Chef Julie Frans and her team at Essensia have launched a new summer menus focusing on a variety of locally sourced produce, sustainably raised and/or caught meats and seafood, and produce grown and picked straight from the Chef’s edible garden.  A pre-Miami  Spice 3-course prix fixe $49 will be on promotion throughout  July.

New on the menu:   Gulf-Caught Corvina, crusted in macadamia nuts and served with coconut saffron sauce and local mango compote,  Grilled Natural Flat Iron with garden herb chimichurri; locally crafted  Lamb Sausage Sliders with cherry chutney and Greek cucumber - yogurt sauce, and Gnocchi with Proper Romagna Sausage.  For dessert there’s  Coconut Lime Semifreddo with  kaffir lime leaf and lemongrass with ginger and coconut  topped with local mango and candied macadamia nuts.

The favorites such as the Signature Kale Caesar and the  Signature Snapper with Aztec quinoa and grilled peppers;  Grilled Key West Shrimp paired with mango and aji amarillo sauce and a host of  vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, and dairy free dishes remain on the menu.  Pre-spice 3-course prix fixe $49 promotion in the month of July

Essensia inside The Palms Hotel & Spa, is open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. For restaurant reservations  call 305.908.5458 or visit

Boulud Sud Mediterranean menu returns from 7/1 to 10/1 to Café Boulud, Palm Beach

From July 1 through October 1, Chef Daniel Boulud’s Mediterranean menu based on Chef Daniel Boulud’s Manhattan-based restaurant, Boulud Sud. returns to Café Boulud at The Brazilian Court Hotel.

The Mediterranean menu will be offered on Café Boulud’s air-conditioned terrace within the fountain courtyard - hemmed with olive trees, terracotta pots of herbs, topiaries, lanterns and tagines to channel the ‘Sud’-for dinner seven days a week.

Café Boulud Executive Chef Rick Mace and Pastry Chef Eric Snow, recreate vibrant dishes from Sardinia, Greece, Tunisia, Gibraltar, and Beirut  such as Stone baked Arabic Flatbread with Spiced Lamb, Labneh and Pepperoncini, Lemon-Saffron Cappellini with Crispy Squid, Bottarga and Bay Leaf and Local Yellowtail Snapper en croute de sel.   Mint Chocolate Pavé with Mint Sorbet, and Grapefruit Givré with Sesame Halva and Rose Loukoum are in the desserts menu.

The Mediterranean cocktail menu lists “Roses & Rosés” with Raspberries, Rose Water, Gin and Champagne, and “Fleur d’Abricot” with Rum, Abricot Du Roussillon Liqueur, Fennel and Orgeat Syrup. To complement the Mediterranean cuisine, Sommelière Mariya Kovacheva will pour a selection from wine regions surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, including a Spanish Xarel-lo; variety of Rosé wines from France, Italy and Spain, reds ranging from Sangiovese, to Montepulciano and Mourvèdre; and a Greek Vinsanto.

The Mediterranean menu will be available for à la carte dinners daily from 5:30-10pm, and a three- course prix fixe menu for $35 per person will also be available seven nights a week.  Café Boululd’s classic menu will be offered in parallel to the Mediterranean offerings and remains available all summer at lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.  301 Australian Avenue, Palm Beach, FL, 561 655 6060


This July, Coral Gables anchor chef, Cindy Hutson along with partner Delius Shirley will celebrate the 15th anniversary of Ortanique on the Mile.

In celebration - and to thank the community for their many years of support – the duo will be organizing a sweepstakes.  From June 1 – July 31, guests who dine at Ortanique will receive a dine card, dine three times and you are automatically entered into the sweepstakes. Guests can enter to win a trip to one of three Cindy Hutson restaurant experiences including:

Ortanique On The Crescent, Grand Cayman: Roundtrip airfare for two; Two-night stay at the Westin Hotel; Wine dinner for two at Ortanique

Cindy Hutson’s The Dunmore, Harbour Island: Roundtrip airfare for two; Two-night stay at The Dunmore; Wine dinner for two at The Dunmore Restaurant

Ortanique On The Mile: One-night stay at The Biltmore for two; Wine dinner for two at Ortanique


