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Garlic Chef Competition Judges

chef-walter Chef Walter Tanner


Chef Tanner received his training in Switzerland. He became a pastry chef in 1971 and traveled a good portion of the world working for Hilton Hotels and Japan Airlines. He has worked in Africa, the Philippines, England, South America, and Switzerland. In America, Chef Tanner was Head Pastry Chef at the Waldorf Astoria in New York, the Hawaiian Regent in Honolulu, The Breakers Resort in Palm Beach, and Caneel Bay in St. John, USVI.

Chef Tanner has worked in the retail baking industry as well. He owned and operated Alpine Bakery, Inc., a business that specialized in low carbohydrate products. Chef Tanner is a Certified Master Baker. He is certified in Nutrition and has been teaching full time at Florida Culinary Institute for the past 12 years. Recently Chef Walter Tanner worked with Peter Hughes Dive Company training our local chefs onboard our yachts – over the past three months .Walter has spent three weeks aboard each yacht upgrading the menu and the presentation. He is a member of the Retail Bakers Association, the Research Chef Association and the American Culinary Federation.

chef-iam-hedendal Chef Iam Hedendal

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ernesto-de-blasi Ernesto De Blasi

Corporate Executive Chef
Caffe Luna Rosa

Ernesto De Blasi is Corporate Executive Chef at Caffe Luna Rosa, an acclaimed Delray Beach restaurant with an incomparable beach front setting and a 10-year reputation for serving consistently delicious authentic Italian cuisine. DeBlasi wisely developed his talents by developing a strong foundation with a good education, earning degrees in Business Administration and the culinary arts. A 1990 graduate of Brevard Community College in Melbourne, FL, with a degree in Business Administration, DeBlasi continued his studies from 1991-93 in Marrietta, GA where he attended the Atlanta Culinary Arts College.

While pursuing his education, DeBlasi was also acquiring a “hands on” culinary training, learning key management skills, working as Sous Chef and Kitchen Manger at the Hilton Hotel at Cocoa Beach. There he gained experience in all aspects of hotel kitchen management, organized numerous banquets and learned staff training and labor control.

DeBlasi then held a variety of chef and management positions, from l989 – 2001, at a number of high end restaurants including the Brooklyn Café (Atlanta, GA), Al Dente (Southampton, Long Island, NY); Caroline’s on the River (Apalachicola, FL) and at 32 East (Delray Beach, FL)Along the way, he garnered many local awards and recognitions for both the excellence of his cooking talents and for his participation in worthwhile community events.

He was singled out while at Caroline’s by a prominent food reviewer who noted that he “knows how to handle the bounty of seafood the Gulf of Mexico dishes up, and spikes it with Creole and Southern touches.” He was a three – time “Best Restaurant in Atlanta” award winner, and was named among the “Notable Chefs of the Hamptons”, as well as serving as a presenting chef at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

DeBlasi, who joined the staff at Caffe Luna Rosa in 2001, currently presides over the menus at Caffe Luna Rosa in Delray Beach, and its sister restaurant, Ristorante Luna Rosa in Deerfield Beach, which source the highest quality products available, serving only the freshest fish and seafood, prime meats and house-made pasta and breads. His menus are matched by a Wine Spectator Award-winning wine list.

Among his signature dishes are Creste di Gallo alla Vodka – house made rooster’s crest shaped pasta with vodka tomato cream sauce and pan-seared pancetta; Dentice – Local Whole Local Yellowtail Snapper, filleted served tableside with a chefs choice of daily fresh ingredients and Costoletta d Vitello – Center cut 14 oz. mild fed veal chop, pounded and lightly breaded and topped with chopped arugula and tomatoes tossed with freshly squeezed lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil.

