Ten Best Chefs To Leave Miami Over The Past Decade

Alphabetically except for the last:

Alvaro Beade of Ideas Restaurant. His contemporary take on the cuisine of Castilla y León was exquisite. Not sure where he is now.

Carmen Gonzalez of Carmen's The Restaurant. She merged modern American cuisine with traditional Puerto Rican. Then her eponymous restaurant burned down. Last we heard she was in New York operating an upscale take-home meal company called Sazon.

Robin Haas of The Colony, Bang, Baleen, Red Square, Chispa. One of the original bad boy chefs of South Beach, and one of our first really talented chefs period. Robin splits his time these days between his restaurant in Antigua (Nokiate, an upscale Japanese-Latino place) and Miami, and continues to consult -- as he did at La Marea before it first reopened after the Tides renovation.

Klime Kovaceski of Crystal Cafe. Klime and Huguette teamed to provide intensely flavorful New Continental Cuisine and the city's best service -- a distinctly excellent restaurant the likes of which hasn't been seen around here since. Kovaceski is now wowing folks via a more Mediterranean magic at Mez, in Charlotte's EpiCentre complex.

Willis Loughhead of Bizcaya at Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne. He was a young whiz kid during his time here; he has since become known for making his own top-flight charcuterie from grass-fed and organic meats. Willis made a mark during a short stint at doomed Country on New York's Madison Avenue, then moved to Govind Armstrong's New York branch of Table 8.

Gary Robins of Wish. Put out a way-way-way-ahead-of-its-time upscale vegetarian menu as the first chef at Wish. It was fantastic, but, as we say...Robins went on to fame in New York, gathering kudos at the Biltmore Room, Aja, Sheridan Square -- and getting hammered in-between as The Russian Tea Room's initial chef after its' grand reopening.

Kerry Simon of Blue Star, Starfish, Max's, Mercury. Our first, and maybe only Rock 'n Roll chef, the long-haired Simon created great New American cuisine. He moved to Vegas and became a star, his name up in lights at that city's Simon at Palms Place and Cathouse, as well as at Simon LA, in Los Angeles.

Govind Armstrong, David Bouley, Christian Delouvrier -- Not that they were ever really here.

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