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Top Local Chef brings together the best chefs, celebrity judges, and the area's most active foodies. To learn more go to TopLocalChef.com.

 

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Top Local Chef 2016: What You Need to Know

Posted By LocalShops1, Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, April 13, 2016

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Chef Timothy Fling, Beach Bar + Restaurant

Posted By LocalShops1, Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Chef Timothy Fling, Bay Harbor Hotel's Beach Bar & Restaurant, is among the nine competing chefs at Top Local Chef 2016, April 24 at the historic Gulfport Casino Ballroom.

  

As a native Floridian, Chef Tim has a deep appreciation for American Coastal cuisine. Beach Bar & Restaurant's menu offers breakfast, seafood platters, salads, burgers and a full catering menu with dishes such as Nutty Salmon (pan-seared salmon dusted with almonds, topped with vanilla cream sauce and served with seasoned rice) and Grilled Flank Steak (topped with roasted red Peppers and finished with a chipotle sauce).
 

Beach Bar & Restaurant is at 7700 W Courtney Campbell Causeway in Tampa Bay. They can be reached at 813-281-8900.

 

This is the first time Chef Tim Fling is competing in Top Local Chef.

 

For tickets to Top Local Chef 2016, please register through the links at LocalShops1.com/Events

 

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Chefs Shane Ibey and Cassandra Grawien, Tastes of Tampa Bay/Street Surfer Food Truck

Posted By LocalShops1, Friday, March 25, 2016

Chefs Shane Ibey and Cassandra Grawien, Tastes of Tampa Bay/Street Surfer Food Truck are among the nine competing teams at Top Local Chef 2016, April 24 at the historic Gulfport Casino Ballroom.

  

Chefs Shane Ibey and Cassandra Grawie are competing as a team because they operate the two businesses that are run under the same parent company. 

 

Tastes' menu includes breakfast options such as the Poolside Brunch Buffet (with biscuits, roasted veggie croissants, crab cups and butterscotch sticky buns) and the Post-Race Power Breakfast (with bacon and white cheddar frittata, sweet potato hash and berry banana kale smoothies) as well as custom lunches, late-night munchies, specialty catering and more. Tastes offers catering, corporate and delivery services.

 

Street Surfer is available for catering and events, and the food truck can also be found at festivals and markets throughout Tampa Bay. The menu includes Street’wiches such as Mojo Pork with Pineapple Relish and Mango Chile Chicken; and Surfer Plates including Borracho Nachos and Burrito Bowl, and more.
 

Their websites are tastesoftampabay.com and streetsurferfoodtruck.com.

 

This is the first time Chefs Shane Ibey and Cassandra Grawie are competing in Top Local Chef.

 

For tickets to Top Local Chef 2016, please register through the links at LocalShops1.com/Events

 

 


 

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Chef Sean Ford, Tryst

Posted By LocalShops1, Friday, March 25, 2016

Chef Sean Ford, Tryst, is among the nine competing teams at Top Local Chef 2016, April 24 at the historic Gulfport Casino Ballroom.

  

Tryst offers a mix of eclectic foods and high-end wine and spirits, including one-of-a-kind signature cocktails on Beach Drive in downtown St. Petersburg. "Discover the indulgence of our culinary team’s unique take on traditional and nontraditional creations served every night, in addition to one of the best parties downtown," they write on their website.

 

The restaurant offers a seasonal menu every day, and brunch on weekends. Brunch specialties include Eggs Benedict of the Week, Vegan Hash, Classic Very French Toast, Creekstone Farm Strip Steak and Eggs, and more. You can view their complete menu online. Executive Chef Sean Ford's "artistry is unmatched with amazing and mouthwatering creations designed for the most discerning palates," they write on their website. "From casual dining to fine cuisine, there is something that Chef Sean has in store for everyone and nothing like any other Gastro Lounge you’ve visited before."

 

Tryst is at 240 Beach Drive, St. Petersburg. The kitchen is open 5 pm to midnight Monday through Wednesday, 5 pm to 1 am Thursday, 5 pm to 2 am Friday, 11:30 am to 2 am Saturday, and 11:30 am to 10 pm Sunday. The bar stays open later, to 3 am daily. Their website is dinetryst.com.

 

This is Chef Sean Ford's first time competing in Top Local Chef.

