Be part of the 26th Annual ExTravelganza.

Experience the “Tours of Taste” by sampling delectable delights and libations from some of the top Bay Area Chef’s, Restaurants and renowned wine/spirits from top area producers. Mingle from serving to serving as you peruse the Silent Auction packages. Enjoy!

A special Thank You to our 2017 Participating Chefs - 2018 Chefs presented soon!

Henry Headshot

Executive Chef Henry Kimball
Tampa Airport Marriott International
Skye Bar & Grille
The Cafe


Executive Chef, Henry, was born and raised in New England. Knowing at a young age his passion and career goals, Henry attended college at Johnston & Wales University in Providence, RI. With an extensive and impressive resume, Chef Henry began his career with the Foxwoods Resort & Casino in Connecticut. He later would move on to the Hyatt for two years, and then to the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando for seven years before coming to the Tampa Airport Marriott where he has instilled local culinary traditions at each venue and crafted a creative menu for the properties newly renovated, “The Café.”
Chef Henry led the team at the Tampa Airport Marriott just in time for the reopening of the Café and Skyye Bar & Grille, as the restaurant underwent a complete contemporary renovation. Chef Henry crafted a creative menu to introduce with flavorful ingredients and expertly crafted cocktails. Chef also shares Marriott’s passion to instill local culinary traditions into his catering menus for unique, memorable events at the Tampa Airport Marriott. Chef welcomes you to unwind and relish our appetizing menu with friends, family, or colleagues after a busy day. 



Chef SiftarExecutive Chef Kasim Siftar
Holiday Inn Tampa Westshore

Chef Kaz is a creative, contemporary chef with over ten years of experience in leading hotels and fine dining institutions and he currently leads the culinary team at the Holiday Inn Tampa Westshore Airport Hotel. Siftar is a graduate of Oklahoma State University where he received a degree in Culinary Arts. After graduation, Siftar quickly gained industry attention and was featured in television segments on ABC and CBS news while leading the kitchen of Tulsa’s top seafood restaurant. Siftar then became the Head Chef at Marchand’s Bar and Grill in the upscale Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club, where he received the Florida Trend Magazine’s Golden Spoon Hall of Fame Award. After mastering all facets of food and beverage in upscale hotels and resorts, Chef Siftar joined the team at DoubleTree by Hilton in Tampa and played a vital role in introducing ItaliAsia’s second location in Tampa, Florida. In 2013, Siftar became the Executive Chef at the Holiday Inn Tampa Westshore..


Chef GardinerExecutive Chef Brett Gardinerr
Renaissance International

Gardiner began his career in his homeland of Honolulu, HI at the Kobe Japanese Steak House that opened in 1971. He developed his passion for the culinary arts while working at the family-owned business his father helped found. Gardiner, attended Scottsdale Culinary Institute Cordon Bleu. Upon graduation, Gardiner became a “Master Cook” through the MGM School of Leadership while creating “French cuisine with Pacific flair” at Gatsby’s, the signature gourmet experience at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Gardiner later founded Hapa, the award-winning restaurant formerly located in Oldsmar, Florida and under his guidance, the restaurant received a Golden Spoon Award from Florida Trend Magazine and was recognized as one of the “Best of the Bay” restaurants by Tampa Bay Magazine from 2006 – 2010. In his current role at Pelagia Trattoria, Executive Chef Gardiner continues to earn Golden Spoon honors annually along with recognition from Zagat and rankings that include it among the Tampa Bay area’s leading restaurants.


Justin Harry PhotoExecutive Chef Justin Harry
TradeWinds Island Resorts, St. Pete Beach, Florida

Spending five years in his youth in Naples, Italy, Chef Justin Harry fell in love with food, experiencing farm to table dining at a restaurant near his home. With all his childhood friends back in the USA, Justin started hanging around the local kitchens, helping out the chefs.  Here he learned a deep respect for the freshest ingredients and has embraced an ongoing exploration of old world and modern cooking techniques.Spending five years in his youth in Naples, Italy, Chef Justin Harry fell in love with food, experiencing farm to table dining at a restaurant near his home. With all his childhood friends back in the USA, Justin started hanging around the local kitchens, helping out the chefs.  Here he learned a deep respect for the freshest ingredients and has embraced an ongoing exploration of old world and modern cooking techniques.

