Boca Burger Battle 2013


Chef Wes Bonner

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.


3030 Ocean 3030 Ocean Chef Dean

Modern American Seafood by Dean Max

A unique, creative and passionate combination of flavors await at Chef Dean James Max's 3030 Ocean Restaurant, a candlelight filled oceanfront casual chic dinner bistro serving stylish American Cuisine seafood and special meats, with live flamenco and jazz entertainment, located at the Marriott’s Harbor Beach Resort & Spa in Fort Lauderdale.

You would never have had to meet Chef Dean to feel his passion, sincerity, and respect for what you are about to eat, regardless of the course. I would equate his cooking to the enthusiasm of a child, the wisdom of a professor, and the talent of an artist rolled up in one.

3030 Ocean | Marriott, 3030 Holiday Drive, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316 | 954.765.3030 | Web

Burger Beast

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.

Sef Gonzalez, aka Burger Beast | South Florida | Web

Publix Aprons Cooking School Aprons Cooking School Chef Rey

Rey began his Publix career in 1999 in Customer Service. While attending Johnson & Wales University, Rey worked at The Four Seasons Hotel in Miami. In 2008, Rey transferred to the Prepared Foods Department at Publix Greenwise Market in Boca Raton to pursue his culinary career. Rey began working at the Plantation Publix Aprons Cooking School in 2010 to share his culinary passion with others. Rey has now been promoted to Resident Chef at the Boca Raton Publix Aprons Cooking School.

When asked “what is your favorite cuisine to make?”, he answers “all of them!”. He enjoys cooking traditional recipes, but Rey’s Latin heritage has a lot of influence on the recipes he creates.

Together with the Aprons staff, Rey wants students to “learn to have fun in the kitchen!”

Rey De La Osa Resident Chef at Aprons Cooking School | Publix at Polo Club Shops
5050 Champion Blvd., Boca Raton, FL 33496 | 561.994.4461 | Web

Yelp Yelp Judge

Born and raised in Miami, Blue Arauz lived all over Miami-Dade County growing up. After graduating from Florida International University he began his career in marketing running various promotions for local nightlife venues. A chance internship with Yelp would lead him on a new career path - exploring all things local.

Crossing over the county line he is now entrenched in a new community. With the launch of Yelp Broward-Palm Beach earlier this year this Miami native is reveling in all the BPB has to offer. A true meat eater with a mean sweet tooth he has been spoiled by the rich culinary experience that the SoFla melting pot has to offer. 

With a deep love for food, social media and community he lives and breaths what it means to be a Community Manager for Yelp. Ever on the hunt for a hidden gem he is always looking forward to finding his new favorite business!

Blue Arauz | Yelp Broward-Palm Beach Community Manager | Web

The-Mo-and-Sally-Morning-Show.JPG Mo Foster

Mo was born in Dallas, Texas to parents who were WAY too over-protective. I do not think I was allowed to leave our backyard until I got my Learner's Permit. So, the first time I took my dad's car out, I just kept driving and never returned home. I ended up working at Stereo Country 107, KTLR in Terrell, Texas. Actor Jamie Foxx is from Terrell although I am pretty sure he never listened to me spin Conway Twitty records at 4 in the morning. After not being able to support myself on 5 bucks an hour, I had to move back in with my parents and take on two other jobs just to stay in radio. My mom's Christmas gift to me that year was a job application. She wanted me to work with her at the Liquid Paper factory. In the midst of my unstable career choices, for some reason I felt the need to complicate things even more by getting married. A new wife plus a mortgage, plus a dog, and a program director of a radio station telling me I should have taken the job at Liquid Paper = BAD TIMES FOR MY EGO. So, I started modeling Calvin Klein underwear for the women in my mom's sewing club. Do not ask! My first wife and I divorced and I have been very successful at blocking out that dark period of my life. Anyway, I finally got up the nerve to drain the brake fluid out of my program director's VW bug and since he never made it back to work, I was promoted to a full-time, on-air position at the Satellite Music Network in Dallas. I also ended up doing some work for ABC Radio International. I have recorded shows that have aired in New Zealand and China. Well, that's what I was told. No one ever explained the giant box of tapes I found in the mailroom labeled Mo's Fake Radio Showsť. I eventually moved to Roanoke, Virginia to stalk one of their local radio personalities, Sally Sevareid. Once the restraining order was lifted, the station decided to hire me as their flame-throwin night jockť. I had HUGE success and the manager of K92-FM immediately moved me into morning drive to work with Sally. In that time slot, I was able to hypnotize and brainwash Sally during Salt n' Pepa records and, quite frankly, she could not resist the urge to take a ride in my Pontiac Firebird. So, we got married and moved to Richmond to work for B103. I thought the general manager of that station was even dumber than I was and he was in charge of running the place. So, we quit and moved to West Palm Beach. We have been working for KOOL 105.5 since 2003. They never renewed our contract after the first two years and I am pretty sure they fired us. But, we will just keep showing up every day until they change the security code to get into the building.

