Azul names Benjamin Murray chef de cuisine

Azul at the Mandarin Oriental Miami.

Azul, the Mandarin Oriental Miami’s signature fine-dining restaurant, has promoted Benjamin Murray to chef de cuisine from sous chef, taking over the 120-seat waterfront destination. 

Prior to joining Azul (500 Brickell Key Dr.), Murray cooked in Arizona, Massachusetts and locally at Zuma and Area 31. He plans to tweak Azul’s menu of “modern American cuisine with Asian influences” this summer. 

Meanwhile, guests can preview the menu changes at a four-course Hawk and Horse Vineyards wine dinner at 7 p.m. on July 16. Azul wine director Todd Phillips will pair wines, and attendees can meet Hawk and Horse winemaker Mitch Hawkins. Menu highlights include strawberry gazpacho with king crab; duck with mushroom, coffee and raspberry; and smoked short rib with bone marrow and feta. The price is $140 a person and reservations are required.   

Murray takes over Azul’s kitchen after the departure of William Crandall, who left last month and has joined Izzy’s Fish & Oyster as chef de cuisine.  

Crandall took over after Jacob Anaya, who left Azul in 2013 and left Miami last month

Anaya took over after Joel Huff.

Huff took over after Clay Conley.

And Conley took over after Michelle Bernstein, who was Azul’s opening chef in 2000.