Regardless of where a restaurant is located, change is an important thing to keep the business fresh, and the world of Key West restaurants is no different.
It may be hard to imagine that a tiny island, not even eight square miles, that sits over one hundred miles from the mainland, might be home to one of the most competitive restaurant markets in the world, but that is indeed the reality of Key West restaurants. With some of the finest chefs from around the world eager to make a name for themselves while living in paradise, the level of food and the dining experiences are unmatched by the dining scenes in cities fifty times the size of Key West, Florida. Now, one of those restaurants that have been regarded as the leader of the island, thanks to its new island cuisine, is poised to shake up the scene once again.
"Starting this fall, we will be introducing a brand new menu that will introduce the work of our new head chef," said Norman Vogel, owner of the Roof Top Cafe. "We have had an amazing nine year run with Chef Brendan Orr, and never would have had the successes we've achieved without his visionary work in the kitchen, but in this industry, the one constant is change, and we were both looking for the next new adventure in our lives."
Mr. Vogel admitted that there may be a few other constants, such as some of the award winning dishes that have helped make his restaurant the number one draw for couples who are looking for island weddings that provide the greatest experience, but he also said that in a new direction, he is not immediately announcing a successor. Instead, he will be bringing in some of the most sought after chefs on the island, as well as many internationally recognized kitchen people, to show him and his staff what they are capable of and what direction they would be taking the restaurant. This way, he can be assured that he would be hiring on skill and not reputation.
"Many people come down here for island vacations, go out to a nice dinner and think 'I could do that.' But being a chef somewhere else in the world doesn't mean you have what it takes to be successful here. We pride ourselves on being the best choice for Key West restaurants, especially for people celebrating island weddings. We have set the bar high, and I won't settle for anyone who doesn't exceed it."
For more information on the Roof Top Cafe, please visit their website: http://www.rooftopcafekeywest.com/
Jack Terry is a travel and lifestyle writer who lived in Key West for several years.