The Mo & Sally Morning Show | KOOL 105.5 West Palm Beach | 561.616.6729 | Web

The Mo & Sally Morning Show Sally Sevareid

Sally grew up Radford, Virginia but she was actually born in Bangkok, Thailand. (Army Brat) While attending Virginia Tech I worked at WKEX Radio. My first job was to wear the stations mascot costume. I was the Wacky Bird. After graduation I moved to Myrtle Beach and was a radio reporter for WNMB. I later worked as a reporter for a Florence based TV station. I moved on from there to a radio station in Richmond, VA then on to Cleveland, Ohio where I worked for Power 108. After one winter in Cleveland I knew I needed a little warmer climate. I was hired as the Morning Co-host and News Director of K-92 in Roanoke, VA. It is at that station where I met Mo. He was hired as K-92's nighttime jock. After about 8 months, Mo was moved up to do mornings with me. We were dating at the time but nobody knew about it. We got married in 1994 and have been together ever since. Mo and I left K-92 and went to do mornings at B-103 in Richmond, Virginia. Then in 1999 we came to South Florida. We have been on several stations in the West Palm Beach area but KOOL 105.5 has been our professional home since 2003. We have a home in Palm Beach Gardens that we share with our cats, Carlin, Stifler, Stewie and Cleveland. (All strays!) (By the way if my last name seems familiar to those of you who watched the CBS Evening News back in the day, my Uncle was reporter/commentator Eric Sevareid.)

The Mo & Sally Morning Show | KOOL 105.5 West Palm Beach | 561.616.6729 | Web

BIG 105.9 Doc Reno

Doc Reno is the kind of guy who inspires confidence in everyone he meets. When Doc asks for a lift to see some of his friends, you don't ask why he needs a ride to the waterfront at 3am, you're just happy to be along for the ride. Even if you're not allowed to leave the car.....or mention the address over the phone.....or question why you have to park down the block. Doc also is always willing to share his savvy and wisdom. For example, traveling abroad is always a learning experience with Doc. He taught us what a "suppository" is and how to "act naturally" through customs. Doc's other friends are also great guys, they all have very nice cars and anyone who's been there can tell you that Bogota is gorgeous in the summer! Doc even taught us how to whistle after years of not knowing, and that's been helpful too. We don't have to tell you how much that fifty dollars per police car we spot really comes in handy at the end of the month! Thanks again Doc! We're proud to call Doc Reno our friend and we don't have to tell you, that whenever he needs anything from us, we'll be there for soon as he lets us out of this room, which should be any minute now since we're finished with this letter. Say hi to Doc for us!Email Doc at: | Read more:

