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.
Barry Spalding, 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. The late local culinary legend Tom Pritchard helped create Salt Rock Grill and brought his extensive kitchen experience to the establishment with a culinary resume including fine restaurants from New York to Europe—many of his dishes are still on the menu. Executive Chef Barry Spalding has added his own touch to the menu and excites with delectable dishes like Medibbean shrimp and Aztec chicken. 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.
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.