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April 12, 2008

Top Miami Chef Packed His Knives And Went Home

Michaelbloise This just in from Miami Herald's food editor, Kathy Martin, who was serving as a judge today for a high school cooking contest at Johnson & Wales:

"Fellow judge Michael Bloise introduced himself as "formerly of Wish." Upon questioning, he said he parted ways unexpectedly with Wish at the Hotel about 3 weeks ago, and is prohibited by his severance package from discussing details. Bloise, 32, said he's been working on his house (in Hollywood), spending time with his 10-year-old son and thinking about what's next.

He might want to talk to the Newport Beach, where I hear that Michael Blum is out at Michael's Kitchen. I'm waiting for a call back from the hotel to confirm that."

We heard the same thing about Blum, too. But the Bloise exit is a surprising one. Also somewhat surprisng was that apparently Mark's South Beach has been 86-ed. Do we smell a recession or just a mass foodie exodus? Stay tuned.

Update: Michael Blum confirms that he's no longer in charge of the kitchen at Michael's Kitchen -- and that his name will be coming off the Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort venue shortly. "The owners of the hotel were dead set on doing things their own way. They wanted a nightclub, and I didn't want diners coming in there and being disappointed," he said in a telephone interview. It was a mutual decision, Blum says, and he continues doing the Sunny Isles Beach hotel's catering while he looks for other kitchen to call his own. Hotel management did not respond Saturday to a request for comment.