Make us your home page

Largo chef offers taste of fine dining, travel

Chef Gui Alinat applies a blue cheese mixture to hollowed out cucumber pieces. Alinat recently moved his businesses, Chef Gui of Provence Catering and ChefScape, from Tampa to Largo.


Chef Gui Alinat applies a blue cheese mixture to hollowed out cucumber pieces. Alinat recently moved his businesses, Chef Gui of Provence Catering and ChefScape, from Tampa to Largo.

Love to eat? Enjoy cooking and experimenting with new dishes? Maybe even consider yourself a gastronome?

Then chef Gui Alinat and his wife, Caitlin, may have just the thing for you: dining in a private French chateau, visiting rustic outdoor markets and preparing foods of the locale under the guidance of professional chefs.

The Alinats, who have just moved their catering business from Tampa to Largo, offer two annual culinary tours to his native Provence, France, and one to Mexico as part of their newest business.

"We were going back to Provence every summer and worked as translators and guides for another company," Alinat said. "Last year, we started our own culinary travel business, ChefScape.

"We go to markets, cook, visit wineries, sightsee, picnic, drink and eat well. The pace is relaxing and easy, as it always is in Provence."

Ditto for the culinary trip to Mexico, an "anti-Cancun vacation."

Tami Sheehan-Broadrick and her husband, Ron, who live in Lutz, took the Provence tour in July with the Alinats.

"It was fantastic," Sheehan-Broadrick said. "We saw things we would not have found on our own. My husband is an amateur chef. He does all the cooking. He picked up tips on cooking with spices and herbs hard to find in the States.

"We spent four more days in Provence after the tour and Gui and Caitlin created an itinerary for us."

Sheehan-Broadrick said she and her husband plan to take the Mexico trip next summer and return to France with the Alinats the following year.

The heart of the Alinats' business is their catering service, which serves haute cuisine for every occasion, from small, private dinners and bar mitzvahs to weddings, corporate affairs and galas for as many as 300.

"Our most prestigious event is the Dali Museum's annual VIP donor party, a seated dinner for 250," Alinat said. "It will be our third year catering it."

Why are culinary trips to Provence a focus of your new travel business?

Provence is where I was born, raised and trained as a chef. I know it like the back of my hand and all my family is still there. When you come from Provence, the sense of identity is strong. Its people speak with a strong accent. They act more like Italians. They eat good, Mediterranean food and wine and take life really easy.

The concept is sedentary travel, luxurious property, food and wine, and flexibility for each client.

In 2010, we hope to add trips to Tuscany or Spain or other areas in France.

What is your training as a chef?

I started chef school at 16. The first year was a big reality check for me. Chef training in France is culinary boot camp! It was only during the second year that I started to really enjoy it.

After six years of chef school, I was off to work in France, England and Spain before getting to the U.S. Along the way, my culinary style developed, shaped by some of the chefs I was under and all that travel.

How many employees do you have?

We have a full-time staff of four and a pool of 15 to 20 chefs, bartenders, servers and dishwashers that we work with regularly.

Why did you move your business from Tampa to Largo?

My wife, Caitlin, and I now have two toddlers and we just couldn't manage such a long commute from our home in Dunedin. So here we are on Clearwater-Largo Road, where Cappy's was, closer to home and the kids' schools. Business hasn't slowed down, but we save on gas and have 10 extra hours a week.

Christina K. Cosdon can be reached by e-mail at


TVC Communications names new VP

Sue Osborne has been named vice president of advertising and client relations for TVC Communications and Marketing of Clearwater. Osborne was with Tampa Bay Newspapers for 20 years, and serves on the Largo Medical Center Board of Trustees, Partners N Progress for the Arts, and the Largo Mid-Pinellas Chamber of Commerce and the Volunteer Corps Advisory Board.

Monthly networking program on Oct. 2

The Largo/Mid-Pinellas Chamber of Commerce will hold its monthly Coffee An' Networking, a business leads program, from 8 to 9 a.m. Oct. 2 at Beef O'Brady's, Pinellas Shopping Center, 841 West Bay Drive, Largo.

A networking exercise, "60 Second Business Date," and door prizes will be featured. Attendance is free for chamber members; $10 for nonmembers. To register, call 584-2321 or e-mail

FKQ Advertising staff appointments

FKQ Advertising and Marketing in Clearwater has announced the following appointments: Van McCourt has been named copywriter; Jessica Rogers has been named media coordinator and M.J. Hoke has been named analysis/account coordinator.

Advantage Group names new VP

Georgie S. Menke has been promoted to vice president of operations at Advantage Group in Clearwater.


Chef Gui of Provence Catering

What: Catering for every occasion, from private dinners and bar mitzvahs to weddings, corporate affairs and galas.

Where: 1220 Clearwater-Largo Road.

Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays.

For information: Call (727) 518-1900 or (813) 831-6074 or visit

Largo chef offers taste of fine dining, travel 09/18/08 [Last modified: Thursday, September 18, 2008 7:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  2. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood


    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  3. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa


    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.
  4. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county


    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.
  5. Honda denies covering up dangers of Takata air bags


    With just a third of the defective Takata air bag inflators replaced nationwide, the corporate blame game of who will take responsibility — and pay — for the issue has shifted into another gear.

    Honda is denying covering up dangers of Takata air bags. | [Scott McIntyre, New York Times]