A British Empire Comes to Miami Beach with Chauvet

May 1, 2009 by Mobile Beat

MIAMI BEACH, FL. — Record label Hed Kandi, a radio phenomenon known for its own distinctive artwork in the United Kingdom, recently launched its first U.S. venture, a namesake a restaurant/lounge in the club district of Miami Beach.

Hed Kandi’s theme is retro, reminiscent of the 1960s modern décor — modular, slick and minimalist – with colors of scarlet, plum, burgundy and gold. The lights play off a beaded curtain, gobo images swirl along the floor while DJs play “soulful house” tunes from the Hed Kandi label, a staple of music club since the label’s launch in 1999.

In contrast to the retro décor, the food is decidedly avant-garde. Chef Gabriel Rosario serves tapas-style dining after “taking the food apart and putting it back together in a different form,” a culinary technique called molecular gastronomy. A Caesar salad, for example, includes a small piece of romaine lettuce topped with a capsule containing the flavors of Caesar dressing, croutons and bacon. Shrimp bisque is served hot in six one-half ounce capsules. “When you put it in your mouth, it all comes together and is full of flavor,” he said. “It’s fun food.”

General Manager Brandon Kraese said the biggest design challenge was to make the 2,000-square-foot “space look as big as possible,” while keeping the lounge sexy and cozy,” and highlighting the edgy culinary presentations.
Kraese largely credits CHAUVET fixtures for setting the right tone. The design incorporates a Scorpion Storm laser, eight MiN Spot moving heads, and eight LED splash Jr. wash lights. “Lighting builds our image, it’s everything,” he said.

The compact, LED-fitted MiN Spot moving yokes, in particular, were a great choice, said Jorge Lobo, who performed much of the installation. “With our low ceilings, the MiN Spots have just the right push.”

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