South Florida chef branches out to the Bahamas

South Florida-based chef and restaurateur Dean James Max is the new culinary director of Pink Sands Resort on Harbour Island in the Bahamas.

He’ll be overseeing all food and beverage programs for the resort, including at its Garden Terrace Cafe and Blue Bar. Max’s menus, which debut Nov. 15, focus on “modern Bahamian cuisine” centered around locally sourced ingredients. His new dishes include a fish charcuterie platter (so hot right now), snapper and conch soup with pumpkin and coconut, and conch schnitzel with guava jam. 

In the Bahamas, Max will join Miami chef Cindy Hutson, who runs Harbour Island’s The Restaurant at the Dunmore. The two friends also operate nearby restaurants in Grand Cayman, where Max has his Brasserie and Hutson runs an outpost of her Ortanique. 

Max’s move means that his South Florida fans will have to keep waiting for the chef’s return to a professional kitchen here. He parted ways last year with 3030 Ocean in Fort Lauderdale, where he made a name for himself over 14 years. At the time, Max said South Florida is “where I want to always keep my flagship restaurant.”

In addition to the Grand Cayman restaurant and new gig in the Bahamas, Max’s DJM Restaurants operates Amp 150 in Cleveland, Parallel Post in Connecticut, Asador in Dallas and James Republic in Long Beach, California.