JWU ZEST™ Awards Honor Miami’s Top Chefs

North Miami, Fla. – April 25, 2013 – In April, JWU North Miami and MIAMI Magazine co-hosted the second annual ZEST™ Awards, which showcased South Florida’s culinary leaders in 6 award categories: Culinary Innovator, Newcomer of the Year, Baking and Pastry Innovator, Community Leader, MIAMI Magazine Readers’ Choice Award for Best Bar/Lounge and Best Restaurant.

“The ZEST™ Awards have once again brought together South Florida’s brightest culinary talents,” said Loreen Chant, president of JWU North Miami. “All of the 2013 nominees have played a significant role in transforming South Florida into a culinary destination. By presenting these awards we recognize their hard work and contributions to the area’s unique culture and thriving culinary industry.”

The event attracted culinary innovators and community leaders from across the region, including JWU alums Jeff McInnis (Yardbird), Timon Balloo (Sugarcane), Adrianne Calvo (Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar) and Jose Mendin (Pubbelly), as well as Giorgio Rapicavoli (Eating House), Kris Wessel (Florida Cookery), Piyarat Potha Arreeratn (aka Chef Bee, Khong River House), Dena Marino (MC Kitchen), John and Michael Sullivan (Over the Counter), Sergio Navarro (Pubbelly Group), and Allen Susser (Chef Allen’s Consulting).

Awards were presented by Bruce Ozga, JWU North Miami’s dean of culinary education; President Chant; and MIAMI Magazine dining critic Jen Karetnick. Johanna Gomez, host on the DJ Laz Morning Show, was the emcee.

The winners:

  • MIAMI Magazine Reader’s Choice Award Best Bar/Lounge: The Broken Shaker at Freehand Miami, for its well-chosen wine list and unforgettable cocktails
  • MIAMI Magazine Reader’s Choice Award Best Restaurant: Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar, for its delicious food and talented culinary team
  • Baking & Pastry Innovator: St. Regis Bal Harbour’s Antonio Bachour, for his bold use of modern techniques
  • Newcomer of the Year: Khong River House’s Piyarat Potha Arreeratn (Chef Bee), for quickly becoming an indispensable fixture on the scene
  • Culinary Innovator: Andreas Schreiner, Jose Mendin and Sergio Navarro of Pubbelly Group, for their innovative menus and fresh takes on the restaurant concept
  • Community Leader: Chef Allen’s Consulting’s Allen Susser for his work with Share Our Strength

“These awards are a unique way to show our students and the community the excellence we have within our food and beverage community,” said Chant. “We are proud of our winners — here’s to 2014!”