Finalists Announced for Fifth Annual ZEST Awards


JWU North Miami’s College of Culinary Arts has announced finalists for the fifth annual JWU ZEST™ Awards, which will showcase and honor leaders in culinary arts in Miami. The 2016 winners will be announced Wednesday, March 16 during a private reception to be held on campus.

Nominees Include Impressive Group of Newcomers
The winners for Best Restaurant, Best New Restaurant, Best Boutique Restaurant, Best Bar/Lounge, Best Wine Program, Baking and Pastry Innovator and Culinary Innovator will be selected by an advisory board of industry leaders and faculty from the College of Culinary Arts.

Additionally, JWU administration will recognize Rev. Ronald Brummitt, president of Miami Rescue Mission, with the Community Leader Award for his dedication to feeding the hungry and homeless in South Florida. New to the line-up this year, the public will have the opportunity to vote for the winners of the Eater’s Choice “Big Food Moment” award.

“Miami continues to command attention for the creativity and staying power of some of our greatest restaurants,” said Bruce Ozga, JWU North Miami dean of culinary education. “We’re proud to count a number of recurring nominees and winners among an impressive group of newcomers in this year's awards.”

Vote for Miami's Big Food Moment
Go to for a complete list of 2016 nominees, as well as past winners, which include Timon Balloo, executive chef of Sugarcane, award-winning Chef Michelle Bernstein, the Pubbelly Group and Chef Allen Susser.

This year’s nominees include:

  • Best Restaurant: AZUL and Hakkasan
  • Best New Restaurant: Alter and Cena by Michy’s
  • Culinary Innovator: Michelle Bernstein '94, '03 Hon.

Eater’s Choice “Big Food Moment” can be voted on by fans between February 2 and March 1 at These include:

  • Michelle Bernstein reopens Michy’s as Cena
  • The Lunchbox, Miami's first zero waste restaurant, opens
  • The Seed Wine & Food Festival returns after a successful first year

Explore the whole list and vote at

Join the conversation via social media by using the hashtag #JWUZEST and by tagging JWU North Miami’s Twitter handle, @JWUNorthMiami.

Pictured: 2015 JWU ZEST Awards winners. Front row: Patrick Calvarese (Palme d’Or), Pred Starcevic (Palme d’Or), Laine Doss (Miami New Times) Batsheva Wulfsohn (Zak the Baker), Xavier Torres (Drunken Dragon), Jeannie Necessary (Common Threads), Dianne Rubin (Miami Food Pug), Gui Jaroschy (Broken Shaker at Freehand Miami), Bobby Frank (Mignonette), Danny Serfer (Mignonette) Back row: Dean Bruce Ozga (JWU), Zak Stern (Zak the Baker), Andreas Schreiner (Pubbelly Restaurant Group), Geoffrey Anderson (Miami Food Pug)