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Meet the Chefs

 

Frankie Harvey, Owner, The Elegant Gourmet – 2015 Iron Chef Gainesville Winner

harveyweb.jpg Describe your style of cooking (creole, Italian, barbeque)?
I primarily draw my inspiration from Mediterranean countries, but I am not limited to that style. I enjoy bringing back home with me recipes I learned while traveling, which I use to create fusions from across the globe.

How long have you been cooking?
I’ve been cooking since I was very young. It started with my large Lebanese family on my mom’s side. I have five children of my own, so I never stopped cooking.

What are your first memories of cooking/being in the Kitchen? What led to your love of food?
One memory I hold close is of my grandparents rising early each day to make fresh pita bread. A few of my uncles owned restaurants, and one of my aunts owned an incredible bakery in South Florida. As children, we would have to work there to help out on the weekends baking all kinds of Middle Eastern food, pastries, and everything in between. It was a continual process of sensory learning.

How would you describe yourself in one word?
Passionate.

 

 

Valero Alises, Executive Chef, Sabore - 2014 Iron Chef Gainesville Winner

ValeroWhat inspired you to become a chef?  My parents were the greatest influence in my choice to become a chef.  From them, I learned the value of both a great meal surrounded by friends and family and the wonderful conversations around the dinner table.

What is the best part of your job?  Getting to see a smile on the face of a restaurant guest or an emotional response after they have enjoyed one of my dishes.

What is your specialty cuisine?  My favorite cuisine is rooted in Spanish culture, but creativity with seafood ingredients is my specialty.

What sets you apart from other chefs? I strive to use the freshest ingredients prepared from scratch every morning. It’s labor intensive, but it assures the best quality of dishes for our guests to enjoy.

 

 

 

 

Patrick Modriskey, Sr. Executive Chef, Morrison Healthcare, UF Health Shands

patrickweb.jpgHow long have you been cooking?
28 years. I began as a fry cook and advanced with education and training to be a director managing 180 Marines and feeding 800,000 Marines and Sailors annually. Once I retired from the Marine Corps in July 2014, I became the Sr. Executive Chef with Morrison Healthcare in Gainesville.

What led to your lover of food and cooking?
In 1989 when I joined the Marine Corps and was formally trained, I began to grow a passion and dedication for being able to put a smile on someone’s face through food. I eventually grew to have a “service heart” which I believe you must have to do what we chef ’s do! Being able to change someone’s day with food is fascinating to me. It could be just as simple as getting someone’s mind off of a bad day, even if just for a short period of time.

What are your strengths/secret weapons in the kitchen?
Attention to detail, clean as you go, having a plan, drive, determination, always wanting to satisfy that guest!

How would you describe yourself in one word?
Diligent.