 

For tickets to Top Local Chef 2016, please register through the links at LocalShops1.com/Events

 

 


 

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Chef Ramon Hernandez, Pipo’s To Go Catering & Pipo’s Cuban Cafe

Posted By LocalShops1, Friday, March 25, 2016

Chef Ramon Hernandez, Pipo’s To Go Catering & Pipo’s Original Cuban Cafe, is among the nine competing teams at Top Local Chef 2016, April 24 at the historic Gulfport Casino Ballroom.

  

Pipo's, family-owned and operated, has been serving the Tampa Bay area with traditional Cuban recipes since 1979.

Dishes include Originial Pipo's Pork Sandwich, Pipo's Original 1979 Salad, El Habano Cubano, Ropa Vieja and Mojo Roasted Chicken. Catering is available for parties from 1 to 10,000! You can find the full menu online.

 

Pipo's has two locations in St. Petersburg: 9531 Bay Pines Blvd and 8 Fourth St N.  The Fourth Street location is open for breakfast and lunch 7:30 am to 3 pm Monday through Friday and 9 am to 3 pm Saturday; the Bay Pines location is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day: 9 am to 9 pm Monday through Thursday, 8 am to 10 pm Friday and Saturday, and 9 am to 8 pm Sunday. For more information go to their websites, pipos1979.com and pipostogo.com.

 

Chef Ramon Hernandez was winner of the Judges Vote for the 2013 and 2014 Top Local Chef competitions.

 

For tickets to Top Local Chef 2016, please register through the links at LocalShops1.com/Events

 

 


 

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Chef Olive Davis, Stella's Restaurant

Posted By LocalShops1, Friday, March 25, 2016

Chef Olive Davis, Stella's Restaurant, is among the nine competing teams at Top Local Chef 2016, April 24 at the historic Gulfport Casino Ballroom.

  

Stella’s, established in 2009, provides tasty breakfasts to tourists and locals in downtown Gulfport. Many in town consider this cozy restaurant the “Cheers” of Gulfport, they write on their website. Check the restaurant's Mug Spot wall and you'll find mugs from all the frequent customers, or take a seat inside at the counter to enjoy a great meal and catch up with your neighbors. Signature dishes include Corned Beef Hash, Fried Green Tomatoes, Southern Shrimp and Grits, Ooey Gooey Mac 'N Cheese, and Fried Green Tomato BLT. Special treats are available for doggies, too. You can find the complete menu online.

 

The restaurant is named after owner Barbara Banno's aunt Stella, born in 1910 and devoting her life to the church as a nun. "What I loved most about my time with Aunt Stella was her love of cooking and family dinners," Barbara says. "I can close my eyes today, picture her cooking in the kitchen and can still smell the aroma of fresh spaghetti sauce on the stove. Those memories were some of my favorite as a child and the inspiration for my restaurant."

  

Stella's is at 3119 Beach Blvd S, Gulfport. Restaurant hours are 7 am to 2 pm Sunday through Thursday and 7 am to 9 pm Friday and Saturday.

 

This is the first time Chef Olive Davis is competing in Top Local Chef.

 

For tickets to Top Local Chef 2016, please register through the links at LocalShops1.com/Events

 

 


 

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Chef Michelle Garner, OobAlaMode Pastries

Posted By LocalShops1, Friday, March 25, 2016

Chef Michelle Garner, OobAlaMode Pastries, is among the nine competing teams at Top Local Chef 2016, April 24 at the historic Gulfport Casino Ballroom.

  

OobAlaMode Pastries offers inventive freelance pastry services to the Tampa Bay area. Michelle creates each item meticulously, "giving perfect attention to every detail while embodying elegance and originality," she writes on her website. She classically trained at the California Culinary Academy and worked with pastry chefs at Walt Disney World.


OobAlaMode create in small batches, using real butter, dairy, free-range eggs, fine nuts, premium flours, and high quality vanilla, cocoa, and chocolate. The line includes single and double-tiered cakes, custom cakes, and cookies.

 

Michelle's cakes and pastries are available at markets and festivals throughout Tampa Bay. For custom orders or other information check out her website, oobalamode.com, call 813-579-2581 or email illustratedsweets@gmail.com.

 

This is the first time Chef Michelle Garner is competing in Top Local Chef.

