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New Season Hot List 2016: Chefs in New Places

The latest in kitchen news in Southwest Florida

BY November 11, 2016

There were plenty of moves over the summer with several restaurant kitchens changing hands and two big announcements for season. 

The Wine Loft: Chef Andy Hyde was hired as a consultant to reinvent the small plate-menu at the upscale wine bar. If you enjoy food photography, friend him on Facebook—he posts beautiful pictures from his private chef and catering business, Chef Hyde Gourmet. (Stay tuned as well for news on a TV show.)

Summerlin Jake’s Seafood and Steaks (formerly S.S. Hookers): Chef Richard Howze was brought on board to rework the menu as the formerly Cajun restaurant rebranded itself as a chophouse.

Tarpon Bay: The waterfront spot on a mangrove-lined bay at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa will always feature fresh seafood, but it put chef Gastón Sánchez to the task of developing new ways of serving local catches whenever possible.

Stage Deli: A matzo-ball-soup-to-chopped-nuts makeover late last season has been followed by a shake-up in the kitchen, with a formerly New York-based chef, Kevin Hayes, hired to handle the refined delicatessen nosh.

Saltwater Smokehouse: Andy Hamilton, the new-ish chef at Saltwater Smokehouse on Pine Island (he started last season), went public with the fact that he will be on the Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen in December.

Fogg Café: Jack Raben has headed Naples Botanical Garden’s exemplary eatery since it debuted, breathing new life into a fast-casual concept with garden-to-table cuisine. In 2017, he’s launching a series of pop-up dinners with fixed menus and wine pairings. Tentative dates are Jan. 26, Feb. 23 and March 9.

Find out what else is happening in the Southwest Florida dining world here.


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