Grove Bay Hospitality Group Collaborates with some of the Best Culinary Talent

Grove Bay Hospitality Group embodies the global culinary industry with its award-winning restaurants and top talent. The Miami-based award-winning restaurant group creates innovative and memorable dining experiences. Three partners lead the group, co-founders and CEOs Francesco Balli and Ignacio Garcia-Menocal, and COO Eddie Acevedo, who bring decades of combined hospitality experience to Grove Bay’s collective of eight (8) restaurants. Grove Bay’s partnerships with Top Chef alums like Jeremy Ford, Kenny Gilbert, Jeff McInnis, along with Janine Booth, enhance overall operations across all of their restaurants.

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“When we started this business 12 years ago, our vision was to create memorable dining experiences and we knew we couldn’t do that without strong culinary talent,” says Balli. “Working together with our chef partners has helped us grow and learn and we are so grateful to collaborate alongside the best in the business.”

In 2020, Grove Bay collaborated with renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson to open Red Rooster Overtown, a recipient of Michelin’s Bib Gourmand award. Grove Bay, in partnership with Top Chef winner and James Beard Award semifinalist Chef Ford, has opened and operates the Michelin-star restaurant Stubborn Seed in Miami Beach, Grove Bay owns and operates Stiltsville Fish Bar, Root & Bone Miami and Mi’talia Kitchen & Bar with chefs and power couple Janine Booth and Jeff McInnis. They also own Glass & Vine in Coconut Grove and in 2022, Grove Bay opened Bayshore Club, a stunning open-air waterfront restaurant in Coconut Grove, part of the Regatta Harbour project. In December 2022, Grove Bay launched Beauty & The Butcher with Chef Ford. Grove Bay also operates restaurants in airports, having most recently signed a deal with James Beard semifinalist Chef Scott Crawford to operate three restaurants within Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

Kenny Gilbert has taken on the role of the Vice President of Culinary Operations with Grove Bay Hospitality Group. Gilbert leads culinary operations across all Grove Bay restaurants, working closely alongside the group’s chef partners. He is responsible for menu inheritance, compliance, and food quality and is focused on implementing procedures to continue to elevate the group’s high restaurant standards.

“Chef Kenny Gilbert is a very talented chef who will bring an overarching culinary approach to each unique restaurant concept. We’ve worked with him in the past and know what he brings to the table. We’re excited he’s part of our team,” says Garcia-Menocal.

“Our guests don’t often see the operations side of things but without a seamless ops team the restaurants wouldn’t be successful,” adds Acevedo. “Working with our chef partners ensures that operations in the back of house run smoothly, and that the guest experience is catered every step of the way from the moment our guests walk through our doors to the second they sit down.”

A native Floridian, Chef Ford has been a beloved staple in the Miami dining scene for more than a decade. He trained under Chef Dean Max and eventually went on to helm the kitchen as executive chef for the opening of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Matador Room at the Edition Miami Beach. In 2017, shortly after he won ‘Top Chef’ season 13, he collaborated with Grove Bay to open Stubborn Seed, and the restaurant has gone on to earn vast critical acclaim since then, earning its first Michelin star in 2022.

Stubborn Seed, located in Miami’s South of Fifth neighborhood, features an inventive menu of rotating dishes made from locally sourced ingredients. Stubborn Seed aims to provide guests with a unique dining experience every visit. Offering the Chef’s Tasting Menu, guests can enjoy eight courses crafted with precision and unmatched detail for an unforgettable dining experience from start to finish.

He also opened Beauty & The Butcher, naming it as a nod to his eldest daughter, Madelynn (the beauty) and Jeremy (the butcher). Being a dad for the first time gave Chef Ford more purpose and motivation to work harder; this one’s for her and her sisters. The menu is centered on the concept of community from the local farmers and purveyors where ingredients are sourced to the creative collaboration between team members. Dishes are intended to be shared collectively and are focused on celebrating ingredients. There is a selection of shareable plates, rotating meats, and a dry aging program. Specialty cocktails bring an elevated style and modern technique to the beverage program, with each drink featuring a “motley crew” of different flavor profiles, paying homage to the core classics and adding an updated modern twist to create a unique cocktail experience for guests.

Florida native Chef McInnis grew up surrounded by the sun and sea. He started his culinary career at the age of 16 and then went on to attend Johnson & Wales University. After competing on the award-winning show Top Chef, Chef McInnis returned to Florida to helm the kitchen of the popular restaurant, Yardbird. Chef McInnis earned three James Beard nominations in just two years for his famed southern comfort food in Miami Beach.

Born and raised in Australia, Chef Booth soon set off to travel the world with various pit stops in Europe and Asia. After expanding her worldview and culinary skills, Booth later settled in Miami—another melting pot—where she cooked in some of the city’s most renowned restaurants. She went on to compete in the award-winning show Top Chef alongside 18 other chefs. After major successes, including features on Forbes’ and Zagat’s “30 under 30” lists, Booth returned to Miami to work on new restaurant concepts with partner Jeff McInnis.

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As a power couple, Chef Booth and Chef McInnis are the executive chefs of popular Miami restaurants Stiltsville Fish Bar, Root & Bone, and Mi’Talia Kitchen & Bar, offering a variety of cuisines for tourists and locals. These restaurants have just the right dish to satisfy any craving for fresh seafood, Italian-inspired cooking, or Southern-style comfort.

In addition to its partnerships with chefs, Garcia-Menocal, Balli and Acevedo are passionate about creating an equitable, diverse and respectful workplace. As a small business with all three partners of Hispanic origin, providing equal opportunities and taking care of its staff is at the core of Grove Bay’s company values.

“We are committed to creating equal and accessible opportunities for everyone, and we are proud of the melting pot of cultures represented in Miami and within our restaurants. We value our employees and take pride in being recognized as one of the best places to work in South Florida by our staff,” says Garcia-Menocal. “Part of our values includes giving back to the community in meaningful ways. That’s why, earlier this year, we launched the Grove Bay Foundation, in partnership with Florida International University Chaplin School of Hospitality Management (the largest hospitality campus in Miami), to create and award scholarships to students studying the hospitality industry over the next five years.”

Grove Bay Hospitality Group features a winning Michelin-star restaurant and James Beard nominee, along with other awards and accolades. This includes Michelin Star (Stubborn Seed), Michelin Bib Gourmand (Red Rooster Overtown), 2022 Restaurant Hospitality (Power List), and South Florida Business Journal (Best Places to Work). For more info, visit and follow on Facebook @ grovebaygroup and Instagram @grovebaygroup.