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News & Press: LocalShops1 Press Releases

Top Local Chef Sets Sail!

Friday, February 10, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: LocalShops1
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February 7, 2017
What: Top Local Chef + Tampa Bay Marketplace
When:  5-7:30 pm Sunday, April 30, 2017
Where: Aboard Sir Winston, Vinoy Basin, downtown St. Petersburg
Why: To connect the area’s foodies with the best restaurateurs in the region
Admission: General admission and VIP passes available at
Event website:
More information: or 727-637-5586

ST. PETERSBURG, FL —  LocalShops1’s Top Local Chef returns for its eighth year, and this time the organizers are kicking it up a few notches. The event will take place at sea (or the bay, as it may be), aboard a luxury yacht! Celebrity Chef Ray Lampe, aka Dr. BBQ, is serving as head judge and award-winning journalist Noah Pransky of 10 News returns for another year as the event emcee.
Chefs from local restaurants are invited to apply to compete through a short application on If selected, the chef will be asked to create a new dish using locally brewed coffee provided by event sponsor Kahwa Coffee. On the day of the event, April 30, the chefs will bring 300 samples of the new dish aboard the luxury yacht Sir Winston in downtown St. Petersburg. Weather-permitting, the yacht will sail along Tampa Bay. In case of inclement weather, the yacht will stay docked but the event goes on, rain or shine.
The event, from 5 to 7:30 pm Sunday, April 30, is open to the public. VIP and general admission tickets are available through
Guests will have the opportunity to sample the new creations and vote for their favorites in the people’s choice category. Voting is a dollar per vote, and all proceeds go to our nonprofit partner, the Kind Mouse Productions, which helps feed local children and families in need.

Another new component this year will be a student competition, sponsored by Out of the Weeds and Three Birds Tavern, and in cooperation with The Ryan Wells Foundation, which provides support and scholarships for students going into the culinary industry.

Vendor and sponsorship opportunities are also available. For information contact Ester Venouziou, LocalShops1 and Top Local Chef founder, at or 727-637-5586.


Along with Ray Lampe, the judges’ panel includes St. Petersburg Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin; The Mill Restaurant owner/chef Ted Dorsey; Family Foodie founder Isabel Laesig; USFSP visiting professor Janet Keeler, coordinator of the school’s food writing and photography graduate certificate program; and local celebrity Sean Daily, frequent guest at Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend on ABC Action News.
Two-time Top Local Chef winner Ramon Hernandez, of Pipo’s Cuban Cafe, is back this year as an event sponsor; and last year’s winner, Le’Ann and Joseph Jackson of Le’Ann’s Cheesecakes, returns as one of the dessert sponsors, along with Datz and Gateau oChocolat.



About LocalShops1
LocalShops1 is a coalition of hundreds of independently owned  businesses and tens of thousands of energetic shoppers with the mission of advocating, promoting and offering support services to companies throughout Tampa Bay. Founded in August 2008, LocalShops1 is the region’s most active voice for small businesses.