In late February, Timon Balloo was running Miami’s hottest restaurant, Balloo, an idiosyncratic Caribbean hideaway at the end of an empty hallway on the ground floor of a downtown tower.
“We had great momentum and national accolades,” says the chef. (Disclosure: I reviewed the restaurant favorably for Fortune). “We were very high-spirited, a lot of enthusiasm. Building this restaurant was very sentimental and emotional.”
Balloo had spent the bulk of his career in more of a corporate dining environment, and this new restaurant represented a return to and embrace of his Trinidadian roots. In other words, it was personal, “and to see it well received and genuinely portrayed was really fulfilling.”
Balloo closed the restaurant on March 7 for what he thought…