Meet Executive Chef Marcel

Meet Executive Chef Marcel

An exceptional culinary experience begins in the kitchen, and more specifically, with the chefs. Delivering an experience unlike anything you’ve had is what fuels our passion and we are proud to share our creations with our guests. The masterminds behind these dishes are the driving force of creativity to our menu at Lionfish. Selecting the freshest ingredients, developing an innovative menu, and managing the “machine” that is the kitchen is only a fraction of the daily duties of a chef. Renowned San Diego based chef, Jojo Ruiz, has entrusted his most adept chef, Marcel Heiduk, to spearhead his second Lionfish location in Delray Beach. Serving as the Executive Chef at Lionfish Delray, Heiduk who was born and raised in Kaiserslautern Germany, does not represent the typical South Florida chef. His nontraditional culinary and cultural background is reflected in his commitment to push the boundaries of modern-day culinary standards. We had the pleasure to sit down with Marcel to learn more about the master behind the menu.

What was your first experience with cooking?

It is a very generic answer, but watching my grandma cook. I grew up in a multigenerational household in a rural town in Germany with a population of 700. Cooking was a way to spend time with the family.

What is your favorite German dish? 

It’s Schnitzel, but it is also Spätzle, which is a German pasta.

What brought you to America?

My wife got a job offer in San Diego, so I moved to America with her. I instantly got a job at Bull and Bourbon Steakhouse.

How many languages do you speak?

5 languages: German, English, Dutch, Greek and Latin

What is your favorite dish on Lionfish’s menu?

I would say the scallops. It was one of the dishes I added to the menu. The dish has subtle flavors and is not too heavy. Scallops don’t have a lot of flavor of their own, so you can really do a lot with the dish.

How do you like living in Delray?

I feel more at home in a small town like Delray. Moving from the German countryside to the big city of San Diego was a bit of a shock, so I value the small community in this town. It did take me a while to get used to the weather, especially in the summer.

What is your favorite pass time activity?

I like to spend time with my family, golfing, and kayaking.

What is your favorite drink?

Monkey 47 negroni…..only.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get a lot of inspiration from European chefs. American chefs tend to try to be too progressive and over the top. European chefs tend to reinvent classic dishes. The flavor profiles are just different. For me, I like light and balanced flavors with clean plates. There isn’t always a need to have 12 different garnishes on a dish.

If you could cook for any guest, dead or alive, who would it be?

Anthony Bourdain for sure. He actually passed away on the day I got married. Dylan Watson, a famous Australian chef, based in Berlin Germany, who recently received a Michelin star. Charlie Parker, he was a founder of bebop and B.B King, a musical legend.

What kind of music do you listen to?

I listen to jazz or techno, it’s a weird combination. I really like jazz because I used to play the Saxophone.

Did you go to culinary school?

I actually went to Law school in Germany. I almost finished when I decided to be a chef. I started working in restaurants when I was 16 and throughout law school, when I realized I couldn’t see myself working in an office every day.

Do you have any pets?

Yes, a dog named Kacie and two cats. Kacie is a Greyhound rescue from Spain.