The most influential person in my career has been...
I think there are two sides to whom has been influential in my career. First and foremost, my parents. They have supported me through this journey of becoming a chef and even come down to Florida to be my "sous chefs" for special events so we can spend time together.
On the professional side, Michelle Bernstein really showed me the ropes of balancing being a chef and giving back to our community. She took a chance on me at a young age and taught me the importance of being a chef behind the stoves and out in public.
When I'm alone and in need of comfort (and no one is there to watch or judge), the one food or drink I turn to is...
Pimento Cheese slathered on a piece of cheap white bread.
What does the Broward/Palm Beach food scene need more of?
Chef-driven restaurants. I think our area of South Florida has come a long way in the past few years and there are some great chefs doing smart and creative food. However, we need more of that to encourage our community to support local businesses and challenge our food scene.
You get to vote one food or beverage trend off the island forever -- what is it?
Too much bacon-inspired food that shouldn't be bacon-inspired.
You have unlimited funds to open a restaurant or bar -- what's the name, and what do you serve?
Hmmm, that's a hard one. I think that the name of the restaurant would be established based on the location and feel of the space. No matter the name, the concept would be conscious, ingredient driven, seasonal cuisine that focuses on local farmers and artisans. I would love to have a little shop next door to the restaurant that serves fun take-out and a small retail section selling house made condiments, jellies, and good kitchen equipment. I think some part of me has always wanted to run an old-school general store.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Still behind a stove calling tickets and yelling at grown men! Ha!
Dream dinner party for six: Who (living or dead) are you inviting?
Julia Child, Nancy Silverton, April Bloomfield, my parents George & Pandy Autry, and my grandfather Raz Autry.
New Times' Best Of Broward-Palm Beach 2013 issue arrives June 13. To celebrate, Clean Plate Charlie is serving up 30 of our favorite tastemakers -- restaurateurs, chefs, bartenders, and other foodies who make the South Florida food scene what it is. We'll start with number 30 and lead up to South Florida's number one. All previous 2013 Tastemakers are listed below.
30. Robyn Almodovar of Palate Party Food Truck
29. Chris and Jordan Bellus of Laser Wolf
28. Fulvio Sardelli of Sardelli's Italian Steakhouse
27. Brett Chiavari of BC Tacos
26. Mike Halker of Due South Brewing
25. Chrissy Benoit of the Little House Boynton Beach
24. Dean Max of DJM Restaurants
22. Vaughan Lazar of Kapow!
21. Eric Guerro, Mark Fee, and Jeff Evans of Angry Union Brewing
20. Ben Lubin of The Blind Monk
18. Julieta Bocos of Casa Frida
16. Frank Coniglio of E.R. Bradley's Saloon
15. Iliya Dimitrov of Valentino's Cucina Italiana
14 Tim Lipman of Coolinary Cafe
13. Lauren DeShields of Market 17
12. Cleve Mash of Dirty Martini
10. David Sabin of Brickhouse PR
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