The Seaside Café at the Boca Beach Club offers unique beach-side dining, family-friendly whimsy

Chef Donna Wynter has worked in some of South Florida’s best Hotel restaurant kitchens, including a stint as Chef du Cuisine at Palme d’Or at The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables and at the former Baleen at The Grove Isle Club. These days, Wynter’s significant culinary talent is focused on building the restaurant scene at […]






Zest’s Best Tampa Restaurant | Carmel Café Melds Technology with Modern Mediterranean Food

Tampa has been buzzing about Carmel Café & Wine Bar in the Northwood Plaza in Countryside, and for good reason. Taking inspiration from the casual eateries on the California coast, the convivial ambiance at Carmel Café features a large bar with communal tables, a lounge in the center of the restaurant and an open dining […]






Amelia Island’s Salt opens kitchen for intimate cooking series at Ritz Carlton

Want to pull off coq-au-vin like the chicest Parisian or to master the art of smoking brisket on the Weber? Chef Rick Laughin, Chef de Cuisine at Salt, one of ZEST’s favorite Amelia Island restaurants, is letting people into his kitchen to unveil the secrets of cooking like a professional chef. To Laughin, the secret […]






Miami’s Adrianne Calvo: Flavor obsessed and proud of it

  The first thing you may notice about Miami Chef Adrianne Calvo is that she’s pretty laid back. While many successful chefs have a reputation for controlling, Type-A personalities, Calvo appears to be the anti-Ramsay–but you wouldn’t know it from her drive to create a multi-sensory dining experience for the masses. You may also notice […]






KitchenBar sets the bar high for Tampa dining| Zest’s Best Tampa Restaurant

Saturday night me, Mister M and two of our favorite foodie friends got to check out the latest installment of Kitchenbar, Chef Jeannie Pierola’s pop-up restaurant concept. Fashioned after the food trucks that pop-up in various parks and street corners in cities like L.A. and San Francisco, pop-up concepts are advertized by tweets and Facebook […]






James Beard gives Florida Chefs and Restaurants lots of love in 2011

The James Beard Semifinalists were named last week, giving Florida chefs significantly more love than in years past. Taste is very subjective, but we must admit that we get a *teenie* bit of affirmation knowing that many of Zest’s Best Florida Restaurants and their respective chefs are on JB’s list. Here are the Florida Semifinalists: […]






Floridian included in Top Chef “Just Desserts”

Many accomplished Top Chef contestants have been demoralized by challenges requiring desserts. (Hello, Stephan and Tre!) Enter, a twist on Bravo’s successful Top Chef franchise simply called, “Just Desserts.” This season of TC has been pretty much dullsville so it will be interesting to see if all desserts all the time can hold the attention […]






The prestigious 2010 James Beard Foundation Award finalists were announced on March 22nd. All in all, not a whole lot of love for Florida Chefs and Restaurants. The last men standing among the five best chefs in the southern region are two South Floridians, Zach Bell from Palm Beach’s Café Boulud at the Brazillian Court […]