Hospitality Group. “We are looking to explore other opportunities and take time to develop projects that have been in our plans for a while now,” said Bryant. Details on those projects haven’t been released yet. Stay tuned for more updates.

February 7, 2018

SOUTH BEACH — Chef Max Santiago has departed from his post at Sugar Factory, both him and Sugar Factory reps confirm. The former Salty Donut chef said they parted ways with the over-the-top sugary spot so he could focus on his upcoming, yet-to-be named doughnut concept coming in March 2019. While Santiago wouldn’t disclose too many details about the new restaurant, he says to expect both sweet and savory options at it in a neighborhood one might not expect. For those who want to get a sneak peek, he’ll start debuting his new flavors at upcoming events, which can be found on his Instagram channel.

October 2, 2017

FT LAUDERDALEPaula DaSilva has taken her talents back to Fort Lauderdale. DaSilva is now leading the kitchen at Burlock Coast inside the Ritz Carlton Ft. Lauderdale. The former 1500 Degrees chef has been most recently heading the kitchen at Artisan Beach House inside the Ritz Carlton Bal Harbour

SOUTH BEACH — Bagatelle Miami Beach has recently appointed two new members to their culinary team, including executive chef David Allan Russell Jr. and pastry chef Odille Arias. On the menu are a bevy of new French dishes like Pâté de Lapin Braisé, Saumon Grillé Sur sa Peau and Salade de Homard du Maine Chef.

July 27, 2017

MIAMI RIVER River Yacht Club has a new chef and new menu. Manning the kitchen now is executive chef Jun Hee Lee, who has spent time working at places like Fontainebleau Miami Beach and L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon in the MGM Grand Las Vegas prior to taking over at River Yacht Club. On his new menu are dishes like foie gras sliders and calamari ceviche.

MIMOVagabond Kitchen and Bar, has tapped Andres Villa, former sous chef at Upland Miami as its new chef. He plans to add lunch service starting August 1 to the rotation, along with a revamped brunch menu and new menu items added to the dinner menu.

SOUTH BEACH — Former chef de cuisine of the now defunct Izzy’s South Beach, William Crandall, has been tapped to lead the kitchen at StripSteak by Michael Mina inside the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. This isn’t Crandall’s first time manning the kitchen at high profile hotel restaurant, he also served as chef de cuisine at Azul inside the Mandarin Oriental and the Park Hyatt Chicago.

June 21, 2017

DOWNTOWN MIAMI Fooq’s has officially tapped former Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink chef de cuisine Saul Ramos to head its kitchen. Ramos’ latest additions to the menu can be seen through dishes such as the burratta with tomato jam and watercress, the smokey eggplant with homemade Barbarian bread, and the lamb chops with couscous and tabbouleh.

SOUTH BEACH — While Lure Fishbar’s chef John Iatrellis has departed from the restaurant, it has tapped a new chef to man its sushi and sashimi offerings. Its new executive sushi chef Kiichi Okabe has worked all over the world from Hawaii, Los Angeles and Las Vegas to as far as Dubai, before setting up shop here in Miami. On his new menu expect dishes like torched salmon belly, salmon with truffle crème and a take on the traditional rainbow roll.

BRICKELL — While food might not be the first thing that comes to mind at Sugar at East (hello, sky high views) its hoping to change that with its newly appointed Ped Phommavong, also known as “Chef Ped,” as chef de cuisine, who plans on adding dishes inspired by Southeast Asia to the menu. Dishes already added to the line up are sashimi served on pink salt, Beijing salmon and coconut pandan leaf crepe with Florida mangoes, lime zest and palm sugar.