Finalists Announced for Johnson & Wales University & Miami Magazine's Second Annual ZEST™Awards

Awards program spotlights the best of South Florida’s culinary industry; invites public to vote for Best Restaurant and Best Bar/Lounge

North Miami, Fla. – April 1, 2013 – In recognition of excellence within South Florida’s food and beverage community, Johnson & Wales University’s North Miami Campus and MIAMI magazine have announced finalists for the second annual ZEST™ Awards. Winners will be announced Wednesday, April 24 during a private reception at Johnson & Wales University.

The winners for Culinary Innovator, Newcomer of the Year, Baking and Pastry Innovator and Community Leader awards will be selected by a panel of industry experts.

As a new component for 2013, the South Florida community is encouraged to vote for their favorite restaurant and bar/lounge in two readers’ choice categories: MIAMI Magazine Readers’ Choice Award - Best Restaurant 2013 and MIAMI Magazine Readers’ Choice Award - Best Bar/Lounge 2013. Votes will be accepted April 1 – 12 at www.modernluxury.com/ZESTAwards. The community is also encouraged to mention their favorites on Twitter using hashtag #JWUZEST and the @JWUNorthMiami Twitter handle.

“All of the 2013 nominees have played a significant role in transforming South Florida into a culinary destination,” said Loreen Chant, president of Johnson & Wales University’s North Miami Campus. “The ZEST™ Awards are a way for our College of Culinary Arts to recognize and honor the contributions they have made to the area’s unique culture and thriving hospitality industry.”

From newcomers to established restaurants, the ZEST™ Awards will honor the following nominees for their respective accomplishments.

Culinary Innovator: This award honors the local chefs and culinary heroes who have created innovative menu items and restaurant concepts using the latest in technology and techniques.

  • Giorgio Rapicavoli, Eating House
  • Kris Wessel, Florida Cookery
  • Kevin Cory, NAOE Miami
  • Andreas Schreiner, Jose Mendin & Sergio Navarro, Pubbelly Group
  • Timon Balloo, Sugarcane
  • Mathias Gervais, The Setai Miami Beach

Newcomer of the Year: This award honors a local chef who was either new to South Florida or merely created a new restaurant concept and quickly garnered a loyal foodie following.

  • Hung Huynh, Catch Miami
  • Piyarat Potha Arreeratn (Chef Bee), Khong River House
  • Dena Marino, MC Kitchen
  • John and Michael Sullivan, Over the Counter (OTC)
  • Mathias Gervais, The Setai Miami Beach

Baking & Pastry Innovator: This award is given to a local baking & pastry chef who has shown exemplary creativity and excellence through innovative menu items and restaurant concepts using the latest in technology and techniques.

  • Mariana Cortez, Bunnie Cakes
  • Yannis Janssens, Lee & Marie's Cakery Company
  • Hedy Goldsmith, Michael's Genuine Food & Drink and ACME Bakery & Coffee
  • Antonio Bachour, St. Regis Bal Harbor
  • Sylvain Marrari, The Setai Miami Beach

Community Leader: This award is given to a community member who has shown dedication to culinary/food education.

  • Allen Susser, Chef Allen's Consulting (Share Our Strength)
  • Lee Brian Schrager, Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival
  • Renée Frigo Graeff, Slow Food Miami
  • Linda Lecht, The Education Fund (Plant A Thousand Gardens Collaborative Nutrition Initiative)

MIAMI Magazine Readers’ Choice Award Best Restaurant 2013: This award is given to a local restaurant that stood out above the rest in 2013 both for its delicious food and talented culinary team. Readers may vote for one of the following nominees (or “write in” a new nominee) between April 1 – 12 at www.modernluxury.com/ZESTAwards.

  • Azul at Mandarin Oriental Miami
  • Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar
  • Florida Cookery
  • Khong River House
  • Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink
  • Michy’s
  • NAOE Miami
  • Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill
  • Yardbird Southern Table & Bar
  • Zuma

MIAMI Magazine Readers’ Choice Award Best Bar/Lounge: This award is given to a local bar/lounge that who has shown excellence in finding the best wines or creating the best cocktails. Readers may vote for one of the following nominees (or “write in” a new nominee) between April 1 – 12 at www.modernluxury.com/ZESTAwards

  • Bar Centro at SLS
  • Blackbird Ordinary
  • Broken Shaker at Freehand Miami
  • HaVen South Beach
  • Regent Cocktail Club at Gale South Beach
  • SOUTHSTREET
  • The Forge Restaurant & Winebar

Join the conversation via social media by using the hashtag: #JWUZEST and the Johnson & Wales University’s North Miami Campus Twitter handle: @JWUNorthMiami

Media Contact
Susan Gilden, rbb Public Relations
Susan.gilden@rbbpr.com
305.448.7536

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