Chef Michael Lewis brings decades of experience in a variety of cuisines and a global sensibility to KYU. The talented chef has worked in restaurants around the world from London to New York and Dubai but for nearly a decade he has called Miami home.
Originally from Baltimore, Chef Lewis moved to New York City at the age of 13 and later graduated from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. After graduation Lewis trained under culinary geniuses including Chef David Bouley at Bouley Bakery and Chef Eric Ripert at Le Bernadin.
At just 25 years old Lewis was appointed Chef de Cuisine at Jean-Georges restaurant on Central Park West one of a small handful of restaurants in the United States to be awarded three Michelin Stars. Lewis continued to grow with Jean-Georges – involved in openings in Paris, France, Nassau, Bahamas – before relocating to London to open Fifty on St. James Street.
After leaving Fifty on St. James, Lewis took time to travel the world educating himself on a diverse range of techniques and flavors from sidewalk vendors to haute cuisine. In addition to the years at CIA and award-winning kitchens, Lewis counts that international experience as transformative and inspiring.
“I have spent over 10 years trying to travel as much as possible — seeing, tasting and experiencing everything from the cheapest street food in Asia to the prix fixe menus of molecular geniuses in Europe,” says Lewis. “I thrive off of these types of food and life experiences, and the unforgettable stories that come out of them.”
Prior to opening KYU, Chef Lewis had spent 6 years as executive chef at Zuma, working in kitchens from Hong Kong to Dubai, Istanbul, Bangkok and London. Most recently he helmed the kitchen at Zuma Miami. With his world-refined palette and passion for food, Chef Lewis is a great asset to Miami’s vibrant culinary scene.
Despite his years of travel, Miami has always felt like home to Lewis and with the establishment of KYU he looks forward to spending time at home in Magic City with his family and dear friends.