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Ten Best Chefs in Broward County

Ten Best Chefs in Broward County

Broward County is known for many things: beautiful beaches, spring break, giant yachts, the largest per-capita gay community in the country, an inability to vote properly, the most hated woman on the internet in Taylor Chapman -- well, a couple of months ago, at least -- the nice Prancercise lady, ass-kicking bouncers on the beach -- not in a good way -- the list goes on and on.

What you may have noticed is that a world-renowned culinary scene is not on the register.

Personally, we just think the rest of the world doesn't know what it's missing; we may have no recent James Beard nominees, but we have plenty of all-star and celebrity chefs. We think these talented men and women deserve some credit.

See also: The Ten Best Restaurants in Fort Lauderdale

From spots on Hell's Kitchen, Jimmy Kimmel, and Martha Stewart Living Radio to cooking in Michelin rates spots to just blowing our minds with amazing food, we have some damned good talent in these parts - if you're not taking advantage, you need to get the heck out of the house and check these people out.

In honor of the Broward County's kitchen greats, we bring to you the ten best chefs in Broward County.

Ten Best Chefs in Broward County

10. Steve Martorano - Cafe Martorano

Cook, DJ, celebrity, author, New Times Tastemaker, and just overall restaurant personality, Steve Martorano is one of Broward's most highly recognized chefs. You don't get that level of praise or recognition by being average. Twenty years ago, the cook -- he hates the term chef -- set up shop in a rundown strip-mall not far from Fort Lauderdale beach, and he's been blowing us away ever since with his old-school Italian food. Martorano has expanded over the years, adding locations in the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood and Vegas; however, he hasn't lost that classic Italian-American touch. From his awesome eggplant stack to his classic lasagna, this is Italian food like your Nonna used to make, but better -- sorry, G-ma.

See also: Steve Martorano Wants More Great Italian-American Places

Ten Best Chefs in Broward County

9. Mike Hampton and Christy Samoy - Hot & Soul

They say, "Two heads are better than one." In the case of this mom-and-pop couple, we completely agree with whoever 'they' are. Separately, each one can cook up a storm; however, we're glad these two found each-other in more ways than one. Together the pair create fully homemade international fare with soul. From Italian "Gnaughty Gnocchi" with oxtail, San Marzano tomatoes, basil, and pecorino to Pilipino Chicken Adobo with soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, bay leaves, peppercorns, and jasmine rice to Cajun "Gumbo Yumbo," a combination of ham hock, andouille sausage, and chicken gumbo served with scallion rice, you can feel the love. Isn't that all you need?

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

 

Ten Best Chefs in Broward County

8. Fulvio Sardelli - Sardelli Italian Steak

A staple on the local restaurant scene since he was just a kid - his family had owned restaurants in Davie and Hollywood since the mid-1980's - Fulvio Sardelli Jr. has brought innovative high-end Italian and pork-centric gastropub fare to Hollywood. From Barolo braised short ribs in a $1.6 million four-story Mediterranean-style villa right near the beach to pork belly sliders and beer-can chicken and a Cigar City brew on Harrison Street downtown, Sardelli has a knack for staying on trend, and doing it well. That's what being a restaurant "lifer" is all about.

See also: 28. Fulvio Sardelli of Sardelli's Italian Steakhouse

Ten Best Chefs in Broward County

7. Tony Sindaco - SEA Restaurant

Set in a nondescript strip-mall less than a mile from the beach, Sindaco pumps out seafood like you wouldn't believe; unless, of course, you've tried it out for yourself or have seen his resume. He's held positions at world-class spots, such as the commis de cuisine at Michelin 5-Star Palace Hotel in Gstaad, Switzerland, and chef poissoniere at the Five Diamond Helmsley Palace in New York City under Andre Rene. From tuna Bolognese to braised black grouper with an ever-changing selection of accessories, Sindaco's skill is evident in every last bite of his cuisine.

