Together, chefs Andrea Curto-Randazzo and Frank Randazzo have shown what great things can come out of a shared passion for cooking, and life. The husband and wife team, who met while working at New York’s Tribeca Grill, created Miami Beach’s Talula in 2003 to critical acclaim which included The New York Times, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, and Gourmet. Each of these two accomplished chefs brings a unique collection of experiences to the table.

ANDREA CURTO-RANDAZZO

For Andrea Curto-Randazzo, cooking is tightly woven with memories of family. Raised in an Italian family in Vero Beach, Florida, she was inspired by her grandmother’s spectacular cooking to pursue a career in the culinary arts. It would eventually lead to national fame including a cover of Food & Wine. Starting out after graduating from the Culinary Institute of America with honors, she worked at New York’s Tribeca Grill under Don Pintabona and incidentally, met Frank Randazzo, her future husband and business partner. Fast forward to 1996, when she returned to South Florida to take on a position as pastry and sous chef at The Heights, and once again crossed paths with Randazzo.

In 1998, she made a decision that would be pivotal to her career, joining the staff of Wish at The Hotel on Miami Beach as an executive sous chef under executive Chef Gary Robbins. She was promoted to executive chef after his departure, and her culinary talents catapulted her into the spotlight. Wish was like a wish come true, as it soon became named “Best New Restaurant” by Esquire food critic John Mariani and received the prestigious Mobil four-star rating. In 2003, Curto-Randazzo realized her own dream of opening a restaurant with now-husband Frank. Named Talula www.talulaonline.com, it has become a South Florida dining hotspot, where eclectic American cuisine is sparked by Italian nuances, and flavors from Asia and the Southwest.

FRANK CURTO-RANDAZZO

Working at Forest Inn, a fine-dining Italian eatery in his native Staten Island, as a teenager, little could Frank Randazzo know that one day he would open up his own ultra-popular restaurant, with his wife and partner no less. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island, Randazzo’s career took him to Boston where he worked at The Ritz-Carlton in Back Bay, and Providence’s 3 Steeple Street. Later on in New York City, he would hone his skills at some of the city’s finest restaurants such as Aquavit, Arizona 206 and Tribeca Grill—where he would first meet future wife and co-creator chef Andrea Curto.

Frank and Andrea would find they had another position in common when he headed south to take on the executive chef position at The Heights in Coral Gables, Florida. Under his guidance, The Heights earned an “Exceptional” rating from The Miami Herald, a “Best of the Brightest” by South Florida magazine and “Best New Restaurant” of The Heights by Miami New Times. He continued to perfect his talents at The Gaucho Room, a high-end steakhouse at Loews Miami Beach which garnered both the Mobil four-star and AAA four diamond rating under his direction.

In 2003, Frank accomplished a long-held goal when together with wife/chef Andrea, he opened Talula. Drawing locals with an acclaimed menu influenced by flavors from around the world, including the Caribbean, Asian, Latin America, America and Italy, Talula’s multicultural mindset is a fitting addition to Miami Beach’s thriving arts district. In Fall 2005, the couple celebrated their most memorable collaboration when they welcomed the birth of their daughter.

 

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