When chef Andy Hyde was in culinary school, his mentor gave him some valuable advice: Cook professionally for at least 12 years and make all your mistakes before opening your own restaurant. Hyde listened and embarked on a culinary odyssey that included working for Gordon Ramsay, Thomas Keller, and Grant Achatz. Originally from Ghana, he lived in Germany before coming to Naples in 2014 to serve as executive chef at La Playa. He launched his catering company in 2016 and opened his first restaurant, Hyde N Chic, late last year.
“I fell in love with Naples right away,” Hyde says. “The climate is very similar to Ghana, and we have the same variety of tropical fruits and seafood here.”
Hyde specializes in what he calls “eclectic American cuisine” or “new immigrant cuisine.” He adds that, “In the U.S., immigrant cuisine has always been associated with French or Italian cooking. You never heard much about the food of Africa or South America. I use my background to blend those flavors into the broad palate of American culture.”
Despite only having capacity for 30, Hyde N Chic has an ambitious scope: Customers may dine à la carte or select a tasting menu of three, four, or five courses. Some of Hyde’s most popular dishes include his signature Chilean sea bass with a turmeric-ginger glaze, as well as diver scallops with root beer leaf and salsify.
Looking ahead, Hyde has no desire to expand or become a multi-unit operator. Instead, he’s focused on giving back, especially as it concerns passing on his knowledge to the next generation of chefs. He’s working with Naples High School on its on-the-job training program, with the goal of having 50 kids “who have learned their skill set from me and who understand the true nature of hospitality and teamwork.”