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

Kerry Shorr

We surveyed some of South Florida's hottest chefs involved with Taste of the Nation to get their take on the culinary scene.

 

Michael Ober  Executive Chef, Cordon Bleu CateringMichael Ober

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.

 

Jennifer Reed  Chef & Owner, The Sugar MonkeyJennifer Reed

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 Vinny Trupia - Guanabanas - JupiterVinny Trupia

Executive Chef, Guanabanas

Residence: Jupiter

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.

 

Scott Varricchio  Executive Chef, Citrus GrillhouseScott Varricchio

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.

 

 

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