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Chef Power: The Culinary Talent Behind Taste of the Nation Palm Beach

Kerry Shorr

Parents contend with many daily challenges, questioning how (or if) they will be able to feed their children should never be one of them. Committed to eradicating childhood hunger throughout the county, thirty-five of South Florida’s most celebrated wünderchefs and restaurateurs will be stepping up to their stoves to turn out taste bud-seducing cuisine at Share Our Strength’s fourth annual Taste of the Nation Palm Beach on Wednesday, April 23.

   Led by co-chair chefs Lindsay Autry (Bravo TV’s Top Cheftestant), Zach Bell (Addison Reserve Country Club), Clay Conley (buccan and Imoto), and Allen Susser (Chef Allen’s), food fêters can also tap their inner oenophile at the plethora of wine and spirits stations, cast their bids on the luxurious, live and silent auction items, and enjoy the evening’s creative musical entertainment.

   Here, local philanthropy-minded culinaires spill on everything from culinary bucket lists and cooking rituals to their biggest kitchen oops! ever.

Zach Bell, Executive Chef at Addison Reserve Country Club, Delray Beach recommends buccan in Palm Beach for its modern cuisine

Zach Bell (Co-Chair)

Addison Reserve Country Club, Delray Beach

Residence: Lake Worth

Biggest kitchen disaster: I was sixteen and I forgot to check the hold temp on a dozen prime ribs at The Rusty Fox. I had a bad day the next day.

Cooking ritual: Folding my towels for service. It helps me to slow down and re-center.

Best part about being a chef: Having cooks that have worked for you succeed.

One thing we should know about you: I am shy.

Define your personal fashion style: Shabby line cook slash beach bum.

Why you’re participating in Taste of the Nation Palm Beach: We create elaborate menus and meals while, barely a mile away, 1 in 5 children are not even sure where they are getting their next meal. Given the resources in our country, this is both shameful and embarrassing.

Your dish: Love me some pork.


Clay Conley - Executive Chef of Buccan and Imoto

Clay Conley (Co-Chair)

Executive Chef, Buccan/Imoto, Palm Beach

Residence: West Palm Beach

How you get inspired: Reading cookbooks, travelling, and eating.

Biggest kitchen disaster: I was making a warm, baked-to-order cake and after the last savory course went out, someone turned off the ovens.

What item every kitchen needs: A good smoker.

Most overrated dining trends or foods: Anything “farm-to-table”.

Summer travel plans: Asheville, NC for a month.

Last purchase: Taylor 514 guitar.

Why you’re participating in Taste of the Nation Palm Beach: How can you not get behind a charity that spends every waking moment trying to end childhood hunger?

Your dish: Colorado Lamb sliders, homemade griddled brioche bun, cucumber salad, harissa, and French feta.


Aaron Black - chef du cuisine at PB Catch, Palm Beach - Recommends the wine and tapas bar The Blind Monk in downtown West Palm Beach

Aaron Black

PB Catch, Palm Beach

Residence: Jupiter

How you get inspired: Seasonal produce and Instagram. It’s a great place to find new ideas.

Favorite seasonal ingredient for summer: Ramps.

Your trademark as a chef: Seacuterie. Its an ancient concept of curing fish but we’ve reinvented it in a way that’s never been done before.

Summer travel plans: Boston, Charleston, and San Francisco – three great foodie towns.

Last purchase: Gopro camera.

Why you’re participating in Taste of the Nation Palm Beach: It’s a great charity and an opportunity to see and talk to my talented peers.

Your dish: Pork belly disc, cured egg yolk jam, pickled shiitake, and red shiso.

Photo by Montana Prichard


Tim Lipman, Owner and Chef of Coolinary Cafe, Palm Beach Gardens - Recommends dining at Sweetwater Bar & Grill in Boynton BeachTim Lipman

Executive Chef, Coolinary Cafe, Palm Beach Gardens

Residence: Jupiter

Your biggest kitchen disaster: First day in the new restaurant and I was making a pot of soup. Ran to back kitchen and returned to flames shooting three feet out of the pot. Almost burned the place down before we opened.

Most underrated item in the kitchen: A griddle top.

Favorite cooking ritual: We are closed on Sundays, so having a shift drink with the staff on Saturday night is always fun.

Favorite seasonal ingredient for summer: Hot peppers.

Every chef has a vice. What’s yours: I’m always right.

One thing we should know about you: I hate scary movies.

Why you’re participating in Taste of the Nation Palm Beach: With the resources available today, no kid should go hungry. It’s a chance to make a difference.

Your dish: Dry Aged Spanish Serrano ham, red watercress, toasted almond, fresh hearts of palm, sheep’s milk cheese, and mustard sherry vinaigrette


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February 2015