When it comes to downtown Fort Lauderdale restaurants, many have come and gone. If it wasn't lack of interest, it was the recession. If that didn't kill their business, changing trends did. Point being: it's a fickle business and you have to be on top of your game to stay relevant.
In terms of the Fort Lauderdale restaurant scene, our Tastemaker number 6, is about as elite as you can get. Restauranteur Tim Petrillo runs some of the busiest bars in all of Fort Lauderdale: Tarpon Bend, a mainstay in the Himmarshee district for well over a decade, YOLO, the spot credited with bringing the life to the business district of Las Olas, Vibe, Las Olas' only upscale club, and the brand-new beach-side spot S3.
To say Petrillo has left a mark on the Fort Lauderdale scene would be an understatement: he basically created it as it currently exists.
The most influential person in my career has been...
George Biel (Owner of Houston's) and Steve Halmos (Mentor)
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...
What does Broward/ Palm Beach food scene need more of?
Edgier restaurant concepts that push the envelope and more stylish hotels that focus on food & beverage, and Entertainment as part of the destination.
You get to vote one food or beverage trend off the island forever -- what is it?
Celebrity chef restaurants that have never once seen the celebrity chef in them.
You have unlimited funds to open a restaurant or bar -- what's the name and what do you serve?
It's a concept that combines 4 of the top chefs in one space. Each has their own exposed show kitchen and share a beautiful dining room and bar. Guests can choose menu items from each chefs kitchen....it's called "Taste".
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully continuing to enjoy success in this business and helping resolve the issues you asked in question 3.
Dream dinner party for six: Who (living or dead) are you inviting? Micheal Jordan, Eddie Vedder, Warren Buffet, Ian Schrager, George Biel, my Grandmother
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.
22. Vaughan Lazar of Kapow!
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.