Food News

Executive Chef Steven Zobel Leaving d.b.a./ Cafe

In the great words of Sting, Mariah Carey, and apparently countless other individuals, if you love somebody set them free...

While there is another part to that quote, it doesn't really apply here.

With a bit of sadness and a lot of gratitude d.b.a./ Cafe, New Times's Best New Restaurant Broward County - 2013 just said goodbye to its fearless leader in the kitchen.

Executive chef Steven Zobel has left the much-beloved neighborhood spot for greener, or, well, just different pastures in Boca Raton.

See also: Ten Best Chefs in Broward County

On Saturday night Zobel said good-bye to d.b.a./ Cafe, leaving chef Dan DiGiuseppe to take his place.

"Dan is really talented; he kind of reminds me of myself when I was young," said Zobel. "He worked at S3 for a while and he's a phenomenal sushi chef; so, I'd imagine he might introduce some sushi rolls to the menu, and he's great with Asian flavors. He has an amazing palate."

Zobel has accepted a position as executive chef at the newly renovated Waterstone Resort and Marina at the site of the former Boca Raton Bridge Hotel. While its currently under construction the resort is expected to open at the end of December this year.

While Zobel is excited the new opportunity, he is sad to be leaving d.b.a.

"It's bittersweet; I'm looking forward to working on these new restaurants.," said Zobel. "However, I'm definitely going to miss everyone at d.b.a. I'm really happy I got it off and running and I'll be a good customer, but I really like opening new restaurants; I find it really exciting."

d.b.a./ Cafe owner Tom Moynihan also has mixed feelings about Zobel's departure from the restaurant.

Chef Zobel set us up for success; he put us on the board and got us all this neighborhood love. He was a great mentor and we're sad to see him go especially as a friend and mentor, but Dan worked with him for the past year; he's been here since the beginning. It was crucial to get someone who already knew what put us on the map. Dan has always put specials on the board, he has been there that way for a long time, and he's very creative, talented chef. I don't have to worry about growing pains. We're very fortunate. Chef Zobel was an integral part of d.b.a. and he always will be. He's left us in very capable hands.

Stay tuned for more information on Zobel and d.b.a.

d.b.a./ Cafe is located at 2364 N. Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-565-3392, or visit

Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.

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Sara Ventiera