Michael R. Shikany
Behind every great kitchen is a talented chef; and at SHIKANY, there is Executive Chef and Owner, Michael Shikany. In April 2014, after years of hard work, Shikany unveiled his 4,000-square-foot master piece, a totally transformed experiential kitchen located in Miami’s Wynwood.
Shikany’s appreciation for food is more intricate than the average chef and it is layered in its approach. Holding a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from George Washington University, he admits to having a small infatuation with the complex – though seemingly straight forward – relationship that people share with food. His enthusiasm stems from the ability to transform something as simple as a few ingredients into a business.
“Depending on where you are geographically and emotionally, peoples’ relationship with food change,” said Shikany. As a Miami native, he found the city’s dining scene to be fueled by the vibrant colors, rich culture and tropical influences. As such, Shikany began his formal teaching at the epicenter of all things “South Beach,” SUSHISAMBA dromo.
Knowledge is power, and so Shikany moved on to other opportunities to round out his resume. During his four years spent at Cindy Hutson’s Ortanique on the Mile in Coral Gables, he dabbled in both front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house operations, ranging from Special Events Manager to the General Manager and Wine Director for the company. During his time as General Manager in 2005, Shikany received the Five Star Diamond Award for Excellence in Service.
“There has always been a deep divide between what happens in the kitchen and what happens on the floor of a restaurant,” says Shikany, who believes the proverbial swinging door works better when it goes both ways. He believes that harmony and balance between the floor and the kitchen create a heightened experience for guests. When Shikany joined forces with Peruvian chef, Jean Paul Desmaison, to open La Cofradia, he looked to achieve just that.
The restaurant was acknowledged for his personally crafted, award-winning boutique wine list with the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence (2007), as well as Best Service by Miami New Times (2007), but Shikany wanted more. So in 2009, he took all of his experiences and launched SHIKANY, an innovative hybrid of catering, consulting, interactive cooking and dining experiences. This successful venture was the beginning of the SHIKANY brand that exists today. In 2014, the brand expanded further with the opening of SHIKANY; a composition book of all his best learning’s scripted.
SHIKANY is the grand muse for Shikany’s inspiration gathered from his healthy resume of hands-on-experience provided through international travels and stagés at some of country’s most prestigious dining institutions including L’Ecole, Le Bernardin, Babbo, Tao and Gramercy Tavern.
Shikany graduated with honors from the French Culinary Institute in New York.