Bimini Boatyard, long a Fort Lauderdale favorite waterfront restaurant, has hired Jason Shipman to replace chef-turned-author Michael Bennett.
Shipman is a Johnson and Wales grad who got his break in 2002 in the Cheesecake Factory/Grand Luxe Cafe empire. He climbed quickly in the restaurant chain, and in two years, he became the head of kitchen operations and revenue growth, according to a Bimini Boatyard owner Steve Hudson.
"He had the corporate training at Cheesecake Factory that we were looking for and then he has the creative side as well," Hudson said.
Diners won't see any immediate change. Hudson said Shipman will go through the menu
to remove less-popular items. Old favorites -- like the Diane salad and Bimini bread, one of our 100 Favorite Dishes -- will remain. "We're going to give him some latitude to change some items, but the core will be the same," Hudson said.
the Cheesecake Factory, Shipman worked as director of commissary
operations at the Chalet Group and then as executive chef at Brimstone Woodfire Grill in Pembroke Pines.
Boatyard opened in 1989 off 17th Street. It became a favorite first
among the nearby Rio Vista neighborhood and then brought in a tourist
crowd. It closed briefly in 2009 for a major renovation, and Hudson says
he more plans for the space, including a remake of the outside bar.
now, Hudson says they'll focus on what Shipman can bring to the
restaurant. Shipman plans to roll out some of his own recipes as
specials in January.
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