Branlard, waving goodbye to Central Florida, heads for Miami's Fountainbleu

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Branlard headshotLaurent Branlard, the award-winning pastry chef, is leaving the Lake Nona Wave hotel just months after its opening to take the pastry chef position at the Fountainbleu Miami Beach.

Branlard is the only person to win the World Pastry Team Championship competition twice, in 2002 and again in 2008. He said Monday that he had been recruited by a headhunter to move to the fabled Miami hotel. He’ll be leaving Florida’s newest hotel for one of its older

Just last week, we reviewed Bacán, the signature restaurant at the Wave and singled out Branlard’s dessert as one of many hight points.

Prior to joining the Lake Nona Wave, Branlard had been at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort since 2002. When he announced in October that he was taking the position at the then not-yet-open Wave, he told me that one of the attractive points was that it was a boutique hotel with only 234 rooms. “We won’t have to mass feed and do mass banquets,” he said then.

He’ll likely be back in the banquet business. The Fountainbleu, which opened in 1954 on the stretch of Collins Avenue known as Millionaires’ Row, has more than 1500 room. It’s signature restaurants include Hakkasan; Scarpetta by Scott Conant, a New York Italian; and Stripsteak by Michael Mina.

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