Boca Burger Battle 2013
MEET OUR "CHIEF GRILL MASTER"
The Sizzling Summer Street Festival announces that Wes Bonner will be the event's Chief Grill Master. Wes graduated summa cum laude from Johnson and Wales University in North Miami and was a member of the silver key honor society. He has more than nine years in the culinary field through various restaurants and the hotel industry. Upon graduating Johnson and Wales in 2002, Wes was first employed with the Ritz Carlton Coconut Grove, a five-star, five-diamond establishment. A year later he chose to move overseas and expand his experience with additional education in the pastry arts through Thames Valley University in London. While living in London, Wes joined the staff of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Hyde Park, and worked in the One Michelin Star restaurant, Le Foliage. After completing school and chocolate courses he returned stateside where he enjoyed developing various skills through restaurants and hotels, including the five-star, five-diamond Four Seasons Resort on Palm Beach. In early 2009 Wes joined the Publix Aprons Simple Meals program while pursuing an education degree that would better support him in his various teaching roles. His passion for the culinary arts combined with his love for teaching paved the way for his success within the Publix Aprons Cooking School. He has a strong and contagious desire for others to enjoy learning how to have fun in the kitchen.
Chef Bonner's role as Chief Grill Master of the 2nd Annual Boca Burger Battle will be an exciting and demanding position as he will oversee all of the south Florida Chefs and will set the Judging criteria for all activities. The Festival takes place 7.13.13 in downtown Boca Raton.
MEET OUR "2013 GRILL MASTER JUDGES"
Sef Gonzalez, better known as Burger Beast, is a respected South Florida Food Blogger, with national reach, who writes about unique food experiences. Although his blog was originally created to find the best burger in Miami, it now represents a publication with the aim to shine light on the often overlooked, undiscovered, and unappreciated culinary gems of South Florida and other noteworthy destinations. Burger Beast has also written for the New Times, edible South Florida, The Miami Herald and Ocean Drive Magazine and was most recently seen on Travel Channel's Burger Land show.
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As far back as I can remember, it all started when I was a little boy.
I now enjoy whey my family tells stories about the days of all my cooking ventures. My aunt tells the story about the day that she walked into the kitchen and she saw me trying to reach the top of the stove and cook some scrambled eggs.
She was the one that always said "He is going to be a chef one day"
I worked in small restaurants all over Long Island, until one day one of my friends noticed how good I was at cooking. He had mentioned a school located up state N.Y. And he suggested that I check it out. Not to mention that I fell in love with the school I also graduated from it. The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park.
About 32 years have gone by and I am still cooking better than ever. I worked as the Executive chef for many hotels including the Marriott Hotels, Sheraton Corporation , Helmsley Palace, N.Y. Hilton and many more to mention. I am also the Author of two cookbooks . Secrets of a chef and Never Trust a Skinny Chef.
I am now involved in a private Restaurant consulting and investment firm “MSIG” Marginal Street Investment Group. I work with other restaurant and night club owners helping them enhance and create a more stream line operation and keep them safe and out of the Red.
MEET OUR "CHIEF HOST FOR THE BOCA BURGER BATTLE"
Since attending his first auction at 8 years old Neil Saffer knew what he wanted to be.
Neil Saffer CAI, AARE, BAS, has been a Licensed Florida Auctioneer since 1990. Neil has conducted over 1,600 Benefit, Charity, Fundraising and Real Estate auctions during his 20 plus year career. Neil is a graduate of the State University of NY at Albany, a graduate of National Auction Training Center class of ’89, earned the Benefit Auctioneer Specialist designation in 2009 and became a member The Certified Auctioneers Institute in 2010. Neil has been a speaker and panel member on the topic of benefit auctions at the last 2 National Auctioneers Association annual conferences, and is currently served on the committee to rewrite the Benefit Auctioneer Specialist curriculum for The National Auctioneers Association.
Mr. Saffer strongly believes in giving back to the community. He has coached youth sports for over two decades and is the past President of both The Boca Raton Rotary Fund and the Rotary Club of Boca Raton. Neil received the Rotarian of the year award in 2004, the special service award in 2008, and the service above self award in 2009. He has served on the board of directors of the American Cancer Society, the Nicholas R. Chiera Foundation, the Spanish River High School PTSA, The Tomorrows Promise Community School and the Gold Coast British Sports Car Club. For More Infomation on Neil Saffer visit SafferAndCompany.com.