His career path took him to resorts in Florida, Texas and Utah.  He took special pleasure in preparing a meal for guests of their afternoon catch.  “The aroma of fish grilling on an open fire, just feet away from the waters in which it was caught, is an experience that is long remembered,” observes Chef Justin.

Now Executive Chef at TradeWinds Island Resorts in St. Pete Beach, Florida, Chef Justin oversees the multiple kitchens and culinary staff of 14 dining and entertainment venues including RumFish Grill at the Guy Harvey Outpost.


Sean RaganExecutive Sous Chef Sean Ragan
Wynhdam Grand Clearwater Beach

Sean has an extensive background of fine dining restaurants in New York City and Long Island. Since his arrival in Florida Sean has been the Chef de Cuisine for Oystercatchers at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, where he earned high accolades for Tampa Bay’s Best Brunch and Best Seafood Restaurant awards. Sean also held the position of Executive Sous Chef at the well known Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club heading their annual PGA Tournaments and special event functions. Most recently Sean spent five years as the Executive Sous Chef with the prestigious Sandpearl Resort where he reimagined their signature restaurant, Caretta on the Gulf. His well received cuisine continued to hold its honor of 4 Star 4 Diamond status year over year through his tenure. Sean has been an outstanding member of the prestigious Chaine Des Rotisseurs and has been a long standing member of the ACF. Sean received his Culinary Degree with honors from Johnson & Wales University from Providence, Rhode Island.


Daniel DesmondExecutive Chef Daniel Desmond
Saddlebrook Resort

Executive Chef Daniel Desmond - Born and raised in Arlington Massachusetts, started his career in a local bakery. A graduate of Johnson and Wales he has an impressive resume extending around the country including hotels and resorts in Boston, San Francisco, Austin, Manhattan Beach, Palm Springs, and now Florida. The last 19 years Chef Desmond has made his home at the Saddlebrook Resort over seeing four restaurants and creating innovative menus for the catering department. In his spare time he lives bi-coastally and enjoys taking trips on his Harley to experience local cuisine.


Clear SkyChef, Mark Van Schaik
Clear Sky Restaurants and Catering

Mark Van Schaick is the Chef for Clear Sky on Cleveland. He also is responsible for catering and special events

A native of Connecticut, Mark was raised in Tampa, attended Florida State University and graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1996. He has worked at Strip House restaurants in Houston, Palm Beach Gardens, Naples and Key West.  

Prior to joining Strip House, he worked with Larry Forgione at Beekman Arms Tavern in Rhinebeck, NY and An American Place in Manhattan. He also worked at Monkey Bar, Clementine’s, and Eleven Madison Park. His specialties include using local ingredients as well as seafood that is indigenous to The Keys and West Coast of Florida.

His culinary talents have been highlighted on NBC-TV and at numerous events, including the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Taste of Collier, and gala fundraisers.


Freddy MamudiChef Freddy Mamudi
New York New York Pizza

New York New York Pizza is a quick service dining concept that specializes in made-from-scratch Italian food. Former northeastern residents Freddy and Bardha Mamudi know firsthand how delicious authentic, New York-style pizza can be. After moving to Tampa in 2000, they helped run a local Italian restaurant a cousin owned using restaurant experience previously gained in the Connecticut, New York and New Jersey areas. Encouraged by that relative to open their own restaurant, the couple checked out a struggling pizza place in Ybor City, Tampa’s more than century-old, National Historic District. They worked there, turned the business around and eventually took ownership of the original New York New York Pizza in 2008.

Since revitalizing the New York New York Pizza flagship in Ybor City and strategically growing in and around Tampa, the business continues to flourish under the guidance of the Mamudis.

Tampa remains the business headquarters and the Mamudi’s home. Additional Tampa Bay locations are under consideration but will only be added as consistency, good customer service and quality can be uniformly implemented at every site

Coffee and Desserts Served By:

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