MILA Group, the Miami Beach restaurant concern, has announced the culinary team for its upcoming Winter Park restaurant, Ava MediterrAgean, which will occupy the former Luma on Park space.
Hung Huynh, the season-three winner of the cooking-competition show Top Chef, will be the executive chef. Huynh, who was born in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, but raised in Pittsfield, Mass., is a 2002 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. (He earned money for his culinary training by working at a teppanyaki restaurant in Puerto Rico where he had to fake an Asian accent.)
Huynh’s resume included stints at New York’s Lespinasse and Per Se and the Las Vegas Guy Savoy. Following his 2007 win on Top Chef, he led the kitchens at Catch NYC and The General.
Ava’s culinary team also includes Daniel Garner and Erick Melendez as MILA Group’s corporate head chef and corporate research and development chef, respectively. Garner was previously senior sous chef at Nobu Malibu and Melendez was with Zuma in Miami, New York, London and Rome.