See also: The Ten Best Restaurants in Fort Lauderdale

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

 

Ten Best Chefs in Broward County

6. Angelo Elia - Casa D'Angelo

The patriarch of fine dining in Fort Lauderdale, executive chef/ owner Angelo Elia is known for elevating the food scene in this city -- and probably all of Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Over the years he's racked up a number of accolades ranging from Zagat's America's Top Restaurants; Wine Spectator's Best of Award of Excellence on numerous occasions, including 100 Best Wine Restaurants in 2012; and, most importantly, a number of New Times awards including Best Place to Close the Deal - 2009. When he's not cooking a dinner for the fine folks at the James Beard Foundation or some other elite culinary event, he's at one of his many local spots watching over simple Tuscan fare like bistecca alla fiorentina, dry-aged New York strip steak marinated in olive oil, rosemary, and garlic or one of the many daily specials. He's good like that.

Ten Best Chefs in Broward County

5. Lauren DeShields - Market 17

One of the leading ladies of the Fort Lauderdale culinary scene, this Florida native churns out an always changing menu full of as many local products as she can get her hands on. From grilled locally caught grouper with crispy mofongo cakes, farm zucchini, sautéed kale, pickled pearl onions, and chimichurri sauce to pan-roasted pork tenderloin with brown butter corn bread, mustard greens, broccolini, rutabaga, rainbow carrots, and mustard demi and everything in between, DeShields focuses on sourcing the highest quality ingredients possible and treating them with the utmost respect. It's treatment like that that earned her a spot on our spot on our "Tastemakers" list -- it's no wonder she's one of the best.

See also: Lauren DeShields of Market 17 Is Done With Overrated Steakhouses

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

 

Ten Best Chefs in Broward County

4. Chris Miracolo - S3

Recently back in Fort Lauderdale after a long stint opening Max's Harvest in Delray Beach, Miracolo has been a staple on the South Florida scene since he opened Himmarshee Bar & Grill as a sous chef back in 1997 -- after moving around in different positions, he took over the restaurant in 2009. While we've had a strong appreciation for his work all along, it was his tenure at Harvest that put him on the map, earning him New Times' award for Best Palm Beach County Chef - 2012 -- up against the heavy weights of "the island's" world-renowned all-stars. Now he's manning the helm of Fort Lauderdale Beach's new and shiny S3, where he's bringing his global eclectic-style -- and infamous pork belly -- to the tourist-laden strip. And the locals are finally making their way to the coast.

Ten Best Chefs in Broward County

3. Steven Zobel - d.b.a./ cafe

Like half the population of South Florida, Zobel is a born-and-bred New Yorker with cooking skills that show off time well spent in one of the leading culinary centers of the world. After spending more than two decades running kitchens in the Big Apple, he packed up the fam and moved to South Florida in 2011. Since then, he's made a name for himself locally with his classic technique and wide scope of flavor profiles -- ranging from apricot glazed duck confit with acorn squash crepe and brussels sprouts to grilled Florida grouper with lemon, soy, scallions -- at New Times' pick for Best New Restaurant Broward County - 2013. He's one expat we're ecstatic to find in our midst.

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

 

Ten Best Chefs in Broward County

2. Giovanni Rocchio - Valentino Cucina Italiana

Born into an Italian restaurant family, Rocchio developed a passion for food at the ripe old age of seven while working in the kitchen with his father Tony Rocchio at the original Valentino in Plantation. After taking off to learn techniques and skills at high-end Italian spots in New York and the motherland itself, he came back to South Florida to open his own Valentino in Fort Lauderdale back in 2006 and has been wowing us ever since. Another move a few blocks north and across the street, Rocchio now serves up homemade and innovative new Italian fare, ranging from homemade pastas to venison with butternut squash, braised red cabbage, and blueberry to monkfish accompanied by sunchoke, black trumpet mushroom, and crispy shallots. His fare is Italian like you've never had.

Ten Best Chefs in Broward County

1. Paula Da Silva - 3030 Ocean

After racking up the awards and accolades as executive chef of 1500 Degrees at the Eden Roc, including Esquire's "Best New Restaurants in America" in 2011, New Times Broward-Palm Beach's "Best Celebrity Chef" 2009, Miami New Times' "Tastemakers," and Miami New Times' "Best Steak House" 2011. DaSilva is back at her old alma mater and we're all the better for it. She's currently in the process of revamping 3030 into more of a casual, small plates eatery. It may have hurt when she walked away, but we're just glad to finally get her back to ourselves.

See also: Paula DaSilva Talks Fort Lauderdale and Revamping 3030 Ocean

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.




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