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CHEFS

Chef Ferrell Alvarez

After starting as a dish washer at the young age of 15, working as a eager prep cook throughout high school and eventually attending and graduating from Cincinnati Culinary Arts Academy in 1998, Chef Ferrell Alvarez made his way to Tampa, Florida to further his professional career. There he would gain nationwide recognition for a unique culinary view and artistic ambition. Over the next 16 years, Ferrell would forge a path through the Chef’s journey.

He began as a line cook at Saddlebrook Resort and eventually finished out his four and a half year tenor as Sous Chef Tournant overseeing five restaurants on property. He would then earn a position at the Tampa landmark, Mise en Place. There, he was able to work with Chef Marty Blitz and transition from lead cook to Sous Chef and ultimately earning the title as Chef Blitz’s’ Chef De Cuisine.

Seven years later, Ferrell would take over at Cafe Dufrain as Executive Chef and turn it into a groundbreaking sustainable restaurant. His heart to help people and his vision for Tampa fused together with long time friend and business partner Ty Rodriguez in 2011 when they launched their own magazine, The Local Dirt, which highlighted the array of sustainable food and local independent businesses in the Tampa Bay area.

In December of 2013, Chef Alvarez was able to live his biggest dream when he opened his own restaurant, Rooster & the Till. Focusing on what’s always been important to him, Rooster & the Till is a small 40 seat Modern American restaurant focusing on the best ingredients from local farms and gardens and preparing them with integrity, proper technique and lots of love.

With invitations to cook at Friends of James Beard dinners and multiple charity events along side colleagues such as Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Carmen Gonzalez and Richard Sandoval, Chef Alvarez has made a name for himself as a forward-thinking culinarian in Tampa. In the first 10 months of being open, Rooster & the Till has earned both Best New Restaurant and Best Chef from Creative Loafing and Best New Restaurnt from Florida Trend Magazine.

Chef Don Pintabona

Before he became Locale Market’s Culinary Director and Partner in 2014, Don Pintabona created an illustrious career over three decades as a renowned chef and cookbook author. His innate talent for cooking, as well as his extensive management experience and vast food studies in more than three dozen countries, have made Don a well-respected member of the culinary community.

Born a first-generation Italian in Oceanside, New York, Don grew up surrounded by food. He spent his earliest years working at Grand Union Supermarket under his father’s tutelage. The market was where he learned all aspects of the retail food business.

After earning a business degree at The University of South Florida, Don drove a New York taxi to put himself through school at The Culinary Institute of American, where he graduated with honors in 1982. He spent the next 10 years refining his skills on three continents, under top chefs like Charlie Palmer and Daniel Boulud in New York, George Blanc in Vonnas, France and Kiyomi Nishitani in Osaka, Japan.

When Don returned to New York in 1990, he met actor Robert De Niro. Impressed with his skills and ideas, De Niro hired Don to be the Executive Chef of the widely acclaimed, Manhattan hot spot, Tribeca Grill. During his time there, Tribeca Grill earned many accolades including the 1998 Ivy Award for Excellence, the DiRoNa Award and Wine Spectator’s Grand Award of Excellence in 2002. Don authored the popular Tribeca Grill Cookbook, (Villard, 2000) which was followed by The Shared Table, (Random House, 2005).

After tragedy struck New York City in September 2001, Don spearheaded “Operation Chefs with Spirit” a campaign that brought the restaurant community together to feed over 600,000 hot meals to the relief works at the World Trade Center site after the 9/11 attacks. Newsweek magazine featured Don as one New York’s pivotal figured during the relief efforts, as did a recently book by Tim Zagat entitled “9/11: Stories of Courage, Heroism and Generosity.”

Don also sits on the board of the We Are Family Foundation, a charitable organization that focuses on empowering youth through the creation of a global teen coalition.