Change is on the menu at Michael Schwartz's The Cypress Room in Miami

Michael Schwartz and Roel Alcudia photos via The Genuine Hospitality Group
Michael Schwartz and Roel Alcudia photos via The Genuine Hospitality Group

Chef de cuisine Roel Alcudia is no longer behind the stove at The Cypress Room, Michael Schwartz’s 2.5-year-old, 3.5-star fine-dining restaurant in Miami’s Design District. 

The chef and Schwartz’s The Genuine Hospitality Group parted ways Thursday. It’s unclear who will take over the position, but it seems that the Alcudia departure is one of several new developments on the horizon for the restaurant.

“We set into motion some changes at The Cypress Room heading into season, including the position of chef de cuisine,” says Jackie Sayet, the restaurant group’s brand director. “We are looking forward to finishing the last week of Miami Spice strong and starting off October business as usual, as Michael and the team prepare for some exciting news to come.”

Alcudia was born in the Philippines and trained at the French Culinary Institute in New York. Schwartz plucked him from the kitchen of Jonathan Waxman’s Barbuto to open The Cypress Room in the spring of 2013, building a menu of elegant, clean dishes like Royal Red shrimp with coconut, lime and puffed rice, and lamb tartare with a quail egg. 

Alcudia says he has no immediate plans but will likely stay in Miami — besides Thursday’s job change, Alcudia also got engaged to be married. “So I’m definitely staying around for a bit,” he says.

The chef notes that he enjoyed his time at The Cypress Room, adding, “I wish Michael and the group all the best in the future.”

Schwartz’s restaurant group has had a newsy year, including the departure of longtime pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith, the closing of Michael’s Genuine in Grand Cayman, the opening of a Design District café called Ella, and the announcement of two projects in Coconut Grove: a second outpost of Harry’s Pizzeria and a restaurant in the under-construction Park Grove condo.

Schwartz also is working on restaurants for The Related Group’s SLS Hotel in Brickell, set to open next year, and the Paraiso Bay development in Edgewater, opening in 2017. 

The Genuine Hospitality Group’s other restaurants include the original Michael’s Genuine in the Design District, Harry’s Pizzeria in the Design District, Restaurant Michael Schwartz at the Raleigh Hotel in South Beach, and 150 Central Park and Michael’s Genuine Pub, both aboard Royal Caribbean ships. A recently unveiled mobile pizza oven is part of the group’s catering arm, bringing Harry’s-style pizzas to weddings, bar mitzvahs and corporate events. 

Evan S. Benn is Miami Herald food editor: @EvanBenn.