Ask the Chef

After 17 Years, Nick Morfogen Will Step Down as Executive Chef at Delray's 32 East

A popular Delray Beach establishment will part ways with its longtime chef later this year.

Nick Morfogen has been helming the kitchen for the past 17 years at 32 East, where he currently stands as a managing partner and executive chef. Over the years, the establishment's menu, which changes nightly, has received praise for its creativity and originality.

Soon, Morfogen will step down from his position as executive chef for a new project, but fans of 32 East will be reassured to know he isn't exiting entirely. He will stay on as a managing partner for the establishment, and talks are apparently underway for Tryst executive chef John Thomas to take the reins.

Though Thomas, who has served as Tryst's executive chef since January 2015, told New Times he can neither deny or confirm such rumors at this time, it seems like a likely transition. Tryst, often considered one of South Florida's first gastropubs, is currently listed for sale with Prakas & Co., a Boca Raton-based restaurant broker.

Still, the situation remains somewhat up in the air for now.

"We haven't decided anything regarding timing or exact changes yet... but I can confirm that Nick remains a partner in 32 East and Tryst. A statement regarding his future is premature," says 32 East managing partner Butch Johnson. 

Morfogen came onto the South Florida scene in the 1990s for a brief stint at Nick and Max's in Boca Raton following a star-studded career that began with an internship with Eberhard Mueller at LeBernadin. The internship was followed by stretches at such prestigious spots as La Cote Basque and Le Cirque in New York and later Tra Vigne in Napa Valley. He honed his style as executive chef at Ajax Tavern in Aspen, Colorado, where he was named one of America's best new chefs by Food & Wine in 1996.

32 East. 32 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach; 561-276-7868;

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.
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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna