Make us your home page

Pipo's chef wins Local Top Chef competition for second year

For the second consecutive year, chef Ramon Hernandez of Pipo's Restaurant in St. Petersburg was the winner of the Top Local Chef competition, sponsored by LocalShops1 and Intensity Academy.

Hernandez beat out seven other chefs to win a spot in this summer's World Food Championships in Las Vegas, where he will compete for prizes up to $500,000.

His winning dish, Pigs in Paradise, featured pork and cheese empanadas served over a sweet plantain mash with a fiery sauce made with Intensity Academy's Saucy Everything. All competitors were required to use the local hot sauce manufacturer's product in their dishes.

Others competing at the cookoff held April 27 at the Gulfport Casino were Granny Smith Kitchens, St. Petersburg; Island Flavors and Tings, Gulfport; Serendipity Cafe, Dunedin; Shubee Shack, North Redington Beach; Taco Bus, Tampa and St. Petersburg; Twisted Cork Grill, St. Petersburg; and Wine Madonna, St. Petersburg.

"Our chefs stepped it up to bring a showcase of what locally owned restaurants have to offer: outstanding food, fun personalities and a wide a diversity of styles," said Mo Venouziou of LocalShops1, an online venture that promotes local businesses.

Shubee Shack chef Pat "Shubee" Bearry's crab cakes earned him the People's Choice Award.

Judges were Janet K. Keeler, Tampa Bay Times; Isabel Laessig,; Noah Pransky, 10 News; Carlos Hernandez,; and Cathy Salustri, the Gabber.

The fifth annual competition is set for April 26 at the Gulfport Casino. For more information, visit or email

Pipo's chef wins Local Top Chef competition for second year 05/02/14 [Last modified: Monday, May 5, 2014 1:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Actor John Heard dies at age 72


    John Heard, who played so many roles in the '80s but was probably best known as the dad in the Home Alone movies, has died, according to media reports. He was 72.

  2. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 17: Think 11 miles of nothing but straight trail and open, flat fields sounds easy? Think again.


    Day 17: Villarmentero de Campos to Lédigos: 33.5 km, 10.25 hours. Total for Days 1-17 = 394 km (245 miles)

  3. Tom Sawyer with a revolver? Twain house has live 'Clue' game


    HARTFORD, Conn. — Was it Tom Sawyer in Samuel Clemens' billiard room with a revolver?

    In this July 14 photo, actor Dan Russell, left, portraying the character Arkansas from Mark Twain's book Roughing it, responds to a question from 10-year-old Emma Connell, center, of Arizona during a "Clue" tour at the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Conn. The tour allows visitors to interact with Twain characters while playing a live-action version of the board game. [AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb]
  4. Until this song, Alan Parsons Project stood on much higher ground


    Listening to yesterday's Keats song made me pine for more Alan Parsons Project music and today we dig deeper into their catalogue with Standing On Higher Ground.

  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for July 23


    Marie Antoinette: Freefall 411: A contemporary look at the historic pariah looks at Marie Antoinette through the lens of society's obsession with celebrity. Through August 13. A brief talk prior to the performance provides insight to the production. 1 p.m., show starts at 2 p.m., Freefall Theatre, 6099 Central …

    Lucas Wells as King Louis XVI, left, and Megan Rippey as Marie Antoinette in Freefall Theatre's "Marie Antoinette."