Steak 954 in Fort Lauderdale is under the leadership of a new executive chef. Since losing former longtime executive chef Nicolay Adinaguev in July, Fort Lauderdale's beloved beachside steakhouse has found new inspiration with Jonathan Capó.
Capó first joined Starr Restaurants, the group behind Buddakan in New York City and Atlantic City, in the summer of 2015 for the opening of Continental Miami, where he worked as an integral part of the team. From there, he was quickly promoted to executive sous chef and in the fall of 2016 was hired as executive chef of Starr’s flagship Florida restaurant at W Fort Lauderdale, a place best known for its modern take on the traditional steakhouse.
"Steak 954 has an extremely talented and tenured sous chef team. They worked long hours to ensure the quality and consistency of our food was maintained while we searched for the right chef," said Steak 954 general manager Peter Ortino. "Jonathan has an unmatched passion for food and the culinary industry. He brings the leadership, experience, and talent needed to keep Steak 954 positioned as one of South Florida’s eminent steakhouses."
Prior to joining the Starr team, Capó worked at several South Florida establishments including Conrad Miami, the James Royal Palm, and the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort.
Originally from Puerto Rico, Capó’s passion for food comes from his family, which is of Irish and Puerto Rican descent. He pursued cooking in his teenage years, working for free at a local beachside cafe and fish market. After graduating high school, he moved to Miami to attend Johnson & Wales University, where he juggled school and jobs at the American Airlines Arena and the famed Biltmore Hotel.
Before graduating, Capo paid homage to his mother’s family by finishing his senior semester in Ireland, working in a manor in Wexford County. It was there the young chef says he was exposed to what he defines as "true organic" products, farming, and small-scale local butchering.
Today, his time in Ireland — and in England, Spain, Italy, and Morocco — has inspired his personal philosophy on food, which is one of simplicity.
"Having the opportunity to work at another Stephen Starr restaurant is a very exciting move for me, especially being given the honor of leading the team at the Fort Lauderdale flagship restaurant," said Capó. "My main focus at the moment is making sure we continue to offer our guests only the best experiences when they dine here. To do this, the team here is focusing our attention to only a select amount of local purveyors who will help us create the ultimate culinary experiences."
Steak 954. 401 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-414-8333; starr-restaurant.com.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.