 On June 20-21, World Music Day, an all-night music celebration to mark the beginning of the summer solstice (June 21),  musicians worldwide perform all styles of music public spaces without any restriction.  Many bars and clubs in Miami, along Biscayne Blvd and downtown Miami, will float distinctive Make Music Miami balloons to enable revelers to go bar hopping.  In Miami, notably in Little Haiti, the « Big Night in Little Haiti » will be held on Friday, June 20, from 6 to 8 p.m. For information log on to or contact (305) 960-2969). In Coral Gables,  the French Division of Dante Alighieri will celebrate from 5 :50 to 7 :30 p.m. with French composers and songs along with French-style bites and wines. La Società Dante Alighieri , 300, Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables (  305 529 6633). Free admission.  There will also be a poolside musical afternoon at the Sofitel Miami   with DJ. Hotel Sofitel, 5800 Blue Lagoon Drive



Huahua’s Taquería will host a viewing party to watch the 1-hour special Cooking Channel this Sunday, April 27th at 8PM, LIVE onhuahua their TV screens.  The occasion: On his search across the US for the best tacos, Cooking Channel  Chef Aaron Sanchez stopped by Huahua’s Taqueria with TV cameras to speak with Chef Todd Erickson about his delicious Fried Chicken taco (which also recently represented Florida in Food Network Magazine’s list of 50 States, 50 Tacos).

In addition Huahua’s will also be offering an all-day food & drink special on Sunday the 27th;  two Fried Chicken Tacos, half of their signature Elote & a regular soda

Huahua’s Taqueria, located at 1211 Lincoln Road, is open for lunch and dinner daily; Sunday – Thursday, 11 a.m. – midnight; Friday and Saturday  11 a.m. – 5 a.m.  (305) 534-TACO (8226);

 Chef Allen Susser’s  Daily Melt is celebrating National Grilled Cheese Month through the end of April at both the new Fort Lauderdale location at 350 SE 2nd Street, and the flagship Midtown Miami location in The Shops at Midtown Miami.

Social Media fans who Tweet, Instagram or post to Facebook about their meal at Daily Melt will receive a  coupon for a free meal. They will need to follow and tag Daily Melt on Twitter (@followdailymelt) and Instagram (@Dailymelt) and include the hashtag #NationalGrilledCheeseMonth Furthermore, all entries will be put together in an album at the end of the month and the photo with most likes will receive a grand prize.

Daily Melt – Fort Lauderdale,   downtown Las Olas at 350 SE 2nd St, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and is open 6am - 8pm, Monday – Friday and 8am - 7pm Saturday and Sunday.   954-713-MELT (6358)

Daily Melt - Midtown,   Buena Vista Avenue in The Shops at Midtown Miami (next to Five Guys), is open seven days a week, from 7a.m.-10p.m.   305.573.0101. .,

Pubbelly Boys Andreas Schreiner, Jose Mendin and Sergio Navarro have launched   PB Fish, a Sunset Harbour fish shack and a new pop-up concept  at PB Steak at 1787 Purdy Avenue on South Beach, with affordable seafood specialties and innovative rum-based cocktails, weekdays from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Their weekday Happy Hour, normally 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. will move from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. to accommodate the expected crowds.

In addition to  Shack Snacks ($7-$22)   Croquetas de Seafood with lobster coral aioli; New England Clam Chowder Dumplings; Crispy Clam Bellies with lemon, and spicy coleslaw;  and Miso Black Cod in butter lettuce wraps with pickles and kataifi. Shackwiches ($9-$22)  in half or full size with fries and such as Maine Lobster with celery and yuzu;  there will be a  PB Fish  Catch of the Day based on what fisherman bring in that morning and what chef is inspired to create.

Reservations Monday through Friday from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. are through ,   and by calling the restaurant at 305 695 9550. PB Fish pop-up  is located inside PB Steak, at 1787 Purdy Avenue in the Sunset Harbour area of Miami Beach.   Plenty of municipal parking available.


Deerfield Beach-based Beverly Raphael, president and CEO of  General Contractor RCC Associates hopes to deliver one of the company’s most elaborate restaurant projects with the scheduled summer completion of the China Grill on Brickell Avenue.

RCC Associates, which has built some 350 restaurants over the last 43-plus years, is working from project architect Arquitectonica’s design of a raised private dining in the patio overlooking Brickell with individual “bird nests” constructed with special weave materials. Raphael said the restaurant will also feature unique high-end finishes on the interior with multiple levels of dining from mezzanine to a lounge area on the second floor.  An elevator and unique floating stairs connect the dining levels.

