Food

This Coral Gables restaurant had another kitchen shake up. Now it’s the pastry chef

Hedy Goldsmith, a multiple James Beard award finalist who started at Michael’s Genuine in the Design District, returns to Miami to work with Miami-based Yardbird.
Hedy Goldsmith, a multiple James Beard award finalist who started at Michael’s Genuine in the Design District, returns to Miami to work with Miami-based Yardbird.

Almost three months after Norman Van Aken replaced the hastily departed Jamie DeRosa as the chef/partner of John Kunkel’s ambitious Coral Gables restaurant Ad Lib, the restaurant’s executive corporate pastry chef, Hedy Goldsmith, has left the building.

Key West was a huge influence on chef Norman Van Aken, who became one of the great innovators in American cuisine. He discussed hitchhiking from the Midwest over Cuban coffee, pastelitos and croquetas.

According to Goldsmith, a three-time James Beard Foundation award nominee, 50 Eggs’ founder John Kunkel “wanted to change the parameters of our relationship,” adding that he wanted to use her intermittently for projects such as an upcoming pop-up. Goldsmith balked at the idea.

“Hedy is amazing and is and will always be part of the 50 Eggs family, and will be working in additional projects with us in the future as always planned. She has made an impact to every restaurant she has touched, from Spring Chicken and Yardbird to Chica and, of course, Ad Lib,” Kunkel wrote in a statement to the Miami Herald.

Goldsmith returned to Miami from Los Angeles in summer of 2018 along with her wife, Heidi Ladell, and became corporate executive pastry chef for Yardbird Group, overseeing the pastry programs at all current locations. When Ad Lib replaced the beloved Swine in Coral Gables, Goldsmith joined chef DeRosa, award-winning sommelier Daniel Toral and general manager Cristiano Azevedo to open the modern American bistro with an “elevated, yet approachable menu.” Toral has since left as well.

“I’m not sure what my next chapter is,” Goldsmith tells us, “But it’s time to make sweets that speak to my soul and make me sing in the kitchen.”

Van Aken said he felt Goldsmith was ready for a change in the last few weeks.

“Sometimes when you work next to someone at a restaurant you get the feeling that they’re ready for something else. I felt that with her. Wherever she goes, success will follow her,” he said.

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