 

For tickets to Top Local Chef 2016, please register through the links at LocalShops1.com/Events

 

 


 

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Chefs Joseph & Le'Ann Jackson, Le’Anns Cheesecakes ‘N More

Posted By LocalShops1, Friday, March 25, 2016

Chefs Joseph & Le'Ann Jackson, Le’Anns Cheesecakes ‘N More, are among the nine competing teams at Top Local Chef 2016, April 24 at the historic Gulfport Casino Ballroom.

 

 

In 2009 LeAnn and Joseph got married, and along that they received the “Bake Book,” filled with secret recipes and passed down over four generations of LeAnn’s family. Le’ Ann started following a recipe to make cheesecakes for family and friends, and everyone told her she should be selling them. So in 2015 they decided to quit their jobs and start their own dessert business.

 

Their signature product is the cheesecake, baked right in the jar, which helps insulate it and keep it from melting in the Florida sun and heat. The company now features dozens of flavors, including Birthday Cake, Salted Caramel, Cannoli, Death by Chocolate, Blueberry Pancake, Guava and Triple Berry. Gluten-free options are also available. 

 

Le'Anns Cheesecakes are available at The Ybor Daily Market,at 1920 E Seventh Ave, and at markets and festivals throughout Tampa Bay. For updates check out their Facebook page, and for desserts delivered to you, go to Mobile Meals!
 

This is the first time Chefs Joseph & Le'Ann Jackson are competing in Top Local Chef.

 

For tickets to Top Local Chef 2016, please register through the links at LocalShops1.com/Events

 

 


 

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Chef John Riesebeck, Smokin’ J’s Real Texas BBQ

Posted By LocalShops1, Friday, March 25, 2016

Chef John Riesebeck, Smokin’ J’s Real Texas BBQ  is among the nine competing chefs at Top Local Chef 2016, April 24 at the historic Gulfport Casino Ballroom.

 

John started cooking BBQ as a hobby in competition cooking in Dallas, and soon his hobby turned into a passion and a business. with his wife, Lisa.

 

"Our warm country atmosphere will bring your childhood back with our uniquely decorated sitting area," the couple says on their website. "Our restaurant is primarily take-out, however we have added indoor and outdoor seating if you desire a place to sit and enjoy your BBQ. Come check out the new Alamo Room for your next night out, quick lunch, dinner for two or a group celebration." 

Smokin' J's offers a flavorful menu including pulled pork and brisket sandwiches, smoked chicken wings and barbecue chicken, and baby back ribs. Sides include tater salad, baked mac 'n cheese, green beans, coleslaw and baked beans. And for dessert: chocolate fudge cake and carrot cake, too! You can check out their menu online.

 

Smokin’ J’s BBQ is at 5145 Gulfport Blvd, Gulfport. The restaurant is open 11 am to 8 pm Tuesday through Thursday, 11 am to 9 pm Friday and Saturday and 11 am to 8 pm Sunday. You can reach them at 727-329-8624 or through their website, smknjsbbq.com.

 

Chef John Riesebeck was a finalist in Top Local Chef 2015.

 

For tickets to Top Local Chef 2016, please register through the links at LocalShops1.com/Events

 

 


 

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Chefs Jill & Maria Johnson, Mangia Gourmet

Posted By LocalShops1, Friday, March 25, 2016

The mother-daughter team of Chefs Maria & Jill Johnson, owners of Mangia Gourmet in Gulfport, are among the nine competing teams at Top Local Chef 2016, April 24 at the historic Gulfport Casino Ballroom.

 

Mangia Gourmet is committed to tasty, homemade, healthy, local and environmentally friendly foods with an emphasis on gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian specialties. But meat-lovers, don't worry. There are plenty of options for you, too. You can check out their menu online.

 

Local and organic resources are used whenever possible, including local growers and beverage producers. The restaurant features a renovated courtyard that offers a relaxing space for friends to gather and enjoy not only good food, but good music, lectures and special events. The restaurant also features indoor seating in an artsy bungalow, filled with local art. 

 

Mangia Gourmet is at 2930 Beach Blvd. S, Gulfport.  Restaurant hours are 8 am to 10 pm Tuesday, 9 am to 10 pm Wednesday thru Saturday, and 10 am to 8 pm Sunday. For information call 727-321-6264 or visit their website, mangiagourmet.com.

 

Chef Jill Johnson was the Popular Vote winner of the 2015 Top Local Chef.

 

For tickets to Top Local Chef 2016, please register through the links at LocalShops1.com/Events

 

 

 

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