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Publisher's Letter

Hats Off To The Chef—And All Our Local Food Businesses

Food means many things to many people. It provides comfort when you're down. It represents family as you gather around the table. It serves as entertainment as you prepare meals at home or frequent a restaurant with family or friends. Food is a celebration—rarely is an occasion celebrated without food. It's a relationship—sometimes a love/hate relationship. It's a creative outlet and an art form, allowing one to express their love, talent and creativity. And, most importantly, it gives us energy to sustain life. In this annual Foodie Issue, we celebrate food and those who lovingly prepare it for us.

In “Chefs to Watch,” we profile four local chefs, accomplished in their own right, yet always learning and striving to perfect the art of cooking. We provide insight into their culinary talents and the tenacity it took to get to their level. Plus, they each provide you with one of their prized recipes to make at home. South Florida's food scene is diverse, ever evolving and, because of the transient nature of our clientele, has a global influence that rivals many large cities. Discerning palates demand the best from our area restaurants and resorts, and we reap the benefits! Check out some of the newcomers on the gastronomic scene and experience for yourself the limitless creativity.

“What's for dinner, honey?” How many times have you heard that from your spouse when you're knee-deep in paperwork at the office and haven't even had time to eat lunch? Even the most organized person struggles with what to feed his or her family for dinner, that's healthy, fast and convenient. Even though I plan ahead, shop for the ingredients, and dog-ear the page of a cookbook or magazine recipe, I hate to admit that I often forget what I was so excited to cook, or lose interest in preparing it after a busy day, only to let the fresh ingredients rot in the refrigerator while I revert to my old standbys. The fresh food movement—healthy food that nourishes the body by providing nutrient-dense meals—has driven the demand for healthy restaurants, gourmet markets and fresh meal delivery services. In “Fresh To-Go,” we offer appetizing solutions for every palate—whether it's shopping at local green markets, making better restaurant choices, picking up carryout or signing up for a healthy meal delivery plan.

The latter is especially appealing, as it takes the guesswork out of dinner, and may actually save you money on wasted ingredients and dining out. Plus it gives you a chance to try foods you never would have bought and prepared yourself. No more searching for recipes and buying ingredients—meals are delivered to your door and customized to your dietary needs. If you're not into the preparation and cooking, gourmet markets offer delicious carryout that is already cooked and just needs to be heated up. Stop by on your way home from work and dinner is served!

What's on the menu when you combine sun, water and music? Summer music festivals and concerts! The warmer temps mean fun in the sun, and nothing heralds the season in like our annual music festivals. Tortuga Music Festival (April 15-17), a country music explosion on Fort Lauderdale beach, supports marine and ocean research and conservation organizations, and draws country music fans from Palm Beach and throughout the nation. West Palm Beach's annual music festival, SunFest, in late April, literally kicks off the summer with exciting musical acts, art and the best fireworks show of the year.

So, engage your senses this spring and plug into South Florida's bounty!