The latest incarnation of Michael's Kitchen opened in late 2007 at the Newport Beachside Resort in Sunny Isles. And it's thriving. But this time, Blum doesn't have to worry about the rent or paying vendors on time because the hotel is handling the books; he gets a minimum draw and a share of the profits. Robert Cornfeld, whose family owns the Newport, says he doesn't worry about Michael Blum either. "He's hard-working, honest, talented, personable, trustworthy. I'm surprised" — sigh — "that certain people feel they're not going to get a fair deal from him."
At the Newport, that old razzle dazzle is still in chef Michael Blum's kitchen. It's still the sort of venue where a skirt steak might wrap around a corn cob like a sheet that suspends a Cirque de Soleil acrobat in midair. Or where a fillet of salmon can plunge into flames and emerge ablaze but still moist and palatable.