♦ Eater Miami reports that chef Joel Huff is out at Azul, lasting just over a year. As for the future at Azul, the Mandarin Oriental’s crown jewel, Eater hears something about a celebrity chef moving in but the Mandarin Oriental is denying it, saying they’re looking for a “non-celebrity chef.” Is there even such a thing anymore?
♦ Like any other disenchanted South Beach resident, China Grill, a SoBe mainstay since 1995, appears to have grown tired of the scene and is ready to settle down on Brickell Avenue. Short Order broke the news that the restaurant would shutter on April 28th and reopen towards the end of 2012 at 801 Brickell Avenue. The Miami Herald reports that before settling on Brickell, the restaurant considered moving to Midtown Miami. While Short Order touts the beauty of the restaurant, which it bestowed with a “best restaurant decor” award back in 2005, seven years is an eternity on South Beach and China Grill has definitely earned the right to get a facelift in its new digs on Brickell.
♦ On April 29th, a fundraiser is being held to benefit the Florida Heart Research Institute. The event, called Heart of a Chef, is an afternoon event from 4 to 7pm at Fairchild Tropical Gardens and it will feature a culinary battle between Giorgio Rapicavoli (of the pop-up Eating House) and Joshua Wahler (of Crave Restaurant at Merrick Park). Both contestants have appeared on television shows, Chopped and Hell’s Kitchen, respectively. More information and tickets are available here.