Located at 801 Brickell Avenue, China Grill will feature more than 13,000 square feet indoors and an additional 3,900 square foot patio.  There will be a total of 452 seats.

Founded 20 years ago, China Grill, which features Asian-inspired world cuisine and sushi, today has twenty locations, including Las Vegas, Mexico City and New York City.  After 17 years, the company closed its location on Miami Beach and is relocating to Brickell.

From Monday through Friday from 5 to 7pm. Lippi Restaurant is offering a Happy Cocktail Hour with all drinks and specialty cocktails at $8; and bar-bites prepared by Executive chef Philippe Ruiz at  $8.  Live music performances by renowned artists will start at 6pm.

Lippi Restaurants,  600 Brickell Avenue, Downtown Miami 305.579.1888,

Starting Sunday, April 6 – and every Sunday beginning at 6 p.m. - Dolce Italian at the Gale South Beach  offers a  new Sunday dinner menu ( $35 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity, or $50 with unlimited wine) prepared by Executive Chef Paolo Dorigato. The old school four-course Italian Sunday Supper menu changes seasonally and is made for sharing, with something for everyone at the table; minimum of four (4) participating diners required.

On the menu this spring, there’s antipasti like Pizza Margherita, Fritto Misto, Salads and dolce meatballs over creamy polenta; followed by pasta dishes like fonduta ravioli and orecchiette Bolognese with braised beef, veal & pork ragù; secondi: Seared Branzino with butternut squash, spinach and Sicilian pesto; NY Strip or roasted chicken with Brussels sprouts and bacon. Then desserts such as tiramisu, Key lime pie and budino with salted caramel and chocolate chip cookie.

Dolce Italian is located at the Gale South Beach,  1690 Collins Avenue, South Beach (786) 975-2550;     Valet parking for Sunday Family Dinner will be reduced to $10.

 From Tuesday through Saturday, from  4-7pm,  Cecconi’s Soho Beach House offers an aperitivo menu with food and drinks from $4 to $7. Cecconi’s Soho Beach House, 4385 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL, 33140. 786.507.7902.

Katsuya’s lunch specials during Miami Music Week, South Beach

From March 26 through March 30, Katsuya celebrates Music Week by serving lunch from 12PM to 3PM. For a limited time, customers will be able to order à la carte from a selection of appetizers, rolls, sushi, sashimi, & robata. Additionally, both sushi and sashimi combinations are available for $35 each.   Katsuya, 1701 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139. (305) 455-2995

Passes and tickets are on sale now for The Palm Beach International Film Festival (PBIFF) April 3 – 10, 2014 ( ). Features, documentaries and short films from the U.S. and around the world, include a few great food-centric documentaries, such as:

year in champagne 1A Year in Champagne, USA, France  Directed by David Kennard.

The exploding cork. Endless tiny bubbles floating up and up in the glass. A celebration. A seduction. This is the essence of Champagne, isn’t it? But it’s not just bubbles in a glass that makes the wine, or the mystique. Only sparkling wine produced in Champagne is truly “Champagne.” The region’s history is grim and bloody, swept by war. The environment for winemaking is desperately hard. Yet it’s these difficulties that help make the wine unique.  With renowned wine importer Martine Saunier as our guide, we get a rare glimpse into the real Champagne, from small independent makers where every bottle is still turned by hand in the cellars, to the illustrious houses which have helped shape the image of Champagne around the world.

Fabergé: A Life of its Own, United KingdomWORLD PREMIERE  Directed By: Patrick Mark

This feature-doc tells the epic story of the Fabergé name, from Imperial Russia until the present-day, spanning one hundred and fifty years of turbulent history, romance, artistic development and commercial exploitation. From the bejewel led Easter eggs of the Romanov Tsarinas to the 1970s allure of 'Brut by Faberge' aftershave, and from the Russian revolution to today's high-fashion glitz in New York and London, the film explores a multi-faceted world that began with one man: the prodigiously talented Peter Carl Faberge, Court Jeweler of St Petersburg. Shot at locations across Russia, Europe and USA (including the collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II), the film features interview contributions from the world's foremost Faberge authorities, as well as personal reminiscences from Faberge family members.

