‘Local’s Choice’ Tips from Chef Christian Ledwith

Local's Choice
This Local’s Choice story spotlights a local resident and their recommendations on where to dine, explore and relax in the Florida Keys.

Christian Ledwith is the 30-year-old chef at Chef Michael’s, the popular 60-seat restaurant in Islamorada that’s nearly always packed. He grew up in the Upper Keys, graduating from Island Christian School in 2011.

That same year, father Michael opened his own restaurant. 

“I followed in his footsteps. I started as a bus boy and in the dish pit,” the younger Ledwith recalled. “I enjoyed working there and my father trained me.”

Fresh nightly seafood selections at Chef Michael’s might include lionfish, snowy grouper, sea scallops, tripletail, yellowtail snapper or hogfish.

When not in the kitchen, Ledwith spends time taking road trips, paddling in Keys waters and is “addicted to pickleball.”  

In addition, he likes to swim with his four-year-old daughter Adeline — who is taking swimming lessons from the same woman who taught Ledwith to swim. 

Ledwith also enjoys private catering and plans to maintain the exceptional and delicious dining standards at Chef Michael’s.

His motto: You cannot see your reflection in boiling water. Similarly, you can't see the truth in a state of anger. When the water is calm, clarity comes. 

Where he dines: Bad Boy Burrito and Bayside Gourmet in Islamorada; City Hall Cafe & Wine Bar in Tavernier.

Where he explores: Keys paddleboarding trails and mangroves. In other states, to see how their nature is different from that in the Florida Keys. 

How he relaxes: With my daughter, at a pool or the beach. Listening to music. And sometimes just taking a drive somewhere. 

Christian Ledwith is the chef at Chef Michael's, following in the footsteps of his father, the founding chef of the popular Islamorada restaurant.

Christian Ledwith is the chef at Chef Michael's, following in the footsteps of his father, the founding chef of the popular Islamorada restaurant.

Chef Christian Ledwith, left, with his daughter Adeline and father, Michael.

Chef Christian Ledwith, left, with his daughter Adeline and father, Michael.

Christian, left is committed to maintaining and exceeding the standards set by his father, Michael, and enjoyed by the diners at Chef Michael's.

Christian, left is committed to maintaining and exceeding the standards set by his father, Michael, and enjoyed by the diners at Chef Michael's.

This article was updated on June 18, 2024 at 5:54 PM
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