Vaughan Lazar of Kapow! Says the Local Scene Needs More Locally Sourced Food and Zombie Killers

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The exclamation point is an official part of the name Kapow! Noodle Bar in Mizner Park. That enthusiasm is brought in no small part by the CEO and co-founder, Vaughan Lazar.

Although Lazar was once known for his skills as a DJ spinning house music at club parties across South Florida, today he's better known as founder and CEO of Boca Raton-based Pizza Fusion, the environmentally-friendly organic pizza franchise that today has more than 20 locations nationwide, including several restaurants (and growing) throughout the Middle East.

Lazar is number 22 on our list of Tastemakers because without all that delicious organic pizza and crazy-fun Kapow! happy hour, South Florida just wouldn't be the same.

The most influential person in my career has been...

My lifecoach, teacher and friend Bob. He gave me the tools to navigate this industry, whether it's in a board meeting in a suit & tie or helping out the guy in the dish pit on a Friday night. He's been one of the most influential people in my life in general. I'm just a student of life.

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...

Tito's Vodka and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. It's really Tito's and pizza but that would be a bit too vain.

What does the Broward/Palm Beach food scene need more of?

So much more of everything, especially creativity. There is definitely some awesome talent down here and has been a recent wave of awesomeness, so hopefully it causes everyone to step up their game and continue to carve out the area as a serious food destination. We need A LOT more folks paying attention to responsible sourcing, local foods and sustainability. Oh yeah, and a bunch more food trucks and frozen yogurt places. And Zombie killers.

You get to vote one food or beverage trend off the island forever -- what is it?

The terms Gastropub & Foodie... and I'm guilty as charged!

You have unlimited funds to open a restaurant or bar -- what's the name, and what do you serve?

It's a small eco-resort on the South Pacific side of Costa RIca and we'll be serving up some Pura Vida for anyone that makes the trip down! This is a loaded question, right? Unlimited funds means a one-way ticket to paradise. (Do I have to give the money back if I don't open anything?)

Where do you see yourself in five years?

At my make believe restaurant/eco-resort in Costa Rica... see above! :)

Dream dinner party for six: Who (living or dead) are you inviting?

OK, I was originally going to say Winnie The Pooh, Billy Idol and Depeche Mode then realized my wife would have nowhere to sit. Even though there are some amazing people, both living and dead that I would love to share a meal with, I would have to say my wife and immediate family. It's ALWAYS an entertaining meal filled with love and laughs. (Would they have to be on time? If so, resort back to The Pooh Bear)

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

23. Lauren Bowen of Tap 42

Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.

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