What Happens at Chef's Club Stays at Chef's Club

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All photos by Laine Doss
Christina Ward, Matt Livers, and Aaron Brooks enjoy some wine at Chef's Club.
Chef's Club, an informal gathering of some of Miami's hottest talent, has been meeting about every other month since about 2006. This invitation-only gathering of chefs and industry-insiders has a pretty simple goal -- to build and nurture a sense of community among South Florida restaurant professionals.

PR guru Larry Carrino co-founded Chef's Club with chef Adam Votaw, who was then with Chispa in Coral Gables. Votaw, a client of Carrino's, noticed a lack of friendship and camaraderie in Miami, something he said he missed from his days in Paris and New York. Hence, Chef's club was born. Votaw has since moved out west, but the gathering lives on.

The faces and the menus change, but the structure remains the same. Chefs take turns "hosting" at their restaurant. Whole Foods Market underwrites the food portion, giving the host chef a gift card to fund the meal. Each chef shows up with an appetite...and a bottle that goes into the "drink kitty". Sometimes the meals are sit down affairs. Sometimes they're buffet-style. There was a clam bake. A costume party. A cocktail smack-down. Chefs rotate in and out of the club.

The recent gathering at Crave in Coral Gables was hosted by executive chef Josh Wahler and included Kurtis Jantz (Bella Beach Club at Trump International Beach Resort); Matt Livers (The Capital Grille); Michael Jacobs (Strategic Hospitality Group and Miami Heat); Tom Azar (formerly of City Hall); Sean Bernal (The Delano); Aaron Brooks (Edge Steak and Bar); Josh Becker (Gotham Steak); and Russell Karath (Gotham Steak and Hakkasan).

Location Info


4250 Salzedo St., Miami, FL

Category: Restaurant

Bella Beach Club

18001 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles Beach, FL

Category: Restaurant

The Capital Grille

444 Brickell Ave., Miami, FL

Category: Restaurant

City Hall Restaurant

2004 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL

Category: Restaurant

Delano Hotel

1685 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL

Category: General

Edge Steak & Bar

1435 Brickell Ave., Miami, FL

Category: Restaurant

FB Steakhouse

4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL

Category: Restaurant


4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL

Category: Restaurant

Brother Jimmy's BBQ

901 S. Miami Ave., Miami, FL

Category: Restaurant

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