KYU’s Chef Michael Lewis Shares His Haute Secrets To Miami

Chef Michael Lewis (2)

Chef Michael Lewis serves as the co-founder and executive chef of Wynwood hot spot, KYU. The happening restaurant is located just steps away from the Wynwood Walls, serving decadent and inventive comfort cuisine with signatures like the Korean Fried Chicken, Roasted Cauliflower, Duck Breast “Burnt Ends” and the famous KYU Coconut Cake. Prior to KYU, Lewis had worked all over the globe including New York City, London and the Bahamas training under acclaimed chefs like Chef David Bouley and Chef Eric Ripert. He’s spent time working in Paris, London, Hong Kong, Dubai, Istanbul, Bangkok and eventually Miami, where he now calls home. In 2016, Lewis partnered with Steven Haigh to launch his first-ever restaurant, KYU Miami, which has since been nominated in 2017 for “Best New Restaurant” and has received praise from locals and visitors alike. Here, the popular chef shares his haute guide to Miami, revealing where he can be found when he’s out of the kitchen:

Where were you born: Baltimore, Maryland

How long in Miami: Ten years. I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world, gain some incredible personal and professional experiences, but I’m always happy to come back to Miami and am very proud to call this city my home.

Neighborhood: Living in Miami Shores, but Wynwood is my hood. Many of my favorite hangouts are in Wynwood and, at KYU, we’ve partnered with so many great neighbors there from Panther Coffee to Zak the Baker it really feels like home in a way.

Occupation: Co-Founder and Executive Chef of KYU

Favorite Restaurant: Ghee

Best Sushi: Hiden

Best Italian: Macchialina

Best dessert: Mom’s KYU Coconut Cake paired with MIO. Sparkling Sake

Best Sunday brunch: KYU. Banana Bourbon French Toast all day!

Best place for a power business meeting: My business meetings are a little casual, so I would say the Bar at Alter – its where ideas flow!

If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend? The Miami Beach Edition

Favorite shopping venue/boutique: OFY in Wynwood.

Favorite place to buy jewelry/watches: As a chef, I use my hands a lot, so I rarely invest in watches and jewelry. However, I am on my feet a lot – so I do like pay more attention to my shoes – KITH in Miami is a go-to.

Favorite Charity Event: Taste the Nation, Benefitting No Kid Hungry

Favorite Cultural Event: Art Basel

Favorite Cultural Institution: Joes Stone Crab – (food is my institution)

Best Steakhouse: Prime 112

Best Pizza: Lucali. Hands Down.

Best Lunch: Mandolin Aegean Bistro

Best Gym/Athletic Facility: Lock and Load Miami (Lol)

Best New restaurant: Stubborn Seed by Jeremy Ford

Best hidden gem: 27 Restaurant & Bar

Best cocktails: KYU – possibly because I help make them! And Broken Shaker.

Best wine list: Glass and Vine

Best Museum/Exhibit: Frost Museum of Science. With two children, this place is the best!

Describe your city in three words: Diverse, evolving and …hot

All-around favorite spot in Miami: Sitting under a tree, by the bay in the Vizcaya Gardens with my family – it’s just a great connection to ‘old Miami.’

Best Aspect of Miami: Air Conditioning