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Experience the City’s Best Young Chefs at a Tasting Gala on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 StarChefs, the restaurant industry trends magazine, announces its 2016 South Florida Rising Stars Awards, honoring up-and-coming chefs and hospitality professionals, who represent the vanguard of the contemporary American dining scene. From the Keys to Jupiter, the StarChefs team visited more than 100 chefs, pastry chefs, bartenders, sommeliers, restaurateurs, and artisans. “Wynwood and the Biscayne Corridor have supplanted South Beach as food destinations—even Coral Gables and Downtown have emerging scenes,” said Antoinette Bruno, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of StarChefs. “It’s a sure sign that locals, instead of tourists, are driving restaurant business, and they’re making it possible for young chefs to build successful, community-oriented businesses.” “There’s no defining cuisine at the top of the market,” said Will Blunt, managing editor of StarChefs. “Whether it’s traditional Vietnamese or high-end and conceptual, the best food in South Florida is personal. It’s not trendy or derivative—and it has attitude.” The winners will be honored at the StarChefs Rising Stars Gala on Wednesday, April 13 at Marlins Park, beginning with an awards ceremony at 6:30pm and followed by a tasting gala from 7:15pm to 9:30pm. Guests will experience 20 of South Florida’s most exciting restaurants with beverage pairings and cocktails by the winning sommeliers and bartenders, in one location for one night only—hosted by Levy Restaurants. General Admission is $85.00 per person. VIP tickets are $125.00 which includes a private VIP reception with a Cava tasting and Northern Divine Caviar, beginning at 5:45 p.m. Tickets can be purchased on their website at A portion of the ticket sales will be donated to Feeding South Florida, a nonprofit food bank that distributes more than 40 million pounds of food per year. More than 98 percent of all donations are put back into the community. Learn more at

The 2016 StarChefs South Florida Rising Stars Award Winners are:



Alex Chang | Vagabond | @VagabondFood 

Featured dish: Sweet Bread Milanese, Country Ham, Swiss Cheese Foam, and Mustard


Jimmy Everett | Valentino Cucina Italiana | @ValentinoCucina 

Featured dish: Cauliflower Panna Cotta, White Chocolate, Caviar, and Micro Chives


Brad Kilgore | Alter | @brad_kilgore 

Featured dish: Blue Crab Shumai, Thai Green Curry, Culantro, Kumquat, and Rice Crisps


Diego Oka | La Mar | @diegooka 

Featured dish: Beet-Potato Causa, King Crab, Huancaina, and Salmon Roe


Niven Patel | Michael's Genuine | @michaelsgenuine 

Featured dish: Short Rib, Romesco, Hazelnuts, and Roasted Cipollinis


Phuket Thongsodchareondee | Cake Thai Kitchen | @cakethai 

Featured dish: Fried Yellowtail and Choo Chee Curry


Cesar Zapata | The Federal | @CeeRoks 

Featured dish: Banh Can, Ground Pork, Shrimp, Chinese Sausage, Chiles, and Nouc Mam


Hotel Chef

Rick Mace | Cafe Boulud at the Brazilian Court Hotel | @CafeBouludPB

Featured dish: Assortment of Charcuterie featuring Chicken Liver Mousse


Community Chef

William Crandall | Izzy's Fish and Oyster | @wrcrandall 

Featured dish: Hot Lobster Roll and Lobster Butter Bernaise


Pastry Chefs 

Sylvain Bortolini | Faena Hotel Miami Beach | @FaenaMiami 

Featured dish: Chambord-Almond Jocund, Raspberry Mousse, and Sablé


Megan Pidgeon | Glazed Donuts  

Featured dish: Key Lime Pie Donut



Rauf Khoffner | Khoffner Brewery| @KhoffnerUSA 

Featured beers: Riot Blood Irish Red Lager and Cream Head Cream Ale


Steve Santana | Taquiza | @SliceDiceCode 

Featured dish: Totopos and Guacamole


Zak Stern | Zak the Baker | @zakthebaker 

Featured bread: Country Sourdough


Brandon Wells  | Wells Coffee Co. | @WellsCoffees

Featured coffee: Brazil Cerrado Mineiro



Gui Jaroschy  | Broken Shaker | @TheBrokenShaker 

Featured drink: Tequila, Mezcal, Shishito Pepper Vinegar, Lime, Morita Chile Syrup, and Cucumber


Christian Rolon | Regent Cocktail Club | @TheRegentCC 

Featured drink: Il Viaggiatore: Fernet Branca, Cognac, Vemouth, Dry Curaçao, Mole Bitters, and Orange Swath



Jeremy Broto-Mur | Cafe Boulud | @CafeBouludPB

Pairings with winners’ dishes


Daniel Toral | 50 Eggs | @GinAndButter 

Pairings with winners’ dishes



José Mendín, Sergio Navarro and Andreas Schreiner | Pubbelly Restaurant Group | @ChefMendin 

Featured dish: Suckling Pig, Fennel-Apple Salad, and Green Apple Purée                              


Jeff Latulippe | DIRT | @DirtEatClean 

Featured dish: Beet and Goat Cheese Toast


Host Chef

Vince Navarrete | Levy Restaurants | @LevyRestaurants (Marlins Park)

Featured dish: VIP Reception Hors D’oeuvres featuring Northern Divine Caviar