Executive Chef Wolfgang Birk
Chef Birk made his mark on Miami with the opening of the five-diamond restaurant at Casa Casuarina in the former Versace mansion in 2005, the same year he served in the coveted position of opening host chef at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival.
A four-time Food & Wine magazine Best Chef nominee, Birk graduated with honors from the Culinary Institute for Hotels and Restaurants in Pescara, Italy, and over the course of his career has honed his craft at such
establishments as the two Michelin-starred Rino Casati in Cologne, Germany; the four-star, four-diamond Condado Plaza in Puerto Rico; Stefano Battistini’s widely acclaimed Colors in New York, and the five-star Carenage Bay Beach & Golf Club Resort in the Grenadine Islands.
Prior to joining Area 31, Chef Birk was the executive chef at Cooper Avenue in Miami Beach, a groundbreaking gourmet marketplace and restaurant. Now he brings his vast international knowledge of sustainability, finesse with local ingredients and passion for vibrant, healthy cuisine that inspires conversation to the Area 31 kitchen.
Head Bartender Dean Feddaoui
Growing up with a large family on a farm in Algeria, Dean Feddaoui learned about the power of relationships from an early age, and he brings that welcoming philosophy to Area 31. Since embarking on his own version of the American dream in 2004, Dean has studied the craft of the cocktail, shaping bar programs at venues ranging from Michael Psilakis and Donatella Arpaia’s Anthos and Mia Dona, Brasserie 8 ½ 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. Whether he’s grabbing herbs from the rooftop garden or whipping up a house-made syrup from fresh-picked strawberries, Dean is determined to create drinks that are balanced and accessible. If he’s not behind the bar, you’re likely to Dean on a bicycle, refinishing vintage furniture or attempting to combine old French music with ‘70s blues guitar.
Director of Food & Beverage Michael DeGano
With 19 years of experience at Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants under his belt, DeGano is a leader with a proven track record of high performance and strong determination. Prior to his move to sunny south Florida, DeGano worked with Kimpton properties around the country including Washington D.C., Seattle and Boston. He was selected as one of 20 leaders in the company to be a Kimpton Cultural Cornerstone Trainer while successfully launching Brabo and Jackson 20 in Washington, D.C. and received the Kimpton “Individuality” Award while managing Poste Brasserie.