Steak 954 Owners Sued in Class-Action Lawsuit

Categories: Behind the Line
Steak 954
Updated at 10:48 p.m. to include comment from Steak 954 spokesman Chad Fabrikant

A class-action federal lawsuit filed on Friday alleges that Starr Restaurants Hotel Group stiffed employees on overtime wages. Starr Restaurants, according to its website, is the parent company of Steak 954 in Fort Lauderdale and Makoto in Bal Harbour.

The suit was filed by a man named Jean Valsin, who claimed to be an hourly paid cook based in Deerfield Beach. Valsin alleged that he was regularly docked for 30-minute lunch breaks that he never took.
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Outgoing Miss Hooters Lindsey Way Passes Crown to Amanda Jemini

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Congratulations, Amanda Jemini! You've just won Miss Hooters International -- now hurry up, cash your $50,000 check, go home, and get ready. You've got a flight in the morning to Las Vegas, where you'll be attending an event for the next few days. Oh, and make sure you get a pedicure, manicure, have your hair done, and maybe go tanning. Hope you know a lot about makeup too. But don't worry -- you'll have time to (or should we say, you better) hit the gym in between flights, because then you're headed off to Texas for the Miss Hooters Calendar shoot. 

"I just want to warn the next girl," said the outgoing Miss Hooters International 2011 -- Fort Lauderdale native Lindsey Way, who spoke to New Times just before Saturday's pageant, which was won by Jemini, who has worked at the Boca Raton Hooters for three years. "It gets a little hectic. My number-one advice is keep open to everything they throw at you."

For Way, the past year has been a roller coaster. In between shifts at the Hooters on Cypress Creek and Andrews, Way had the fortune of taking 30 flights in the first six months as reigning queen. Initially, she was a bit surprised with the enormity of it all. 
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Working at the O-B House and Other Stories

Categories: Behind the Line
The author (in sailor hat) with O-B House chef Ted Inserra.
Part of my job (and obsession) is eating at restaurants. While taking pictures of food, interviewing chefs, and dissecting menus, there was one restaurant position that I was always curious about -- the server.

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Daisy Martinez Went From Prep Chef to Food Network to... Cruise Ship?

Categories: Behind the Line
Between her Latin-fused Food Network show Viva Daisy! and book signings, Daisy Martinez is a busy woman.

Just two weeks after graduating from the French Culinary Institute, she landed a gig with PBS' Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen as a prep-kitchen chef.

A meeting with Rachael Ray and a cruise ship invitation later and now she's part of Celebrity Cruise Lines' Savor Your Destination initiative. Each cruise features a

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Help Wanted: The (Restaurant) World According to Craigslist

Categories: Behind the Line
​​Restaurants are already gearing up for fall, as the trickle of tourists is destined to become a flood when the temperature drops up north. Good ol' Craigslist tells us what's slated to open, which restaurants are touting their own hotness, and a few other tidbits. . . .

  • After the fallout following the Scott Rothstein ponzi scheme, Tony and Laurie Bova got their mojo back with the opening of Vivo Partenza; now they're opening Mario's Osteria in the former McCormick and Schmick's location in Boca. They're looking for a bad ass with five plus years of experience:"Applicant must be hands-on, hard working and able to oversee entire kitchen staff. . ." as well as a laundry list of other requirements. 

  • A small plates, 30-seat restaurant in Wilton Manors is looking for
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Q&A With Raw Foods Chef Christopher Slawson of Christopher's Kitchen

Categories: Behind the Line
Photo provided by Christopher's Kitchen

Chef Christopher Slawson

Raw food has been dubbed as a revolution, a movement, a diet, a trend. But chef Christopher Slawson is so dedicated to eating raw foods -- or, as he calls them, "living foods" -- that he has opened a raw foods eatery, Christopher's Kitchen, in Palm Beach Gardens.

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Adopt-a-Kitchen Program to Help More South Florida Foodies Get a Start in the Restaurant World

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Chrissy Benoit, owner of Havana Hideout and the Production Kitchen.
​How would you like to roll out in your own food truck? Maybe build a small business baking your grandmother's amazing chocolate chip cookie recipe? Or that dressing all your friends and family just can't get enough of?

For a number of local start-ups, that dream has become a reality thanks to Chrissy Benoit's Production Kitchen in West Palm Beach. 

Benoit knows what it takes to make or break a business in the world of culinary endeavors. From her time working beside Wolfgang Puck to consulting for some of the highest-profile restaurants in Manhattan, Benoit has seen both those that succeed -- and those that fail.

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Help Talia's Tuscan Table in Boca Raton Become Guy Fieri's Next Drive-by on his Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Talia's Tuscan Table owner, Chef Andy Bennardo, behind the bar at Baba's Shrimp Shack
​How does Guy Fieri choose the restaurants he features on his Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives?

If it's anything like his upcoming prospect, Boca Raton restaurant Talia's Tuscan Table, it's got a lot to do with character. Character from the food, the customers -- and even the establishment's owners. 

And that's something Talia's Table has plenty to go around.

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Brew Your Own Beer: Learn From the Guys at the Funky Buddha Brewery in Boca Raton

Nicole Danna
​Want to learn how to brew your own beer? How about from the guys at The Funky Buddha?

From its humble beginnings as a hookah lounge featuring an awesome craft beer selection, for many this place has now become a sort of beer mecca -- and one of South Florida's only small-scale breweries.

These days, owner Ryan Sentz and brewer Kevin Abbott have moved beyond creating some of the best local microbrews around, and are sharing the love of their craft with others. 

Since opening a small space next door last month -- known simply as Funky Buddha Homebrew -- the two are offering monthly classes to teach people what what they know best: how to brew some damn good beer. 

To learn more about the Funky Buddha, and their homebrew classes, keep reading...

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Table to Farm: DIG in Delray Beach Serving Sustainable, Organic Foods

Gyorgy Papp
Tuna "Filey Mignon" from DIG
When it comes to clean eating, forget farm to table. How about table to farm?

DIG in Delray Beach isn't just "doing it green," like its name symbolizes. With a truly forward-thinking concept, owners Chef Joey Giannuzzi and Robert Greenfield are doing much more than simply serving up organic eats. 

Unlike most establishments that offer all-natural, farm to table fare, DIG goes one step further to make the circle of sustainability complete. By working with local organic farmers to recycle all the restaurant's organic waste, and creating a 100 percent environmentally-friendly building, DIG is doing what very few restaurants could even dare to dream.

"We're not just farm to table. We're table to farm. And we like to think of ourselves as the trailblazers for this sort of thing," said Greenfield during a recent interview.

Now that DIG is open for business, read on for a picture tour of some of the cleanest, greenest food around, and get healthy-eating tips from Chef Giannuzzi: 
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