In a mutually agreed upon pact, Chef Dean James Max has parted ways with 3030 Ocean, a restaurant he put on Fort Lauderdale’s culinary map over a decade ago.
“I think after 14 years, there was just a need for change for both parties,” he said. A non-compete clause he had at the upscale Harbor Beach Marriott property on A1A meant Max couldn’t open any other restaurant in Broward County.
He is a chef partner at several other properties in the Cayman Islands, Dallas, Ohio, Connecticut and California, and all promote the theme of sustainability and farm-to-table fresh fare.
Max brought the green concept to 3030 Ocean, winning accolades for the fresh and sustainable seafood featured on the menu. His work in showcasing local farmers, fishermen and food producers was noted by the area Slow Foods chapters which Max helps promote.
The constraints of operating a hotel restaurant, and corporate bosses that sometimes stifle chef creativity are what Max will leave behind.
“I really want to do more creative and fun things in Fort Lauderdale that are more approachable than just fine dining. There is so much room to do great chef-driven food in town that it’s time to venture out and really have some fun.”
He says he already has some new concepts in the works, but no timetable for openings as of this writing.