dean-ellis Dean Ellis

Dean Ellis began his cooking experience when he made the terrible mistake of complaining about his wife’s cooking more than 35 years ago. She promptly stated “If you think you can do better I would like to see it”. Then he heard himself say “You bet I can”. There was only one problem, he didn’t know anything about cooking except for the normal man task of cooking on the grill. Well in order to save face, he enrolled in a at night chef class at the local technical school. Each class demonstrated to him how much more he needed to know about cooking and also how he needed to learn how to keep his mouth shut when arguing with his wife. After about eight schools later he got where he knew his way around a kitchen preparing nightly dinners and large holiday meals. When his wife got into politics and became Mayor he found himself cooking for large groups and formal dinners. He has continued his cooking education by going to seminars and specialty classes in many locations. His cooking has greatly improved over the years and now with his children on their own and his wife back home at nights he cooks mainly just for him and her. He has also learned over the years more about complimenting his wife frequently and keeping his suggestions on her actions to himself.

joseph-giannuzzi Joseph Giannuzzi

The Farmers Table

Joseph Giannuzzi brings more than 25 years of restaurant experience to Farmer’s Table. Born in Staten Island, N.Y., he was raised in Wellington and developed a passion for surfing and cooking as a teenager. He started working in restaurants at the age of 16, mainly so he could surf during the day and cook at night.

His love of cooking quickly took precedence. It wasn’t long before he started climbing the ranks, working with some of South Florida’s best chefs and restaurateurs at award-winning establishments. He recently hung his toque at The Green Gourmet in Delray Beach, where he pleased his guests with outstanding healthy food and unwavering hospitality.

In his relentless pursuit of great food, Giannuzzi began to notice a change in the “fresh” ingredients being used at restaurants. Waxy, genetically modified and flavorless were becoming the norm. He started working with local farms and purveyors to source fresh and clean ingredients.

Partnering with Mitchell Robbins for Farmer’s Table, Giannuzzi set out to create a restaurant that would have a positive impact on the community and truly change the South Florida dining scene for the better. Now, he’s showcasing his flair for understated food that wows with big flavors and creative presentation.

“I like using quality ingredients that only need a brush of olive oil or sea salt to really shine,” he says. “I like paying attention to sustainability and environmental issues that come along with procuring food. I also believe in minimal processing and demand that everything is made in house so we know exactly what is in the food we serve and can be proud of it.”

He enjoys managing all the moving parts of the operation, he says: “I like getting my arms around the whole thing and figuring out how to manage each detail. A great chef once told me, ‘The chef who manages the most details well has the best kitchen and therefore the best food.’”

Giannuzzi believes that the restaurant’s clean approach to preparation—omitting deep fat frying, microwaving, processed foods, high fructose corn syrup and the like—will truly distinguish Farmer’s Table on the local dining scene. He’s excited for guests to try such standout menu items as the Cucumber “Tartare,” Zahtar Spiced Salmon, flatbreads and mocktails.

Giannuzzi resides in Delray Beach with his wife, Britt.

chris-miracolo2 Chris Miracolo


Chris Miracolo knew by the age of 20 that he wanted to make cooking his life. After foregoing culinary school to spend time under the tutelage of South Florida’s premier chefs such as Mark Militello, Norman Van Aken & Peter Boloukos, Miracolo met Dennis Max and Chef Patrick Broadhead of Max’s Grille and helped them open Max’s Place in Bal Harbor as Executive Sous Chef in 2000.
Miracolo then ventured west to Dallas to work at The Mansion on Turtle Creek under Dean Fearing, and Abacus under Kent Rathbun before moving to Denver, Colorado to open Rhapsody at Clear Creek in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

Upon his return to South Florida in 2005, he rejoined the Max’s family and worked at Max’s Grille as Patrick Broadhead’s Executive Sous Chef until 2009 when he left to head up Himmarshee Bar & Grille in Ft. Lauderdale. He is very pleased to rejoin the Max’s family as Executive Chef at Max’s Harvest in Delray Beach’s Pineapple Grove.

