Chef Dean James Max leaves 3030 Ocean

Chef Dean James Max in his restaurant in 2009. (Sun Sentinel file)

After 14 years overseeing the award-winning 3030 Ocean at Harbor Beach Marriott Resort and Spa, chef Dean James Max is moving on.

“It was time for a change after all these years,” says Max, who will leave the Fort Lauderdale restaurant in the middle of August. “There’s a lot of really creative stuff happening in Miami right now, which I’d love to make happen in Fort Lauderdale.”

Max says we should expect to see him open a larger restaurant with street presence instead of a resort location. He says it will be less expensive than 3030, but adhere to his longtime farm-to-table philosophy. Max and his partners are currently searching for a location.

Max operates several restaurants, including the just-opened James Republic in San Diego, Latitude 41 in Columbus, Ohio, and the Brasserie in Grand Cayman.


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“It’s not like I’m not busy,” says Max, 46, who grew up in Stuart and lives in Boca Raton with wife Amy and their three children. “South Florida’s my home. This is where I want to always keep my flagship restaurant.”

Patrick Manley, director of food and beverage at Harbor Beach Marriott, says 3030 Ocean will remain open following Max’s departure. In the middle of next year, the restaurant will be renovated and rebranded.

“We’re basically looking for the next celebrity chef to fill that position,” Manley says. “It will be difficult, because Dean is so well respected. Dean’s got a lot of other passions that he’s pursuing right now. We want to support him in whatever it is he wants to pursue.”