We surveyed some of South Florida's hottest chefs involved with Taste of the Nation to get their take on the culinary scene.
Executive Chef, Cordon Bleu Catering
Residence: West Palm Beach
How you get inspired: My wife, sommelier Melanie Ober. She is my muse.
Most underrated item in the kitchen: A good saucepan.
Favorite cooking ritual: Peeling potatoes.
Most overrated dining trends or foods: Molecular gastronomy.
One thing we should know about you: I have been speaking English for only six years.
Biggest luxury: Living close to the ocean.
Why you’re participating in Taste of the Nation Palm Beach: To help raise money for a great cause and it’s a lot of fun.
Your dish: Teriyaki glazed salmon on grapefruit fennel slaw.
Chef & Owner, The Sugar Monkey
Residence: Lake Worth
What item every kitchen needs: Gram scale.
Most overrated dining trends or foods: Sometimes I just want my tart to be a beautifully done tart – not a deconstruction all over my plate.
Every chef has a vice. What’s yours: Cake scraps and French fries.
One thing we should know about you: I listen to country music.
Your biggest luxury: My puppies. After a long hard day at work, it’s great to go home and get smothered with kisses.
Summer travel plans: Nascar in Watkins Glen, Chicago or NYC and, hopefully, a little Florida family time.
Why you’re participating in Taste of the Nation Palm Beach: It is unimaginable that in this day and age, children living right down the street from us could possibly be going hungry.
Your dish: Perhaps you’ll see some Parisian macarons, definitely some little chocolate goodness, too.
Executive Chef, Guanabanas
Biggest kitchen disaster: Mother’s Day breakfast one year – we were on 90-minute wait and our waffle irons went down in the middle of service.
What item every kitchen needs: Spanish guys on your staff. If you’re in the business, you know what I mean.
If you weren’t a chef: I’d be Bradley Cooper’s body double.
Biggest luxury: I love cars. I’m a Cadillac guy.
Summer travel plans: Home to visit my family and Vegas to work on those vices.
Why you’re participating in Taste of the Nation Palm Beach: We have participated in this event since the beginning. It’s a great cause, with really passionate people behind it.
Your dish: Open-Faced BBQ pork waffle slider. We smoke our BBQ in house using pecan wood from South Georgia.
Executive Chef, Citrus Grillhouse
Residence: Vero Beach
Biggest kitchen disaster: Letting any diner down.
Most underrated item in the kitchen: Water.
What you do to relax: Play with my son and listen to Springsteen.
Summer travel plans: Aspen, New York City, and Cape Cod.
Favorite anywhere dining destination: Gotham Bar & Grill in NYC. Chef Alfred Portale is always spot on with flavors and he doesn’t follow trends.
Define your personal fashion style: Casual preppy.
Why you’re participating in Taste of the Nation Palm Beach: It’s a great cause, it has been for years.
Your dish: Spring pea soup with a parmesan flan.