I Heart Mac & Cheese
I Heart Mac & Cheese is a fast casual concept specializing in customizable, made-to-order macaroni and cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches. The menu combines the creativity of Chef Michael Blum, with his award-winning recipe resulting in a grown-up approach to this classic childhood dish.
Born and raised in Long Island, New York, Michael Blum grew up in a home that celebrated fine art. The color and whimsicality in the palettes of Lautrec, Rockwell and Picasso inspired Blum to imagine a dinner plate as a blank canvas. Blum graduated with a degree from the University of Arizona in Tucson and went on to graduate first in his class from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.
In 2004, Blum opened his first restaurant Michael’s Kitchen, in Hollywood, Florida. The restaurant’s staff was hailed for their performance of choreographed culinary exhibitions, which Blum characterizes as the “Cirque de Soleil” of dining. The popular dining destination was quickly dubbed a culinary circus in the press and Blum was heralded as the charismatic ringleader.This recipe for success continued as Blum relocated his Hollywood restaurant to the beach, bringing the cure for boring food, to the former home of the legendary Newport Pub at the Newport Beachside Resort in Sunny Isles.
Today, after more than 25 years in the restaurant industry, Blum is opening his second concept, I Heart Mac & Cheese in Fort Lauderdale. Debuting this March, the fast casual concept will specialize in one-of-a-kind, customizable macaroni and cheese. Blum is at his finest, taking his award-winning recipe and allowing guests to dream up endless flavor combinations to create their favorite version of the beloved dish.
Blum has taken an active role within the South Florida culinary community. He has participated in the South Beach Wine and Food Festival’s Grand Tasting Tent, Food Network’s Hot Chefs Challenge and cooked for Francis Ford Coppola, company executives and friends at the Food and Wine Classic in Aspen. In addition, Blum’s credits include a long list of national and regional television appearances including cooking segments on NBC’s nationally-televised the “Today” show.