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New Chef At Wish

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Above: Ferraro gets his Wish

The Hotel in South Beach wished upon a star, and it looks like they’ve got one. Marco Ferraro, just named the new executive chef of the property’s Wish restaurant, has what they call in the business “the chops.”

There are numerous ways to achieve chopdom, and Mr. Ferraro seems to have done them all. Firstly, he was born in Italy. That’s a big chop right there. Then he got some classic French cooking under his belt at Le Mantel in Cannes and two-Michelin star restaurant Le Muscandin in Mougins. Chop chop! In 2002, Ferraro trained at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s eponymous restaurant in New York. CHOP!

Jean-Georges had offered Marco a job a couple of years earlier, but when Ferraro told the iconic JG he had the chance to train at Le Muscandin, Mr. Vongerichten told him to take it while he could. Postponing a gig with the Vonger took chops. For the past few years Marco, a French Culinary Institute graduate (chop), worked as chef de cuisine at another acclaimed establishment, Jack’s La Jolla in California. The final chop, for now, is taking over at Wish, where Michael Bloise, who also had the chops, put the restaurant’s reputation up there with the best in town.

The Wish Garden and Spire Bar will be undergoing refurbishment to coincide with The Hotel’s upcoming 10th anniversary, as well as with Chef Ferraro’s menu -- which will be unveiled in early September. The 29-year-old is a strong proponent of simple, seasonal, clean cuisine -- allowing the food’s natural flavors to come through as straightforwardly as possible. Lots of chefs say the same thing, but as I believe has been duly noted, this guy’s got the chops to pull it off.

-- Lee Klein

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