Chef Klime Kovaceski [Pronounced......Kl-e-e-may Kovacheski] hails from Ohrid, Macedonia, where he underwent three years of academic culinary training before becoming the youngest graduate at another culinary college, this one in the Croatian town of Opatija.
Klime next served as Executive Chef in The Skópje Hotel on Ohrid Lake, responsible for putting out 200-300 al a carte meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. At this point he was twenty-one years of age.
At age 24 he moved to Amsterdam and ran the kitchen of a prestigious dining establishment that, as fate would have it, was owned by a man who was planning to open a restaurant in Miami. Klime, not nearly as fluent in English as he is today, moved to the Sunshine State six months later, in 1984; "Jama", that Amsterdam-planned restaurant, opened in Miami in early ‘85. Kovaceski would be the executive chef there for ten years.
Jama's cuisine featured Eastern European specialties like goulashes, stroganoffs, and schnitzels. During his decade of working there, Klime developed many of what would become "signature" recipes for Crystal Cafe, which he opened on Miami Beach in 1994. The cuisine he came up, "New Continental", spotlights a leaner, more modern take on Old World classics, and over the years Crystal Cafe's EXTENSIVE MENU has come to include quite a few of Klime's own creative contemporary dishes, like Warm pistachio-crusted goat cheese with braised Belgian endive, white truffle oil, and a balsamic-raspberry reduction, Salmon and seabass seafood osso bucco, and Veal tenderloin with applewood bacon and shiitake-Merlot sauce.
"I've taken classic recipes and modified them to better serve the American public of today" says Kovaceski, who's quick to note that these changes aren't made for intellectual or cosmetic purposes, but rather reflect years of taking customer's tastes and comments into consideration.
A handsome, romantic room with crisp white linens, fresh flowers, extensive wine list, and what is generally regarded as the best service on the Beach, Crystal Cafe has quietly become one of the most acclaimed restaurants in South Florida.
Customers in the chef Kovaceski's little black book:
Cesar Gaviria (President of Colombia), Jacinto Peynado (Vice President, Dominican Republic), Frank Lautenberg (US Senator), Patrick Kennedy (US Congressman), María Elvira Salazar (US Congresswoman), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (US Representative), Vasil Tupurkovski (Deputy Prime Minister of Macedonia), Shantel Baker (The Supremes).
Iggy Pop, Sade Adu, Sammy Hagar (Van Halen), Rudy Sarzo (Whitesnake), Tom Dowd (Producer, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton etc.), Christina Aguilera, Raul Di Blasio, Dyango, Marisela Verena, Olga Tanon, Sofia Vergara, Cristian Castro, Rudy Perez (Producer, Julio Iglesias, Christina Aguilera etc.), Danny Wood (New Kids On The Block), TA Weber (Weber Speakers).
Angelo Dundee (Trainer, Muhamed Ali), Dr. Ferdy Pacheco (Muhamed Ali), Pete Stoyanovich, Sam Jankovich, Sasha Djordjevic, Tim & Nina Zagat (Zagat Survey), Morris Lapidus, Roy Black, Belkis Nerey, Dwight Lauderdale, Ileana Bravo, Manny Hernandez, Jeff Burnside, Lisa Petrillo McCue, and many others.