The Great Chicken Wing Hunt, USA, Slovakia     Directed by Matt Reynolds (Cast: Ben Beaveres, Ron Wieszczyk, Al Caster, Lucie Mayerova, Ric Kealoha)

American expatriate, international journalist and upstate New Yorker Matt Reynolds forsakes a successful life in Eastern Europe, compelled by a singular obsession: find the world's best Buffalo chicken wing.  Joined by his long-suffering Czech girlfriend, a perplexed Slovak film crew, and a ragtag gang of wing-obsessed misfits recruited online, Reynolds embarks on THE GREAT CHICKEN WING HUNT. After 2,627 miles and 284 varieties of wings, the quest ends in the very countryside of Reynolds' childhood, where he discovers that the perfection he has sought so hard to find was right under his nose all along.

Individual tickets for special events and Individual screening tickets ( $10.50 general admission / $8 for seniors and students) are available in advance at or can be purchased at the respective theaters’ box office during the festival

Shake Shack will be hosting their second Table Tennis tournament on Thursday, March 27th at the Coral Gables Shack (1450 South Dixie Highway (US1)! Join us at 7:00 PM for food and drink specials (2 for 1 beer and a free fry with any purchase), Shack swag giveaways, and rockin’ bracket-style play. The table tennis winner will bring home a $75 Shack gift card, special edition Shake Shack Table Tennis League (SSTTL) t-shirt, and of course bragging rights! No pre-registration is required, just show up and play! The tourney is limited to 16 players per tournament so be sure to get there early to sign-up!
Click here gor additional information

Shake Shack will be hosting their second Table Tennis tournament on Thursday, March 27th at the Coral Gables Shack (1450 South Dixie Highway (US1)! Join us at 7:00 PM for food and drink specials (2 for 1 beer and a free fry with any purchase), Shack swag giveaways, and rockin’ bracket-style play. The table tennis winner will bring home a $75 Shack gift card, special edition Shake Shack Table Tennis League (SSTTL) t-shirt, and of course bragging rights! No pre-registration is required, just show up and play!

The tourney is limited to 16 players per tournament so be sure to get there early to sign-up!

Click here gor additional information  


MO Bar + Lounge has just opened in the 30-foot floor-to-ceiling bay and city views sumptuous lobby of Mandarin Oriental, Miami.   This is a new nightlife experience  featuring  a 14-seat formal bar and 76-seat lounge,  with highly-trained bartenders serving cocktails in solid square ice cubes alongside a menu of light plates.  MO Bar + Lounge will also host nightly jazz and international Latin performances.

“We are delighted to bring a stylish and lively bar experience to Mandarin Oriental, Miami,” said Jorge Gonzalez, Area Vice President and General Manager. “There are many exciting additions to the hotel this year from a refreshed design and new cuisine at Azul to our new Peruvian restaurant, La Mar by Gaston Acurio, which will open in early March. These new offerings paired with the opening of MO Bar + Lounge will allow us to remain at the forefront of Miami’s dynamic culinary industry.”

The hotel has tapped expert mixologist, Angelo Vieira, formerly of The Florida Room and Sunset Lounge, to create cocktails with rare spirits and with homemade infusions and fresh fruit liquors  from timeless classics with a fresh twist, such as the French Martini with vodka, crème de framboise, fresh pineapple, fresh lime and raspberry  to the more intriguing variety, such as the New York Sour with whiskey, lemon, simple syrup, egg white, and red wine float.

 On Thursday, March 20, from 5 p.m. to midnight, Café Prima Pasta celebrates National Ravioli Day with a complimentary Bellini made with fresh peach puree and authentic Italian champagne followed by an individual Fiocchi Rapera, a homemade pasta purse stuffed with Asian pear and an array of gourmet cheeses tossed in a truffle sauce with crispy prosciutto.

In addition, dinners can enjoy a wide variety of homemade ravioli on the menu including pasta pockets filled with crabmeat and finished with a creamy lobster sauce ($18.95) and spinach and ricotta ravioli in a rich vodka sauce ($16.95).

Café Prima Pasta is open Monday through Saturday for dinner and Sunday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.  414 71st Street, Miami Beach,   305-867-0106

Maya Tapas and Grill on  Lincoln Road  is introducing several specials for local residents, as well as Argentine visitors this month:

-          Steak Night Tuesdays:     locals with a Florida ID. can enjoy half-off Maya’s signature steak dishes including Churrasco, Short Ribs, N.Y. Strip Steak, Filet Mignon, and T-Bone Steak.

