Bio: Executive Chef E. Michael Reidt is the skilled and accomplished chef at the helm of Area 31, a Kimpton restaurant located on the 16th floor of the EPIC Hotel. Named one of the country’s “Best New Chefs” in 2001 by Food & Wine magazine, and “Best New Chef” in 2009 by The Baltimore Sun, Chef Reidt‘s immersion into different culinary cultures and in-depth experience with the world’s leading chefs have garnered Reidt high accolades and respect throughout the country.
Reidt discovered his affinity for cooking while studying Civil Engineering at University of Lowell. The Massachusetts native took a job at an omelet bar to make enough money to return to school. During that time he fell in love with the passion and pace offered in a professional kitchen.
After a brief tenure at the world-renowned Copley Plaza in Boston, Reidt enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, NY. Following graduation from CIA, Reidt immediately began working at Boston’s Olives Charleston. He credits the time spent in the Olives Charleston kitchen with his fellow peers and mentor Todd English as the most rewarding learning experience of his career. He went on to lead the kitchens of popular Boston restaurant, Restaurant Zinc, before opening his own restaurant Bomboa, where he became a critic’s choice for experimentation with traditional South America ingredients and his Latin-fusion cuisine.
In 2001, Reidt moved to Miami Beach where he became executive chef of Wish. “I was given a blank slate in which to create something special and I did,” said Reidt. “I was able to push my dishes and concepts outside of the box more and refined my cuisine at the same time.” Under Reidt’s direction, Wish quickly elevated to one of the best restaurants in Miami, receiving four star reviews and earning him the recognition of a “Rising Star” by StarChefs.com.
In 2005, he moved to California and opened Sevilla, which served the Latin-fusion cuisine that quickly became his hallmark. That same year the restaurant was honored with the title of “Best New Restaurants of 2005” by Esquire magazine.
In 2008, Reidt embarked on a self-discovery tour of Asia and South America. Through his travels he experienced the day-to-day food challenges typical of these countries and the strong passion for life. Re-inspired, he moved back home to the east coast where he showcased his talents as the executive chef of B&O American Brasserie in Baltimore, MD.
During his time at B&O, Reidt was named “Best New Chef” of 2009 by the Baltimore Sun. Most recently, American Brasserie was named “Best New Restaurant” by Baltimore magazine and won the National Restaurant Association’s 2010 Spirit Award.
In late 2010, Reidt made his return to Miami at Area 31 at the EPIC Hotel where he’s combined his passion for ingredient-driven dishes with the distinct rich flavor combinations in which he has built his reputation. Using the Magic City as his inspiration, Chef Reidt infuses the spirit and energy of Miami into a seasonal menu filled with sustainable seafood and ingredients that celebrate local farms and purveyors.
Chef Reidt has been featured in Esquire, Bon Appetit, New York Times, Travel & Leisure, Vogue, Food Arts, Los Angeles Times, Wine Spectator, Miami Herald, Food & Wine, National Geographic Traveler, Forbes, Art Culinaire, Business Week, Ocean Drive, and The Boston Herald as well as on the Style Network, and the Food Network’s “FoodNation with Bobby Flay” and “Ready, Set, Cook!”