Michael Shikany, CEO, SHIKANY Hospitality
If you’ve missed Chef Michael Shikany as much as we have since his eponymous SHIKANY abruptly closed earlier this year, don’t fret because Miami’s maven of modernist cuisine is coming back soon, in a big way. Although he’s keeping his lips sealed regarding the opening of his next restaurant venture – Algorithm – he’s dropping hints on Instagram and picking up steam on the Miami scene yet again, beginning with next month’s FLIPANY Chefs Up Front event at the Biltmore.
A graduate of New York City’s French Culinary Institute, Chef Shikany is an Award-winning managing director, sommelier, professional chef, and restaurant consultant with 12 years experience in fine dining. He has worked throughout South Florida with Ortanique on the Mile, La Cofradia, and Sushi Samba Dromo, as well as chef’s school stints, externships, and stages with L’Ecole, Le Bernardin, Babbo, Tao, Gramercy Tavern, and The James Beard House.
You’re a Miami native, what’s your favorite thing about your hometown?
The ocean… Growing up in Miami I started fishing a diving at a very young age. I have always been an avid fisherman and boater my whole life.
How have you seen Miami’s culinary scene evolve over the past few years?
It definitely has grown by leaps and bounds. Clients seem to be much more adventurous and willing to try new things. It’s always a joy as a chef to hear, “I would have never thought this tasted so good. Where can I get this to cook at home?”
What are the staple ingredients in your pantry?
– White Pepper
– Maldon Salt
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Macaroni & Cheese: I mean who does not like pasta and or cheese??? It’s so comforting and makes me feel like a kid again with every bite. Let’s not forget that ketchup must be accompanied on the side!
If you had to pick one food item to best describe yourself, what would it be and why?
Foie Gras – I think my doctor already told me I have a fatty liver and high cholesterol! Par for the course when you are a chef.
Who is your biggest culinary inspiration?
My grandfather “Bumpa.” Being in the kitchen with him was my favorite place to be growing up. I think that is why today it’s the once place I feel at peace and able to truly express my self through my work.
Where did your love of modernist cuisine come from?
After going to WD50 when I was in culinary school, my interest was sparked. I think modernist cooking celebrates each ingredient itself more. You are using techniques to increase the flavor ands purity of the ingredient using different methods and techniques. The changing of textures and consistency’s is more of a bi-product for the end result.
What’s your favorite restaurant in Miami right now?
This definitely depends on what I am in the mood for. That being said here are my three favorites:
MC Kitchen – You can see the love in her food and it makes me feel like a kid again. My grandfather who is my inspiration was 100% goombah!
Japanese Market – Best Sushi in Miami hands down.
Pubbelly – Kimchee Fried Rice & Dumplings – can’t go wrong with that! Oh, and their desserts are legit.
If you could chose one city other than Miami to open a restaurant in, what would it be and why?
Before culinary school I graduate from The George Washington University in DC. If there were one other place I would want to live it would be there. The culinary scene as well has exploded up there. It is such a melting pot that you take a bite out of every part of the world at anytime.
You’ll be participating at the Chefs Up Front event on September 18th. Why did you decide to get involved and what can diners expect from you?
I was asked by Colin Knight to be a chef at last year’s event. I did not know much about the organization when I said yes. After participating in last year’s event and learning about their initiative to teach children and young adults the value of nutrition, exercise and overall living a healthy life, how could I say no this year… It is something I feel strongly about as well. I wish I had more time to be more involved with FLIPANY. This year’s menu will focus on “The sense of smell.”
What can you tell us about your new restaurant, Algorithm?
Next question… 😉