-          Tango Fridays:  Every last Friday of the month beginning at 7pm,  dinner and tango with a guitarist serenading a tango dancer.   February 28, March 28, April 25, May 30.

-          No corkage fee:  no corkage fee with a Florida ID from Sunday to Thursday

-          Pay with Pesos  Argentinos– for Argentine tourists:  To accommodate Argentine tourists –  the fifth largest group of international visitors to Miami – suffering from Dollar restrictions and currency controls imposed by the Argentine government Maya will continue to accept Argentine pesos at the official exchange rate.

Maya Tapas & Grill,  809 Lincoln Road,  Miami Beach, 305.538.0058

simply italian scholarship_cl_6910For the second consecutive year Simply Italian: Great Wines Americas Tour 2014, was held at Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Miami Culinary Institute (MCI)’s Historic Freedom Tower.

What has become an exciting annual event in South Florida is brought to Miami as part of a grand tour of a host of Italian wineries to key cities in The USA, and to capitals of Central and South America  by IEEM, International Event and Exhibition Management .

The company headed by Marina Nedic and Giancarlo Voglino, with headquarters in Verona, Italy and in Miami, Florida, aims at showcasing wines and winemakers from a  wide range of wineries in renowned and emerging wine-producing regions in Italy.“ This is a platform for both the important wineries and renowned winemakers and for wineries from newer regions who get to educate South Florida’s members of the trade, the media and the hospitality industry on native grapes and new wines, and who have a chance to find an importer/distributor,” said Ms. Nedic.  “This is why we do seminars and guided tastings of Italian wines,” she explained.

 PHOTO Caption: Adolfo Barattolo, Counsul General of Italy; Giancarlo, Voglino, Managing Director, IEEM;Dr. Jose A. Vicente, President of MDC’s Wolfson Campus; Marina Nedic, Managing Director, IEEM

This year, MCI was the site of four Simply Italian guided tasting seminars presented by experts in their respective fields to influential, local and international wine-industry leaders as well as the Walk-around tasting held at The Freedom Tower.

“We are honored  to have this  partnership with MDC/MCI. This university really understands the importance of a hands-on education and works tirelessly to provide the kind of international knowledge to its students and faculty,”  said Ms. Nedic. “ We are also proud to hold the event at the prestigious Freedom Tower and showcase this Miami landmark to our Italian visitors.”

A “Simple The Best” Award ceremony closed the walk-around tasting in the presence of Adolfo Barattolo, Counsul General of Italy. Organizers Marina Nedic and Giancarlo Voglino presented a donation of $20,000 to Wolfson Campus President Dr. José A. Vicente, to foster a scholarship program for MCI students who play a key role providing support and logistics to the annual wine tour.

The Simply Italian Miami festivities concluded with a VIP cocktail reception at the MCI’s showcase restaurant, Tuyo.


On Tuesday, March 4, from 8:00 p.m. to close,  SUSHISAMBA  will host a special Carnaval festivity to mark Rio de Janeiro’s most extravagant celebration with live performances by shimmering samba dancers, the beats of booming batucada drummers, djs and more…

About Carnaval: The Carnaval celebration in Rio de Janeiro is the largest and most famous in the world.  Scores of spectacular floats surrounded by thousands of dancers, singers and drummers dressed in elaborate costumes, masks and headdresses parade through the enormous Sambódromo Stadium in the heart of the city.  Droves of revelers party throughout the days leading into the start of Lent.

The origin of Brazil’s Carnaval dates back to a Portuguese pre-Lent festivity called “entrudo,” a chaotic event where participants threw mud, water and food at each other in a street event that often led to riots.  Rio de Janeiro’s first masquerade Carnaval parade took place in 1840 where the participants danced to polkas and waltzes.  The sound closely associated with the Brazilian Carnaval, the samba, did not become part of the festival until 1917.  Samba music is a mix of Angolan semba, European polka, African batuques, with touches of Cuban habanera and other musical styles.

SUSHISAMBA Miami Beach,  (celebration) 600 Lincoln Road, corner Pennsylvania Avenue. 305.673.5337 and SUSHISAMBA Coral Gables (specials only) 180 Aragon Avenue, 305.448.4990

 The trendy gastro pub on Las Olas, American Social (AmSo) has appointed Curt Hicken as the new Executive chef and is launching a new menu.

