Chef Michael Michaelidis Ushers New Culinary Landscape In Miami

Michelin star chef, Michael Michaelidis, plans to leave his global imprint on Miami’s culinary landscape after recently being appointed Head of Culinary at Riviera Dining Group (RDG).

Chef Michael Michaelidis

Photo Credit:  MILA

The hospitality group behind successful Miami Beach-based MILA restaurant, RDG, looks to embark on a new era of fine dining with Chef Michael at the helm. The Michelin star chef boasts a widely international professional background and is himself someone who comes from French and Greek roots.

Chef Michael recently sat down with Haute Living to discuss his exciting new role and what he expects the future of Miami’s culinary landscape to look like.


Haute LivingWhat does this new role in MILA and RDG mean to you professionally?

Chef Michael: It’s the new challenge of my career. This is my next step after turning 40 and traveling across the globe with cooking. I spent 12 years in Asia – four years in Hong Kong, four in Singapore and four in Tokyo. My previous mentor was Joël Robuchon, whom I consider to be the chef of the century. I believe he had accumulated 33 Michelin stars while I worked under him.

The first big challenge of my career came when I was 29 and earned the responsibility to take care of the three Michelin star restaurant, L’Atelier Hong Kong. Three and a half years later, I moved to Singapore. At the time, the Michelin Guide had not yet arrived in Singapore, so I was a part of this massive challenge. By the end of my tenure as Executive Chef there at Resorts World Sentosa, we had accumulated five Michelin stars, which to me, was the consecration of my career.

Throughout the pandemic and after having accumulated 26 Michelin stars throughout my career in the gastronomic world, I decided I had to make a choice and wanted to come back to my roots. I was born and raised in the South of France, in Cannes. My father is Greek and my mother is Dutch. I have always loved adapting my culinary skills to a diverse blend of cultures. So, joining MILA and RDG makes total sense at this point in my career.

Photo Credit: MILA

HL: What is something you feel you can bring which might currently be missing in Miami’s culinary landscape?

CM: I believe it’s about choosing the right ingredients. There’s certainly growth in the market and Miami is a melting pot in terms of cuisine. It reminds me of my time in Singapore. Miami offers such a wonderful opportunity to blend cultures through a big palette of ingredients, flavors and influences. MILA cuisine is a unique and exclusive fusion between premium ingredients from Japan and the most flavorful produces from the Mediterranean.

I am still putting my feet on the ground and adjusting to this exciting market while being surrounded by a rock star team of executive and corporate chefs and talents. We are in the process of growing the team and it’s an honor to be a part of it all.

I have a feeling I will see a similar excitement and boom in the culinary world as I did in 2016 in Singapore. While the excitement level here in Miami is already high, I feel like it can rise to an even better level, hopefully becoming an elite scene such as Japan, for example, in terms of respect for the ingredients and the freshness of the food, where people are extremely dedicated to their job.

Photo Credit: MILA

HLSo, do you see Miami becoming a globally culinary hotspot in the near future?

CM: Definitely. I believe Miami will succeed New York in that sense. New York is still the great city that it is and it’s still the place to visit but Miami is an entirely different experience. I think the city will no longer only be seen as a destination for great weather, great nightlife and beautiful views, but it will also become known for its excellent culinary culture as well.

So far, Miami has been heavily influenced by flavorful South America culinary culture and influences, which will always remain a tremendous source of inspiration for me. New market players and new opportunities have come, and this is definitely an exciting time to be here.

I certainly believe Miami will soon be the place to visit for the best food in the country.

Photo Credit: MILA