Thomas Keller to open at the Surf Club Four Seasons project in 2018

The Surf Club development in June (Credit: Field Condition). Inset: Thomas Keller
The Surf Club development in June (Credit: Field Condition). Inset: Thomas Keller

Updated 2:15 p.m., Jan. 6, 2017: One of America’s best chefs is finally heading to South Florida.

The award-winning Thomas Keller will oversee one of the two restaurants at the Four Seasons Hotel and Residences at the Surf Club, a luxury hotel and residential project in Surfside, the Miami Herald reported. The restaurant is set to open in 2018.

Unlike Keller’s other restaurants (Per Se in Manhattan, the French Laundry in Yountville, California and more), his space at the Surf Club will be his first concept restaurant, “a tip of the hat to a time when America was the most optimistic, when the appeal in America, the pride in America, was at its peak,” he told the newspaper.

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Miami has been on the chef’s mind for more than five years, and at some point he nearly agreed to take over the Azul restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental on Brickell Key. Keller met the Surf Club’s developer, Nadim Ashi, for dinner in New York about 18 months ago and decided on the Surfside spot after learning about its history, according to the Herald. Included in the massive project is the historic Russell Pancoast-designed Surf Club, a private beach club founded in 1930 by Henry Firestone.

“I don’t think I’ll ever open another fine dining restaurant in America. Trying to replicate that energy, I’m not going to do that, not at my age,” Keller told the Miami Herald. “The Surf Club will not be about my personality.”

The Surf Club, at 9011 Collins Avenue, spans 9 acres, 965 feet of beach frontage, a 77-room Four Seasons Hotel, two 12-story residential buildings with 150 condos, four swimming pools, a spa and gym, and 40 beach cabanas. Condo prices range from $3.7 million to $30 million. It’s 80 percent sold, according to the latest ISG Miami report[Miami Herald] – Katherine Kallergis