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Hicken trained under top chefs including Hubert Keller at his Fleur de Lys restaurant and worked for some of the nations’ best restaurants in New York City, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New Orleans and Bermuda. He was most recently working in Manhattan with the renowned Shelly Fireman hospitality group.

Chef Hicken has revamped AmSo’s menu with homemade comfort foods showcasing locally sourced produce and home baked breads and flatbreads. New appetizers, made for sharing, include Ol’ Fashioned Chicken and Waffles ($13; Foie Gras French Toast ($15), with Maury Island blackberry jam, drizzle of bourbon maple syrup and Mascarpone cheese; Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps ($13),; Smoked Salmon Dip gratiné ($14), AmSo’s hickory Smoked Salmon Filet ($15).

Flatbreads include flavors such as BBQ Boursin Short Ribs ($15), and Seared grass-fed Filet Mignon & Roasted Red Pepper Pesto ($15) with fire-roasted artichokes. Entrée salads list Kale Salad ($14), with mandarin orange segments, raisins, dried cranberries, slivers of red onion, almonds and Boursin cheese and Mandarin Chicken Salad ($15), with ripe mangoes, avocadoes and grilled free-range chicken breast tossed with shredded carrots, cilantro and lo mein noodles drizzled with a citrus and Asian peanut vinaigrette dressing.

The sandwiches are hearty and served with French fries: i.e., AmSo Patty Melt Napoleon ($15), an 8 oz. beef patty layered between three slices of toasted sourdough bread smeared with AmSo’s “special sauce”, grilled onions, crispy bacon strips and layers of Swiss and American cheeses and the Catch of the Day Sandwich (MP)

The menu goes on with burgers galore and a vast listing of abundant entrees like Miso Sea Bass ($22),   and Stir Fry ($13-16) The sides are generous as well ranging from Roasted Chili Peanut Brussels Sprouts ($4); Mashed Potatoes, original, cheddar and bacon, wasabi or garlic ($4); AmSo Salad ($4); Caesar Salad ($4) to  Warm Toasted Bread ($1).

Made-to-order desserts ( $6)  include White Chocolate Bread Pudding with warm caramel sauce; Jelly and Sugar Doughnuts with a warm raspberry tarragon jam and AmSo’s Brownie à la Mode, a double chocolate chip brownie piled high with a scoop of vanilla cream in a pool of chocolate and caramel sauces.

AmSo is open nightly for dinner and drink specials; live entertainment; a weekend brunch buffet with unlimited mimosas and Bloody Mary bar, and happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Las Olas Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale,  954-764-7005

The Board of Directors of Benihana Inc. (“Benihana”), the nation’s leading operator of Japanese theme and sushi restaurants, today announced that restaurant industry veteran Steve Shlemon has been named the company’s new President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.

Mr. Shlemon joins Benihana after serving as President of Carrabba’s Italian Grill (“Carrabba’s”), which he helped grow from 15 restaurants to more than 230 locations across the United States.  In addition to his 13-year role as President of Carrabba’s, Mr. Shlemon was an Executive Vice President of Bloomin’ Brands Inc. (Nasdaq:BLMN), the parent company of Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill and Carrabba’s.

A 35-year veteran of the industry, Mr. Shlemon was one of Outback Steakhouse’s first franchise partners outside of Florida and was largely responsible for that restaurant chain’s success in northern and western Texas.  Mr. Shlemon began his career at Steak and Ale Restaurant Corporation and was also previously an executive at TGI Fridays Inc.

Mr. Shlemon, who succeeds Richard Stockinger as President and CEO, will be responsible for all 63 Benihana restaurants across the U.S., as well as the Company’s RA Sushi and Haru locations.

Food & Wine Talk Radio

Achile Sassoli, Director of Gelato World Tour
and Gelato Artisans:
James Coleridge, Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Abdelrahman Al Teneji, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Matthew Lee, Austin, Texas
Ahmed Abdullatif, Kingdom of Bahrain
Stefano Versace, Miami, Florida
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Mark Schatzker, author of The Dorito Effect, The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor


Elizabeth Minchilli, author of  Eating Rome: Living the Good Life in the Eternal City.  


James Beard Award-winning wine journalist Lyn Farmer on: Garnacha from Carinena; the next great wine


Cindy Hutson,chef/owner, Ortanique and Zest, author of From the Tip of My Tongue


Lidia Batianich, celebrity chef, TV host, author and restaurateur 






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