After starting as a full-time dishwasher at the young age of 15, working as an eager prep cook throughout high school and eventually attending and graduating from Cincinnati Culinary Arts Academy in 1998, Chef Ferrell Alvarez made his way back to Tampa, Florida to further his professional career. There he would earn a position at the Tampa landmark, Mise en Place. He was able to work with Chef Marty Blitz and transition from lead cook to Sous Chef and ultimately being named as Chef Blitz’s Chef De Cuisine.
Seven years later, Ferrell took over at Cafe Dufrain as Executive Chef and turn it into a groundbreaking sustainable restaurant. In December of 2013, Chef Alvarez opened his own restaurant, Rooster & the Till, with long time friend and business partner, Ty Rodriguez. R&tT is a 70 seat Modern American restaurant focusing on sourcing the best ingredients and preparing them with integrity, proper technique and most importantly lots of love and respect.
In the first ten months of being opened, Rooster & the Till had earned Best New Restaurant as well as Best Chef from Creative Loafing and Best New Restaurant from Florida Trend Magazine. Amongst many other accolades and opening two more concepts in 2018, Chef received a nomination for Best Chef South in 2017 from the James Beard Foundation and R&tT was awarded the number one restaurant in 2018 and 2019 by JBF finalist Laura Riley of the Tampa Bay Times.
CHEF FERRELL ALVAREZ
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.
CHEF DON PINTABONA