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Michael Fiorelli Leaving Manhattan Beach’s Love & Salt For New Project

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Expect news on a new LA restaurant sometime this fall

Michael Fiorelli
Love & Salt [official]
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Longtime Manhattan Beach chef Michael Fiorelli seems set on leaving the South Bay behind, telling Eater over the weekend that he’ll be moving on from popular restaurant Love & Salt in the fall.

Fiorelli first rose to prominence while working at Mar’sel, the do-it-all restaurant on the grounds of the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes. That’s also where he began seriously collaborating with longtime friend and coworker Rebecca Merhej, a 2015 Eater Young Gun winner and the chef de cuisine at Love & Salt. Now Fiorelli is stepping out on his own, with Merhej staying behind to help oversee the four-year-old coastal Italian restaurant during the transition. According to reps for the restaurant, Merhej will not immediately be stepping into the executive chef role; instead, daughter-and-father owners Sylvie Gabriele and Guy Gabriele will seek to fill the position at a later date.

As for Fiorelli in particular, it’s not clear at the moment just where he’ll land. The respected chef has long had an inkling to bring a new restaurant project up into the heart of Los Angeles proper, and could be keen to open a new project that carries his name. Fiorelli sends along the following note:

The opportunity to open Love & Salt with Sylvie & Guy was a dream for me, and I’m proud of what we accomplished together during these past few years. They are great people, and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with them.

In the meantime, chef Fiorelli will continue to cook at Love & Salt through September.