Roc, developed a
passion for seafood
during his childhood in the English
fishing villages of
Brighton and Scarborough, but unlike
many chefs, he
didn’t learn to cook
“Meals at home
were very plain, so
I took matters into
my own hands,” he
After high school,
in a three-year culinary arts program; he
won numerous awards and competitions
and supplemented his education work-
ing summer vacations for famed TV chef
When Buckley discovered Nobu in 1998
he felt an immediate spiritual connection
with chef/partner Nobu Matsuhisa, who
welcomed his creative input.
For meeting groups at the hotel, Buckley
said, “The banquet menu is inspired by
Japanese-fusion and American flavors, but
guests can also handpick items to create a
more unique experience.”
Clark Bowen, JW Marriott
Chef Clark Bowen, executive chef at Boulud
Sud at JW Marriott Marquis Miami (opening
in December), was also encouraged to cook
out of necessity. Born and raised in Miami,
his Cuban grandmother cooked such fare
as ham and yucca for him and his siblings
while his mom worked full time.
When his grandmother passed away,
“Rather than succumb to my mom’s cooking, I started experimenting on my own,”
Bowen noted wryly.
While attending school, he worked
at popular restaurants in South Florida,
where he learned on the job.
While Boulud Sud is typically French,
Bowen said, “We’re also incorporating
small plates from a variety of different
countries that people can share, like lavash
and pita breads with hummus and other
dips. They’re healthier and easier to digest.
Much of this cuisine doesn’t include dairy,
meat or pork, so it’s very easy to offer
something for everyone.”
Gabriel Fenton, Michael Mina’s
Bourbon Steak, Turnberry Isle
Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak Miami at
Turnberry Isle features Gabriel Fenton at
the helm as executive chef.
“Growing up in Princeton, New Jersey,
my parents were avid gardeners; we ate
seasonally, so I got the urge to be a chef
at a young age and knew early on that this
was my calling,” he said. “Once I entered
the Culinary Institute of America, I was
able to get a jump start on my professional
Groups to Bourbon Steak can sample
every cut of beef imaginable, but there are
also such items as Maine lobster pot pie
with brandied lobster cream, miso-glazed
sea bass with Maitake mushrooms, and
glazed beef short rib with celery root puree.
The on-site planner can help meeting
professionals decide on the menu and the
restaurant can print personalized menus
for the group.
Groups can also experience wine-pair-ing dinners and cocktail receptions with
passed hors d’oeuvres in the lounge area.
“This allows the experience to feel more
relaxed and turns the mingling hour into
the main event,” he said.
Latest + Greatest
➜ SLS Brickell ( www.slshotels.com), the
newest addition to the SLS hotels and
downtown Miami skyline, offers 124
rooms and dining from James Beard
Award-winning chef Jose Andres. The
hotel features more than 58,000 square
feet of Philippe Starck-designed indoor
and outdoor event space featuring a
➜ Aloft Coral Gables ( www.starwoodhotels.
com) will open in December and is located near the University of Miami and
the area’s best beaches and nightlife.
It offers 137 rooms, a pool and fitness
center and is pet-friendly. The hotel will
have 600 feet of meeting space.
➜ The Fontainebleau Miami Beach (www.
fontainebleau.com) updated the design
in its historic Versailles Tower and
renovated the hotel’s existing pool-
side cabanas. In select suites, design
elements include a Jonathan Adler
chandelier and black and white, hand-
sketched artwork from Fontainebleau
Miami Beach’s architect.
➜ Stiltsville Fish Bar (http://grovebay
group.com) opened in September in the
heart of Miami Beach’s Sunset Harbour
neighborhood. The new restaurant is
owned by Grove Bay Hospitality Group
(GBHG) and culinary duo Jeff McInnis
and Janine Booth.
➜ Opening in 2018, the highly anticipated Miami Beach Convention Center
( www.miamibeachconvention.com) will
feature a state-of-the-art sustainable
design and eco-conscious operational procedures. More than simply a
$615 million construction project,
the development of the Miami Beach
Convention Center represents the
destination’s engineering commitment
to combatting and understanding the
impact of climate change and sea level
rise. The center is on track to receive
LEED Silver certification upon opening
GREATER MIAMI CVB