Wolfgang Birk brought a world of culinary experience when he arrived in Miami, having made his mark at Rino Casati in his native Germany, the four diamond Condado Plaza in Puerto Rico, Stefano Battistini's acclaimed Colors in New York and the five star Carenage Bay Beach & Golf Club Resort in the Grenadine Islands.
He had already won awards and rave media coverage by the time he opened Miami's Casa Casuarina in the former Versace Mansion in 2005, spearheading a team of international talent to create inspiring menus for the members-only clientele and adding to his accolades when Casa Casuarina become a five diamond resaurant and Birk was awarded the coveted position of Opening Host Chef for the South Beach Wine and Food Festival.
Chef Birk is also well-remembered for his stint as Executive Chef at Cooper Avenue in Miami Beach, the first marketplace to offer specialty gourmet cooking products, a full menu for table service and take-away food and drink all under one roof. Birk designed, developed and implemented the celebrated menus and recruited a top-notch, international culinary team.
At Area 31, Chef Birk continues to pursue new heights as he blends his experience and influences into dishes that are often elegant, always accessible and as fresh as the Miami culinary scene can get.
Raised in a large family on a farm in Algeria, Dean Feddaoui learned about the power of relationships from an early age, and he extends that welcoming philosophy to the neighborhood bar scene at Area 31. Since embarking on his own version of the American dream in 2004, Dean has studied the craft of both cocktails and bar programs at venues including Michael Psilakis and Donatella Arpaia's Anthos and Mia Dona, Brasserie 8, and Buddha Bar in New York and Bourbon Steak and Dirty Martini in Washington DC.
Dean loves tailoring drinks to his patrons' personalities while incorporating fresh, local ingredients with subtle new flavors. His first priority is to make everyone feel welcome - he likes to cultivate a sense of trust before delving into the libations.
"If you don't have a theme, it's just a bunch of liquid that tastes good in a glass." Dean explains. "And mixing cultures in a common theme in my life," Whether he's grabbing herbs from the rooftop garden or devising new methods for retaining the intensity of fresh strawberries in a house made syrup, Dean is determined to make his drinks balanced and accessible.
When not behind the bar, Dean can be found on a bicycle, refinishing old furniture, or attempting to combine vintage French music with 70s blues guitar.