BIG 105.9 | Miami | 954.862.2000 | Web

Burgers On The Beach Jamie Frankel

Meet Jamie Frankel. As the dedicated grill-man of all the family BBQ's, my love for burgers began when I was tailgating at a football game. The smell, the fire, the taste, it all blended perfectly and has now grown into an obsession that has taken on new meaning. Creating a burger social club gave me a way to get my friends together. Also, it allowed me to explore the various menus that populated throughout the surrounding cities. Chicago is where it all started, a couple of friends meeting for burgers. "We should do this monthly,” we all said. And so it began... The Windy City Burger Club was formed back on October 1st, 2008. After a solid year in Chicago, my wife and I relocated back down to South Florida and so did my love for burgers. We expanded the club to now become Burgers by the Beach covering as much of the 561 & 954 area codes as we can... with its members: Lunchbox, Sgt. Sauce, Double Stack, Lil Dipper, Meat Sweats, Poppa Bypass & Vegmaster.

Burgers By The Beach, "Don't forget to share your leftovers." | Web

Le Cordon Bleu Shani-Levy.jpg

Jamaican born, Shani Levy’s passion for food started at the age of 4 when her mother taught her how to make plantain tarts. Shani has trekked around the world from Korea to France, working in many facets of the hospitality industry. Additionally, Shani has worked for Walt Disney World Resorts, The South Beach Food and Wine Festival, and the US Navy.

Le Cordon Bleu | Miami | 1.800.736.6126 | Web

The Glamorous Gourmet Stephanie-Miskew.jpg

Stephanie Miskew is a Writer, Wine Educator, Certified Sommelier and author of The Glamorous Gourmet (, a blog dedicated to her passions in life: food, wine, travel and entertaining. The Glamorous Gourmet debuted in February 2011 as the reincarnation of Stephanie Savors the Moment, a blog which chronicled Stephanie's year-long journey cooking her way, a la "Julie & Julia," through the Junior League of Boca Raton’s James Beard award-winning Cookbook, Savor the Moment. The project was to comemorate the book’s 10th Anniversary and in the process, a new career was born! With its broader focus, The Glamorous Gourmet reflects Stephanie's take on food and wine with a sense of style, humor and down to earth approach. In addition to her blog, Stephanie has written wine reviews, educational content and wine event coverage for Cork’d, wine guru Gary Vaynerchuk’s website; the Broward-Palm Beach New Times’ “Clean Plate Charlie” blog, and the Junior League of Boca Raton’s quarterly magazine, The Bridge. Stephanie is also currently a Contributing Editor to The Preiser Key and her wine picks, food and wine pairing recommendations and music playlists have been featured in publications including the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the Palm Beach Post and Boca Raton Magazine. In addition to writing, Stephanie also conducts wine tastings and educational seminars in both public and private venues. In 2010 she founded and continues to host the popular series “The Art of Wine and Food” at The Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale. She also presents at prominent local charitable events including The Boca Raton Historical Society’s “Boca Bacchanal” (she and her husband Steve were Chairs for the 2012 event which marked the fundraiser’s 10th Anniversary), The Spirit of Giving Network’s “Women, Wine & Handbags”, and the Delray Beach Public Library’s “Wine & Literature.” Stephanie has also served as a Judge for the prestigious American Fine Wine Competition, and recently joined esteemed Chef Norman Van Aken and Master Sommelier Virginia Philip as a Judge for the Inaugural Country Club Chef Showdown, benefitting Hospice of Palm Beach County. Stephanie is a Certified Sommelier with The Court of Master Sommeliers, a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) with The Society of Wine Educators, and a Wine Location Specialist for CIVC (Champagne) and IVDP (Port) with the Center for Wine Origins. In her continuous quest for knowledge, she is presently pursuing her Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Advanced Certificate. She currently resides in Delray Beach, Florida with her husband Steve and dachshunds Louis and Coco. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, reading, traveling and, of course, drinking wine with family and friends.

The Glamorous Gourmet | Boca Raton | Web

Chef Tommy Valdes

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.

Chef Tommy Valdes | Boca Raton |


Neil Saffer

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