Savor the diverse culinary experiences that masterful local chefs dish up in the area's top restaurants - they couldn't be more mouthwatering or more memorable.
John Harris, Executive Chef, Sheraton Sand Key Resort, Clearwater Beach
A master of exotic Floribbean cuisine (a combination of Florida and Caribbean flavors), award-winning Chef John Harris blends local citrus and bold spices to create unforgettable dishes. With more than 20 years of experience as executive chef at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort, he is known for creating uniquely flavorful soups using fresh, seasonal ingredients from local markets and specialty fish dishes at Rusty's Bistro. Nestled in the beautiful Gulf-front resort on an expansive, pristine white-sand beach, Rusty's features a "Cuisine of the Sun" philosophy to match its magnificent setting.
Tom Pritchard, Executive Chef, Salt Rock Grill, Indian Shores
Frequented by locals and visitors alike, the Salt Rock Grill is located right across from the Gulf of Mexico on the Intracoastal Waterway, making it easy to get to by car, boat or trolley. Executive Chef Tom Pritchard helped create Salt Rock Grill and brings his extensive kitchen experience – his culinary resume includes fine restaurants from New York to Europe – to all the dishes served at Salt Rock. From Medibbean shrimp to Aztec chicken, Chef Tom's creations will have you coming back for more. You can sit inside, where the open kitchen allows you to see your favorite dish being prepared. Or, take in the scenery at the outdoor patio bar overlooking the water. The setting is perfect for spending a few hours with friends over fine food. Be sure to check out the fine artwork displayed throughout the restaurant; local artists' work is regularly featured.
Jeremy Duclut, Executive Chef, Cassis American Brasserie, St. Pete
Cassis American Brasserie showcases distinctive 1920s-era French style and Jeremy Duclut delivers a menu with similar flair. No surprise--his background gives him all the requisite chops: After having worked as sous-chef at Georges Perrier's renowned Brasserie Perrier, participated in the opening of several other acclaimed Perrier restaurants and worked as Executive Chef at numerous other dining destinations, he was named champion in the Food Network show "Chopped." He says that "as a chef, you do not cook to live, but you live to cook." You'll feel as if you live to eat once you taste his famous bouillabaisse, a true work of art with sumptuous bits of shrimp, scallop and lobster. But it's just as important to Duclut that you enjoy the cocktails, coffee and the company of other food-minded folk.
Zack Gross, Chef/Owner Z Grille, St. Pete
Z Grille is named after its irreverent, inventive owner and chef, the James Beard nominated Zack Gross. The chef, a life-long foodie, grew up in southern California and got his training at the California Culinary School and in a variety of California restaurants. One can sense the influence of his background in his menu, from his celebrated Dr. Pepper Ribs to his Deviled Eggs, he plays with fresh ingredients to give American classics a totally fresh spin.
Tyson Grant, Partner/Executive Chef Parkshore Grill, St. Pete
One of downtown's top chefs is Tyson Grant of Parkshore Grill, a St. Pete native who's also helped open four other area restaurants; the most recent is Cafe Gala at The Dali Museum. Grant's approach to cooking couldn't be more straightforward--he goes for sustainable ingredients,using as many natural, local and organic products as possible and he showcases them with simple accents. The delectable result is a robust menu featuring such classics of land and sea as Beef Wellington and Seafood Risotto.
Watch this video to meet the chefs.