Tom Colicchio's top chef in Miami has South Florida roots

Chefs Michael Fiorello and Tom Colicchio
Chefs Michael Fiorello and Tom Colicchio

Celebrity chef-restaurateur (and new MSNBC food correspondent) Tom Colicchio has tapped someone with local roots to run the kitchens at Beachcraft and Colicchio’s other forthcoming restaurants in the new 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach.  

Michael Fiorello is a South Florida native who rose through the ranks of Philadelphia’s food scene to become director of culinary operations for Iron Chef and James Beard Award-winner Jose Garces and his Garces Group of nearly 20 restaurants. Fiorello joined Colicchio’s Crafted Hospitality late last year and has been getting up to speed in the chef’s New York kitchens.

As executive chef, Fiorello will run the daily operations at Beachcraft, a “Mediterranean-inspired restaurant rooted in local ingredients” that’s set to open sometime in March. He also will oversee 1 Hotel’s poolside eatery (Sandbox), lobby bar (Tom on Collins), grab-and-go market and in-room dining.

Fun fact: Despite having filled high-end roles for two of the top names in the modern culinary world, Fiorello almost became a doctor, not a chef. He was about to enter his senior year of pre-med studies at Villanova University when he decided to switch tracks and pursue cooking. He got in to the Culinary Institute of America, and the rest is history.