Kadish Breez and Parallel at Billboardlive,
At the new multi-media entertainment Billboardlive,
Ephraim Kadish, executive vice-president
of food and beverage, has created a food
concept for the eyes, the palate and the
pocketbook, that stands out amid the lights,
the banks of sound and recording equipment,
and the many bars.
When an entertainment behemoth like
Billboardlive steps onto Miami’s South
Beach dining scene, you can feel the
ground shake. As this startling concept
in multi-media-charged venue emerged
last month, Ephraim Kadish, the ringmaster
of a culinary tsunami stepped forward.
At the top edge of the wave is Billboardlive’s
compound at 1501 Collins Avenue a
dining, dancing, recording and performance
center conceived and built by Mitchell
Going for the “wow” effect, CEO Chait
tapped Kadish, the former China Grill
Management’s corporate chef, to make
the new center a top-of-the-chart destination
for South Floridian diners.
Making it happen
Here, Kadish has created two restaurants:
The easy-on-the-eye Breez, with its
Asian-influenced selection of fresh
fish and delightfully different approach
to sushi, and the decadently posh eye-candy
that is named Parallel, where the menu
circumnavigates the globe on the 15th
parallel. “Billboardlive’s on Ocean
Drive and 15th St. The ocean part became
Breez. I took the 15th part and looked
at a map. I saw that the 15th parallel
runs through Australia, Indonesia, the
tip of Asia, South Africa and Latin
America. So I’m going to bring all that
together in a family-style restaurant,
where the plates are dramatically presented,
meant to share, to give different flavors,
textures, that to my knowledge have
never been seen before,” he muses.
These Kadish visions are surrounded
by a state-of-the-art production recording
studio, a dance club with live music,
and VIP lounges. “Billboard is a new
multi-media approach to entertainment,”
he explains. “Everybody eats. Everybody
listens to music. It’s stimulation that
changes every day.”
There’s just no script for this show.
When it ramps up it moves all by itself.
And standing in the center of all this
activity, amid the lights, the banks
of sound and recording equipment and
the bustle of staff, is Kadish in
his own Zen space making it all happen.
He is a bull of a man, with a quick
smile and an engaging, low-key, almost
shy manner. But the power is there.
It’s in the tilt of his head the squared
shoulders the flicker of intensity
across his eyes. The American-born former
Israeli paratrooper wears a black band
around his left wrist. “To remind me
of where I’ve been,” he says. He’s talking
about the Lebanese War, about feelings
that he still can’t talk about today
but that strength provides what shakes
him and makes him who he is.
Driven is the word Kadish, executive
vice-president of food and beverage
for Billboardlive, and chef of both
Breez and Parallel, ascribes to himself.
“I’m focused,” he says. “You have to
be. If you get crazy, the staff gets
crazy. I stay calm, and I lead by example.”
“I never work alone,” Kadish continues.
“Everyone has a different thought about
what food can be. I listen, take the
dream, and turn it into a reality
through other people.” With a shrug
of his shoulder, he uses the word “simple”
to describe his food. “Really good food
is honest about its flavors,” he explains.
“My food is simple; it has, at the most,
maybe 6 ingredients all working to
tie the dish together.”
Part artist and part historian Kadish
is a master of food architecture. “My
concept is for the eyes, the palate
and the pocketbook. When I look at an
empty plate, I see a blank canvas,”
he explains. Each dish becomes a personal
A meteoric career
Coming from an unpretentious food background,
Kadish had no early aspirations to cook.
There were no hints of his creative
culinary talents, and no family background
in the food business with the exception
of a boyhood friend whose father had
a catering company. “I didn’t find any
great meaning to life in school,” says
Kadish. “Besides, I was a terrible student.
Especially in math. I didn’t figure
out until many years later that if you
put a dollar sign in front of numbers,
they can take on a whole new meaning.”
He went on to study physical therapy
at Rutgers University. Then, restless,
he decided to travel. Kadish spent the
next several years traveling through
Europe, eventually settling in Israel,
where he learned to farm, became an
Israeli citizen, and found what he felt
he was looking for. “All this time I
was looking for the meaning in my life,”
he reflects. “And what I found was the
meaning of other people’s lives.”
Eventually, he returned to the States,
and found his life had gone in full
circle back home, he re-joined his
old friend at the catering company.
And the epiphany happened. As he looked
back over his life, he saw that he kept
coming back to food. Each path he had
taken had led him back to the same place.
Once he saw it, the rise was rapid.
The New York Restaurant School of Continuing
Education taught him the fundamentals,
and he spread his wings at the Sign
of the Dove in New York, at Arizona
206 and at Yellow Fingers. Then there
was China Grill. There, a completely
“new language in gastronomy” fell into
place for him, and subsequent travels
to Singapore and Bali added new flavors
with which to express his talent.
Today, it’s hard to separate the accomplishments
from the man. There are layers of complexity,
layers of calm, excitement, power, and
introspection a description of Billboardlive?
Or a description of Ephraim Kadish?
Salmon, Asparagus, with Salt and
Vinegar Mashed Potatoes
(May be multiplied
evenly to accommodate any number
oz. salmon fillet with skin
6 pieces of thin asparagus
2 baking potatoes
1 oz. olive oil
rice wine vinegar
2 oz butter
2 oz whole milk white
a hot grill, cook the salmon skin
side down until it is crispy,
about three to five minutes. Then
turn until done, about two minutes.
Pierce the potatoes’ skin with
a fork in four locations. Cook
the potatoes in a microwave until
done. Slice in half and scoop
the insides into a bowl. Immediately,
using a fork, incorporate butter,
whole milk, rice wine vinegar
and salt to taste. Do not let
it get too loose. Season the asparagus
with olive oil, salt and white
pepper. Put on the grill for three
minutes, then remove.
assemble: put the mashed potatoes
in the middle of the plate. Place
the salmon on top. Then place
the asparagus leaning on the potatoes,
facing the center of the plate.
Penny is a freelance writer and a reporter
for the Miami Herald. She lives in Hollywood,