The Confidante Miami Beach, part of the Unbound Collection by Hyatt and fresh off a $3.5 million meetings and events space renovation wrapped in fall 2017, has become an in-spot in mid-Miami Beach’s burgeoning food scene, and meetings groups are invited to the table.

Although the 363-room retro-style Mid-Century modern hotel that sits oceanfront on famed Collins Avenue hearkens back to the glory days of 1950s Miami Beach, chef Richard Hales has brought some modern Southern flavors to bear with his Bird & Bone restaurant.

“I originally created Bird & Bone as a pop-up in the Wynwood neighborhood in Miami, and ended up developing that concept for The Confidante as its main restaurant,” Hales said.

“It’s my interpretation as a young chef of Southern American food crossing over into a steakhouse concept,” he added. “It’s my story of finding out and exploring American food and what is truly American—what is the food of the South that’s traditional that I can put my spin on?”

[Featured Recipe: Chef Richard Hales' Tuna Poke]

Hales puts in the legwork to perfect his craft, having traveled throughout Southeast Asia, China and Japan to sharpen his Asian cuisine chops. Hales also worked with world-renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten at New York City’s Thai-inspired French restaurant Vong and studied under Jacques Pepin at New York City’s famed French Culinary Institute.

His most recent effort has brought him home to the South.

“I traveled through Savannah, Charleston, Asheville, Austin, New Orleans, Nashville, Dallas, and I sort of picked what I liked from these different cities to create a menu that makes sense here in Miami,” he said.

Think Nashville hot chicken, snacks such as deviled ham and smoked potato and egg salad served in Mason jars, pimento cheese and oxtail with benne seed wafers, and perhaps some bourbon cake with cinnamon whipped cream topped with candied pecans for dessert.

Hales is a marquee chef in Miami, leading a restaurant group that made waves after opening the Korean street food-inspired Sakaya Kitchen in 2009, which was featured on the Food Network with Guy Fieri and on the Travel Channel with Anthony Bourdain.

Other standout Hales restaurant concepts in Miami include his flagship Chinese eatery Blackbrick, hailed by Bon Appetit Magazine as one of its “Top 50 Best New Restaurants in America” in 2014.

Group Offerings at The Confidante

At Bird & Bone, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with an option for poolside service, meeting groups of up to 50 can expect an environment that values a sense of place.

The hotel also uses its historic Spanish-style “backyard bungalow,” 1930s House, for group dining, upping the capacity to 100 inside and outside on a terrace and offering cuisine from Bird & Bone.

“I think there’s a big disparity between the participants of a meeting eating in an environment that has chef-driven concepts and then going into a meeting environment and it’s sort of that same old banquet food,” Hales said. “What we’re trying to do and becoming successful at is offering that sort of bespoke experience to the meeting planner. We’re going to serve them cuisine that has a sense of place, so they know they’re in Miami at The Confidante.”

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