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Personal Best Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach 2004 - Johnny V

Johnny V

Johnny V

625 E. Las Olas Blvd.

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

954-761-7920

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Name: Johnny V (Johnny Vinczencz)

Age: 43

Hometown: St. Louis

Claim to Fame: One of South Florida's most sought-after and most restless chefs

What he's done for us lately: He kicked off the year by opening Johnny V Restaurant/Lounge on Las Olas Boulevard. This after hopping around South Beach and Delray Beach for a decade or so, experimenting with Caribbean and Southwest cuisines, making his name among comfort-food-loving diners. The new place is getting raves. There's something familiar but subtly different about dishes like sage-scented Florida dolphin (with rock shrimp-flecked plantain stuffing) or the lobster shepherd's pie. This is American home cooking with attitude.

What it takes: "At certain levels, either you have it or you don't. You can learn your cooking skills. But the creative end? That's a gift."

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