Sig from FlavorPB Jan Norris


Jan Norris is a food journalist and publishes the web site,, writing all about food and wine, recipes and chefs and dining out in and around Florida. She also freelances for a number of publications, including the Sun Sentinel and The Coastal Star newspapers. For 26 years, she was the Food Editor at The Palm Beach Post. Jan’s a fifth-generation Floridian and enthusiastically promotes her state – quirky bits and all.

lenore-nolan-ryan Lenore Nolan-Ryan

Lenore Nolan-Ryan was born in Miami Beach; during whimsical childhood days, she spent storybook time at her father’s casino in pre-Castro Havana, learned to cook and sing from a mother she adored, and, after years in San Francisco, chose to open one of the region’s most highly-regarded catering businesses.

Living in San Francisco for over twenty years Lenore owned and operated an award-winning restaurant, catering company and retail gourmet market. Lenore now happily resides in charming Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Florida and owns a highly successful catering business in this lovely seaside resort town just east of Fort Lauderdale.

After her monumental years in San Francisco, Lenore now has the pleasure of catering to South Florida’s finest. In fact, she’s known as “caterer to the stars.” Recently celebrating her 10th year in LBTS, several celebrities paid special tribute by stopping by.

Lenore also offers an avenue for fans to find phenomenal food, then cook it for themselves! It’s her famous cooking school. Additionally, her cooking class parties are an immensely popular way to learn to cook, while having a ball doing so, all in her customers’ own kitchens!

It’s a fact that Lenore has earned a reputation as one of the region’s most acclaimed caterers. “I never use chafing dishes,” she explains. “My bowls, serving trays and utensils are beautiful, never generic; my table top and plate presentations dance together to create an overall dining experience. Our catering environment is always equal to our highest kitchen and presentation standards.”

It is now through her cooking school that Lenore can pass along her remarkable advantage of wine and food pairing expertise. Present at every class is Lenore’s warmth, enthusiasm and spirit that makes each class an experience never to be forgotten!

Lenore says her success is based on fundamentals. “Just imagine what an entrée would become if a basic spice or herb was negligently omitted or disproportionately included.” Lenore would give you the same advice that her mother sang “make lemonade or make a reservation.” It’s loving what you do, with a smile on your face, with grace and with ease, partnered with high standards that create happy customers and repeat business.”

Lenore’s loyal and talented staff reflects sound management and visionary leadership. Her customer base is large and impressively loyal. As a generous and productive citizen, she has few peers.

 DaveDiPino  David DiPino

David DiPino joined Forum Publishing Group in August 2006. As a reporter for the Delray Forum, David covers community news in Delray Beach and writes a dining column twice a month that focuses on restaurants in South Florida with a focal point on cuisine from South Palm Beach County into North Broward County focusing on the area from Lake Worth to Lighthouse Pointe.

He also writes news articles and features about the happenings in Delray Beach for the Sun-Sentinel newspaper’s Community News section each week for the Sunday edition, and has a blog titled “Reporter’s Notebook” at with over 800 blog postings. David freelances for the Sun-Sentinel during high school football seasons and was the sports editor at the University Press (from 2005 to 2007) at Florida Atlantic University.

David spent 17 years working in the restaurant industry, and did just about every job in the back of the house, including line cook, sous chef, and dessert chef. A Florida native, originally from Jupiter, who now owns a home in Boynton Beach, he studied Multimedia Journalism at Florida Atlantic University, where he obtained a BA in Multimedia Journalism with a Minor in History. David enjoys playing the guitar, golf, boating and snorkeling, during his free time.

david-sedivy David Sedivy

Executive Chef
EAU Gallie Yacht Club

06/10 – Present
EAU GALLIE YACHT CLUB, Melbourne, Florida
Executive Chef
*Private Yacht Club

12/2005 – 2010
Executive Chef
Private Yacht Club with 700 members, International cuisine and local seafood cuisine

