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Dean James Max
Dean James Max
“My love of food comes from living in Florence, Italy, my technique from working with French chefs and my understanding of what freshness is all about from growing up on a farm in Virginia.”

You would never have had to meet Chef Dean to feel his passion, sincerity, and respect for what you are about to eat, regardless of the course. I would equate his cooking to the enthusiasm of a child, the wisdom of a professor, and the talent of an artist rolled up in one.

2010 Crowned King of American Seafood after winning the Great American Seafood Cook-off in New Orleans representing the state of Florida
2009 & 2010 Nominated for Best Chef of the South, James Beard Foundation
2005 Boca Raton Magazine voted Chef Max “Best Chef” in south Florida.
2005 Readers Poll for New Times resulted in 4 awards for 3030 Ocean…Best Seafood, Best Service, Best Raw Bar, Best Broward Restaurant
2006 National Restaurant Association voted Chef Max Best chef of South Florida
2006 3030 Ocean received Best Seafood Restaurant, and Chef Max Best Chef
2007 Best Chef South Florida, Fort Lauderdale Magazine
2008 Best Chef Boca Raton Magazine
2009 Best Chef South Florida, New Times Magazine
2009 Chef Chair for Taste of the Nation
2007-2009 Best Seafood Restaurant South Florida by Gold Coast Magazine
2008-09 Board member at large Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association
2005-2009 Board member of the Seafood & Aquaculture Advisory Board reporting to the Department of Agriculture
2004-2009 Sponsored by the Wild American Shrimp Organization
2008-09 Board member for the culinary division of the Art Institute, Fort Lauderdale

Considering his position as one of South Florida’s foremost seafood provocateurs, it’s not surprising to discover that Dean James Max, the Executive Chef of 3030 Ocean, located on Fort Lauderdale beach at the beautiful Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa, grew up on small farm just minutes from the rich shores of Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay. “There’s something about the water which is magical to me,” Max muses in the introduction to his cookbook, A Life by the Sea, which was released in April 2006. “My love of food is fed from the fond memories of smells and tastes of my childhood.”

The memories of his teenage years, spent fishing and cooking with his chef grandfather on the Jersey Shore resonate at 3030. Launched in December 2000, the warm, open space is the perfect venue for Max’s sophisticated yet simple modern American seafood creations, full of fresh-from-the ocean oysters, clams, fish and crabs. “Modern cuisine embraces a dedication to simplicity, freshness and intensity of flavor,” Max says. “Sourcing is the key. My cuisine relies more on balancing flavors than on heavy spicing so finding the best ingredients available is a must.”

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