Meet the Team
Chef Joe Bonavita
Chef Joe Bonavita’s love for cooking and the sea began at an early age. Hailing from a Sicilian family with epicurean roots, Bonavita’s family first lived in Smithtown, New York, on the North Shore of Long Island. They later moved to the picturesque hamlet of Oxford, Connecticut. Weekends were spent fishing with his father on Long Island Sound.
Chef Bonavita can attribute some of his early successes from his creative culinary experience staging at two of New York City’s iconic dining destinations: Per Se and Le Bernardin, where he built upon his skills after studying culinary management at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. After living in Chicago for a few years, the young chef returned to New York City taking residence as executive sous chef at chef Todd English’s flagship restaurant, Olives. After his tenure, he advanced under chef Graham Elliot at Primary Food & Drink.
From one noteworthy kitchen to another, finalizing in South Florida, Bonavita has led the sweet and savory teams at The Tideline Ocean Resort, as a chef/partner in Trophy Room Restaurant, and most recently STK Steakhouse, based in Miami Beach. The high-quality, local produce and sustainable seafood have given him an opportunity to showcase his talents.
Chef considers his style “ingredient-driven, global cuisine,” and is palpable and ever-present in his new public and insider’s menus at Wet Miami. Being surrounded by beautiful ingredients at hand inspires a fresh-from-the-sea meats high end beef approach to menu development, creating a unique surf and turf experience. Bonavita expresses “the way (he) creates innovative dishes honestly; I just take the best ingredients possible and highlight them in a way that makes them shine best!” Always in a whimsical and fun way that is solely unique through his dynamic professional background.
Rahmi Aksoy was born in Germany and trained at the American Hospitality University in Turkey before going on to amass. The hospitality veteran has over 18 years of experience, he has launched restaurants and hotel properties across Turkey and the United States, for lucrative companies like Hilton and Sheraton Hotels, to name a few.
For the last seven years of his career, Aksoy steered Oceanos Restaurant Group to become a five-star success as the company’s General Manager and most recently worked for two years as Operations Manager for the Salt Bae Steakhouse brand. It was during this time that Aksoy traveled the world for Salt Bae with the goal of growing business in locations including Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Turkey. As Salt Bae’s right hand, Aksoy also opened and managed the renowned Nusr-et steakhouses in both Miami and New York. Each U.S. location generates $30 million dollars annually. Aksoy’s hospitality industry prowess is demonstrated through his unyielding commitment and perseverance.