07/2000 – 10/2005
PRESIDENT COUNTRY CLUB, West Palm Beach, Florida
Executive Chef / Food & Beverage Manager
A traditional Golf Club with full club amenities, 800 members serving ala carte lunch, dinner and a full calendar of unique, well attended club sponsored events and private parties with attendance ranging from 25-500

11/1998 – 12/2000
Regional Executive Chef
Executive Chefs of new accounts for premier catering company in Ivy League Colleges and Museums with a diverse Culinary exposure of International Cuisines

01/1996 – 11/1998
Executive Chef/Chef de Cuisine
Successfully developed kitchen outlet according to the guidelines of the Board of Directors, and under the direction of the General Manager and CFO. Greatly increased membership attendance through unique and new creations, bringing members satisfaction to a new level.

12/1991 – 1995
Executive Chef
Exclusive private country club serving 450 members from upscale New York residences eclectic style of classical French preparations both lunch and dinner.

01/1988 – 1991
NASSAU COUNTY CLUB, Nassau County, Long Island, New York
Food and Beverage Manager/ Executive Chef
Premier old money gold club with full amenities with 900 members serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and club sponsored events and private catering

1984 – 1988
Executive Chef
5 Star Resort Club featuring 3 restaurants, off premises catering, and banquets 50 – 650. Gained experience in high-volume, fast-paced resort style food service operations













Roy Villacrusis

Chef Roderick Smith

Executive Chef

Chef Roderick Smith has been an executive chef in Palm Beach County for over 30 years. He earned American Culinary Federation certification as an executive chef in 1995 and was inducted into the American Academy of Chefs, the honor society of ACF, in 1997. He is presently Co-owner and the Executive Chef for Farms To Chefs, a local produce distribution company based in Lantana, Florida.

Chef Smith has previously held Executive Chef positions at The Little Harbor Club in Harbor Springs, Michigan, The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and Spa in Jupiter, Florida, The Country Club of Florida in the Village of Golf, Florida, Bocaire Country Club and The Sheraton Hotel & Towers in Boca Raton, Florida.

Among the many culinary honors he has received are the American Academy of Chefs Southeast Chair’s award in 2001, the Southeast Chef Professionalism Award in 1999, American Culinary Federation president’s medallions in 1997 and 1999. Chef Smith has earned many medals for his achievements in professional culinary competitions, both national and international, including The Chico D’Oro, in Vernoa, Italy. In 2003 Chef Smith earned the title of “The American Culinary Federation’s National Chef of the Year”, an honor he received through his skills, knowledge and passion for cooking.


Chef Roy Villacrusis

Chef is an artist at heart. Although he worked at restaurants as a young boy, Chef Roy didn’t decide to make a career out of it until later on. He was working a second job at a friend’s restaurant, saving up to finish his chosen field, in advertising and marketing when he fell in love with cooking. The vibrant colors of fresh cut fish and beautiful plates first attracted him, but the freedom to be able to express his self through the dishes kept him engaged and wanting more. Taking a different route, Chef Roy avoided working under big name chefs and opted to study culinary arts in his own way through an extensive book collection and travelling to immense food destinations. He managed to keep his food style pure and personal while taking inspirations from everything around him. He strategically worked in varied restaurants, from mom and pop places all the way to big budgeted corporate empires like Shibuya on MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Chef Roy Villacrusis is currently the executive sushi chef at Aah Loi Thai & Sushi in Jupiter, Florida. The seven month old restaurant has collected awards from Publications like Florida Trend, Palm Beach Post and New Times including Best Sushi for 2014. Chef Roy continue to garner awards including winning the Palm Beach Food and Wine Fest Chef Throwdown back to back and “Most Innovative Dish” at the PGA Burger Bash. Aside from the restaurant, he continues to host progressive dinner tastings with wine and sake pairing at different pop ups and locations. Chef Roy continues to be a major part of the community not just through his amazing food but also with his charitable work.