CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Award-winning chef Cindy Hutson is asking the public for help with finding her 8-foot-tall pink flamingo. The quirky sculpture named “Flora” is made out of fiberglass. Artist Jona Cerwinske painted over it.
The flamingo first stood outside of her Ortanique On The Mile restaurant in 2002 on Miracle Mile in Coral Gables. It was part of a public art project in Miami-Dade County.
“The bird became the face of Ortanique,” Huston said. “Little kids would hug it up and take their pictures. Every tourist that walked down Miracle Mile wanted their picture with that bird.”
Hutson made a donation to be able to keep the sculpture, which she said has sentimental value. When her restaurant closed last year, after 21 years of being in business, she took the bird home to Pinecrest.
“That was a physical piece of Ortanique that brought us a lot of joy,” she said. “I put it in the front lawn, and people always stopped and asked about it.”
The chef, who now works at La Cervecería Tropical in Wynwood, was out of town and came back home on Wednesday. She said she noticed her flamingo was gone on Thursday morning.
Hutson thinks at least two people were involved and they made sure to do it when her Ring camera batteries were charging.
“They had to have pulled up to our front doorstep with a truck,” Hutson said.
She is asking anyone with information to contact her on Instagram. She is offering a reward: A $200 gift card, a tour of Cerveceria La Tropical in Wynwood, and a case of beer.