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Michael McLaurin

Big Easy Winebar & Grill

A Chicago native, Big Easy Winebar & Grill’s Executive Chef Michael McLaurin has always nurtured a passion for food and unending desire to learn. To turn that passion into a career, McLaurin earned a degree in Culinary and Pastry Arts from the Washburn Culinary Institute in Chicago, Illinois.

He began his gastronomic career in the Windy City as a Sous Chef at Zed 451, a modern churrascaria, where he was first exposed to a wide selection of international flavors and cooking styles. Looking to expand his culinary techniques, McLaurin seized the opportunity to take on a temporary role as Sous Chef for Levy Restaurants in Flushing, Queens, cooking for the VIP programs at the U.S. Open Tennis Championships in 2008.McLaurin returned to Chicago to take the role of Chef de Cuisine at Moxie Food and Drink, an upscale-casual American eatery, where he managed their culinary operations and maintained a quality, high volume environment.

In late 2009, McLaurin went back to the Big Apple to fill the role of Lead Broiler/Butcher at the award-winning Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House in New York’s Times Square. McLaurin spent two years sharpening his skills at the traditional American eatery before he was promoted to Sous Chef. Six years later, the chef found his way to the Sunshine State to make his debut as Executive Chef for the Del Frisco’s Grille in West Palm Beach.

In 2016, McLaurin took the role of Executive Chef in Miami Beach at the James Beard nominated “Best New Restaurant,” Yardbird Southern Table and Bar, serving up a traditional selection of regionally inspired Southern fare. Supervising a full kitchen staff of 40 including the pastry team and Sous Chef, McLaurin was also able to focus on the pursuit of farm-fresh ingredients, classic Southern cooking, and good, old-fashioned hospitality. Next up in his culinary venture, McLaurin moved to Jupiter, Florida to get a taste of Italian cuisine as Executive Chef at Bravo Cucina Italiana. A stunning waterside concept, McLaurin spearheaded the managerial efforts while simultaneously mentoring up-and-coming professionals in the culinary world.

Executive Chef of Big Easy Winebar & Grill, McLaurin combines all his culminated knowledge of worldly cuisine and wood-fired flavors into the original, new restaurant concept hailing from the Western Cape region of South Africa. With its brand-new location ideally situated at the heart of Miami in Brickell City Centre, Big Easy gives Miamians a taste of authentic South African cuisine which features prime cuts of meat and seafood fresh from the South Atlantic and Indian oceans.

More about Michael McLaurin

What is your ultimate comfort food?: Sushi If you weren't a chef, what would you be?: Storm Chaser What three things are always in your pantry?: Sriracha, Nutella and a bottle of Jameson If you could cook with anyone in the world, who would it be?: My great-aunt