Kitchen Conversations with Broward chefs

Pictured above from left to right: Chi Chan, Oliver Saucy, Carlos Vaquerano, Josie Smith-Malave


Josie Smith-Malave

Chef/co-owner Bubbles & Pearls, Wilton Manors

Did you know: From 2006 to 2011, the chef was on Bravo TV’s Top Chef during seasons 2, 3 and 5. She is also the founder of Global Soul Project, a food organization dedicated to combating hunger, empowering youth and strengthening communities. The personable chef and popular speaker adheres to an “Eat well; live happy” philosophy.

Contact: bubblesnpearls.com


Chi Chan

Executive chef at Mastro’s Ocean Club, Fort Lauderdale

Did you know: Chi Chan’s father was a dim sum chef in Hong Kong for 30 years. When the family moved to the United States, Chan worked his way up from cashier to line cook at his family’s Minnesota restaurants. His parents told him never to have a cooking career. He had plans to become a computer programmer, but when he toured a local college, he got lost and ended up finding a Cordon Bleu school in the building. He never looked back.

Contact: mastros.com


Oliver Saucy

Executive chef at Café Maxx, Pompano Beach

Did you know: Saucy grew up in a medieval German castle in the Black Forest region, which had been converted into a resort hotel; his father was the resort’s executive chef. Saucy is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.

Contact: cafemaxx.com


Carlos Vaquerano

Chef at Capriccio’s Ristorante, Pembroke Pines

Did you know: Carlos Vaquerano and Capriccio’s have been around for some time, a testimony to both. Gianpiero and Karen Cangelosi opened Capriccio’s in 1987. Vaquerano started at Capriccio’s in 1993 as a dishwasher. He worked his way through all the stations of the kitchen until he became chef.

Contact: capriccios.net



The chefs answer, “Does an event like the Greater Fort Lauderdale Food and Wine Festival have an impact on the regional culinary scene?”

Saucy: A festival like this gives a stamp of approval to just say that the reason we can do this is because we have such a diverse field of restaurants, a diverse tourism that comes here, different ethnic backgrounds. That’s a lot different than many areas around the country.

Chan: The fact that we are branching away from the big focus of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival helps the Broward restaurants. Everyone knows Miami. It gives restaurants in this area an opportunity to showcase what they have and what their specialties are.

Vaquerano: People get to know about different restaurants. I talk to people who don’t even know about the restaurant that’s right in their area. This introduces it to them.

Smith-Malave: A festival like this brings all these wonderful chefs from restaurants all over the county together; from restaurants that people may or may not have heard of, offering an inside look and a taste to the public. It is a perfect way to bring the food community together.



Greater Fort Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival
The second annual festival was scheduled to run March 18-22 but was rescheduled for Aug. 5-9. Visit gflfoodwine.com for complete details and ticket information on the following events.

Cocktail Confidential: A Spirited Affair

What: The opening event featuring signature cocktails inspired by the FAT Village Arts District

Where: Sistrunk Marketplace & Brewery, 115 N.W. Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale

Tickets: $49 per person


Catch the Love Exclusive Dinners

What: Four private dinners at area restaurants to benefit Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital

Where: Café Maxx, 2601 E. Atlantic Blvd., Pompano Beach; Capriccio’s Ristorante, 2424 N. University Drive, Pembroke Pines; Mastro’s Ocean Club, 3000 NE 32nd Ave., Fort Lauderdale; Sardelli’s Italian Steakhouse, 331 Van Buren St., Hollywood

Cost: Various prices set by restaurants


GFL on the Rise: an elevated experience

What: VIP experience on a terrace overlooking the ocean with bites created by culinary stars; wine pairings by GFLFW’s resident sommelier Heath Porter of Heathen Wine Tours; silent auction to benefit Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital

Where: The Atlantic Hotel & Spa, 601 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale Beach

Cost: $125 per person


Grand Tasting

What: Unlimited food and beverage tastings, chef and cooking demonstrations, live music and much more

Where: ArtsPark Hollywood, 1 N. Young Circle, Hollywood

Cost: Visit gflfoodwine.com for details


Family Day & Food Drive

What: Presented by Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital; toy drive with live entertainment, Kid’s Zone, culinary and non-culinary kid friendly activities, food trucks and cocktail bars

Where: ArtsPark Hollywood, 1 N. Young Circle, Hollywood

Cost: Free (suggested donation of one new, unwrapped toy)


Chef photos by Eduardo Schneider

Shot on location at Mastro’s Ocean Club in Fort Lauderdale

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