NORTH MIAMI, Fla., April 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- On April 11, 2012, Johnson & Wales University, North Miami Campus alongside MIAMI magazine hosted the Zest awards, showcasing and honoring South Florida's culinary leaders in six categories: culinary innovator, best restaurant 2012, newcomer of the year, baking and pastry innovator, top beverage professional and community leader.
"In its first year, the Zest awards brought together some of South Florida's most prestigious names in the culinary field," said Loreen Chant, president of Johnson & Wales University, North Miami Campus. "As we commemorate our 20th Anniversary, we thought this was the perfect time to recognize the wealth of talented culinary artists, many of whom are Johnson & Wales alumni in South Florida, in celebration of their contributions to our culture and community."
The event, which featured food and beverages created and executed by Johnson & Wales University, North Miami Campus students, attracted culinary and community leaders including Jeff McInnis, Yardbird Southern Table & Bar; Todd Erickson, Haven; Cesar Zapata, Aniece Meinhold, Daniel Treiman, Phuc Yeah!/ The Federal Food Drink & Provisions; Antonio Bachour, St. Regis Bal Harbour; and Marko Krancher, Edge Steak & Bar; and former City of Miami Mayor Manny Diaz. Chant along with Bruce Ozga, dean of culinary studies at Johnson & Wales University, North Miami Campus; and Jen Karetnick, dining critic at MIAMI magazine, presented the awards. Johanna Gomez, reporter for Local 10, was the emcee for the night. The winners, listed below, were all in attendance.
- Culinary Innovator: Bjoern Weissgerber, Zuma, for creating innovative menu items and restaurant concepts using the latest in technology and techniques.
- Best Restaurant 2012: Sra. Martinez, for standing out above the rest in 2012 both for its delicious food and talented culinary team.
- Newcomer of the Year: Juliana Gonzalez, Barceloneta, for creating a new restaurant concept and quickly garnered a loyal foodie following.
- Baking & Pastry Innovator: Michelle Negron, Timo, for showing exemplary creativity and excellence through innovative menu items and restaurant concepts using the latest in technology and techniques.
- Top Beverage Professional: Isaac Grillo, Haven, for showing excellence in finding the best wines or creating the best cocktails.
- Community Leader: Penny Parham, Miami-Dade Public Schools, for positively impacting the region through culinary initiatives in the community.
"We look forward to continuing this new tradition that recognizes South Florida's talented culinary artists for years to come," added Chant.
About Johnson & Wales University
Johnson & Wales University (JWU), founded in 1914, is a nonprofit, private institution. A recognized leader in career education, we offer accredited degrees in business, hospitality, culinary arts, technology and education. With a diverse student body of more than 16,000 graduate and undergraduate students, representing all 50 states and 89 countries, JWU prepares graduates for personal and professional success by integrating rigorous academics and professional skills, community leadership opportunities, and our unique career education model. The university is committed to urban revitalization and thoughtful historic renovation. Through active civic participation and by offering unique learning opportunities, JWU improves the quality of life in its campus communities in Providence, R.I.; North Miami, Fla.; Denver, Colo.; and Charlotte, N.C. For more information, visit www.jwu.edu.
SOURCE Johnson & Wales University