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Here's How 10 South Florida Chefs Spend Time In Their Own Home Kitchens

They are the masterminds behind some of Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and Delray Beach’s best restaurants. And while we know how these 10 prominent South Florida chefs cook for us, we wanted to know how they spend time in their kitchens at home. So, we sort of invited ourselves over to find out.

Peter Boulukos
Boulukos enjoys making dinner for his family. Here, he prepares seared grouper with roasted fennel, olives and tomatoes.

Peter Boulukos

The Restaurant People

The Long Island native started his hospitality career at 13 years old, washing dishes in his family’s restaurant. As a co-founder of the hospitality firm that owns South Florida staples like YOLO, S3 and Boatyard, Boulukos, 56, also serves as the culinary director and executive chef.

What is a personal item in your kitchen?

China from my grandmother. She’s been a big influence for me. She had a tremendous garden when I was growing up. I was eating farm-to-table on a regular basis, thinking this was the way everyone ate. Plus she was a fantastic cook.

Who are you dying to cook for?

I have a group of high school friends who I still stay in contact with but don’t get to see very often. I’d love to cook for them and show them what I’ve become. That would bring me so much joy.

If you weren’t a chef, what would you be?

A pro-golfer. My goal is to pick up golfing later in life.

What is the strangest thing you have eaten?

Rocky Mountain oysters. I had no idea I was eating lamb testicles.

Toby Joseph
Joseph loves cooking for his family—it’s a regular occurrence in his home. He displays all the food on his island and has the kids gather for dinner.

Toby Joseph

The Riverside Hotel

Joseph has been overseeing culinary operations at the historic hotel since 2009 and was a key player in launching Wild Sea Oyster Bar & Grille, the hotel’s upscale seafood restaurant. This year, the 47-year-old is debuting his new culinary creation, Boathouse, a Mediterranean-inspired eatery also inside the hotel focusing on small plates that are simple, yet unexpected.

What’s your favorite dish to prepare at home?

I don’t get to do it very often with five kids, but Ossobuco (veal shanks with vegetables) is my favorite. I just love the aroma that fills my kitchen when I’m slow braising.

Did you always want to be a chef?

Yes. I grew up in it. The family business was gourmet delis, so I would make homemade sausages there, and I would wash dishes at the restaurant next door. To this day I still drive to work with a smile on my face.

What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?

A live grasshopper. We were outside with my kids, and they brought it to me, so I ate it. I’m just a fun dad.

What’s your comfort meal?

A fully loaded burger at The Capital Grille—but only the way (executive chef) Marc Gruverman makes it.

William Ring
Ring makes a “mean sandwich,” which must be toasted, at his mom’s house while his own home is being renovated.

William Ring

Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar

Ring is a Florida native with a passion for fishing. Throughout his nearly 20 years of culinary experience, he’s honed his appreciation for farm-to-table cuisine and has mastered its execution, landing him his current gig as executive chef at Harvest in Delray Beach.

What’s the strangest thing you have ever eaten?

A brined and sous-vide pig heart. I ate it with a ramp pesto and a farm-fresh egg. It has a liver texture without the liver taste. I actually enjoy it!

What’s your routine before cooking?

I blast heavy metal music for at least five minutes. It sounds odd, but it is very calming.

What’s the most important thing about a kitchen?

It is always moving. The kitchen is organized chaos, and I love being surrounded by it.

Next best food trend to look out for?

I have been venturing more into the realm of vegan cooking. I am not a vegan, but a lot of our guests at Harvest are, so I have been playing and experimenting with vegan “meats” and “cheese” options. It is eye opening because the flavors are so great and with some of the dishes you truly cannot tell the difference.

Angelo Elia
Elia pours a glass of wine from his Jankara Winery located in Sardinia, Italy. It’s also served in his restaurants.

Angelo Elia

Casa D’Angelo; Angelo Elia Pizza, Bar, Tapas; and Angelo Elia The Bakery Bar

With nine restaurants and a bakery, Elia is one of South Florida’s most beloved chefs. A self-proclaimed simple man who takes joy in preparing pasta dishes like his mother used to make, the Italian-born Elia, 55, always knew he’d be a chef.

What’s your best home cooking tip?

Don’t burn the garlic.

What’s in your refrigerator right now?

Prosciutto, Parmigiano, green olives, lettuce and fruit.

What’s your favorite kitchen gadget?

They are not a gadget, but my knives are very important to me. I collect them from all over, Italy to Japan, and they are beautiful.

What’s your comfort meal?

Spaghetti with sausage. I also love eggplant Parmesan and lasagna.

Cinzia Gaglio
Gaglio dips her homemade biscotti in Faretti liqueur inside her office kitchen, which is meant to be used as a test kitchen for the restaurant.

Cinzia Gaglio

Osteria Salina

As a nod to her family’s Italian heritage, Gaglio named her Hamptons restaurant after Isola Salina, an island off the coast of Sicily. With her husband, Tim, Gaglio has debuted a sister restaurant in Delray Beach, also boasting a warm ambiance and fresh homemade dishes.

Eat in or eat out?

Mostly in so I can control the ingredients I put in my body.

What’s your favorite kitchen gadget?

My Fabio Leonardi tomato mill imported from Italy.

What’s your routine before cooking?

An early morning cappuccino.

What’s one condiment you can’t live without?

Homemade aged red wine vinegar.

Paula DaSilva
DaSilva prepares a cheese plate to complement a glass of wine.

Paula DaSilva

Burlock Coast

The Brazilian-born DaSilva, 38, grew up in the restaurant business, so when she turned 18 and it was time to pick a career, her choice was simple. The “Hell’s Kitchen” runner-up has lived in South Florida since 1994 and has worked at some of the best kitchens in town, including 3030 Ocean and the Ritz-Carlton’s Artisan Beach House, before becoming the chef de cuisine at the Ritz-Carlton’s Burlock Coast in Fort Lauderdale.

Who is someone you would like to cook for?

My grandmother. She’s no longer with us, but she was a big part of my life when I was growing up.

If the power goes out, what do you grab?

The cheese! Save the cheese and drink the wine.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve eaten?

Turtle soup in Grand Cayman. I really liked it.

If you weren’t a chef, what would you be?

A photographer. I’ve taken classes, but I’d love to be a better photographer. I enjoy taking photos of people and landscapes.

Steven Tran
Tran scoops a portion of Vietnamese noodle soup with pork meatballs and his “special spices.” He loves having his extended family over (about 11 people) and cooking them traditional Vietnamese cuisine.

Steven Tran

City Oyster & Sushi Bar

Sushi is part of Tran’s identity. After emigrating from Vietnam, his family owned sushi spots throughout the States, including two here in South Florida. The 59-year-old was previously the sushi chef at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek before joining City Oyster nearly six years ago.

What’s one condiment you can’t live without?

Soy sauce.

Who do you enjoy cooking for the most?

I’ve cooked many times for NFL star Randy Moss. But my favorite person to cook for is my wife.

What’s your comfort meal?

Vietnamese egg rolls with crispy skin.

What is your all-time favorite dish?


Louie Bossi
Bossi’s home is currently under renovation, so he prepares Bolognese, a staple in his restaurant and at home, in the Louie Bossi’s Ristorante kitchen in Boca Raton.

Louie Bossi

Louie Bossi’s Ristorante Bar Pizzeria

From growing up in a broken home to drug and alcohol abuse, the 50-year-old has an inspiring story of struggle, survival and perseverance. Now with two booming restaurants and another set to open this year in Delray Beach, Bossi is on top of his game.

If you weren’t a chef, what would you be?

A detective. I love police work.

Do you have a nickname?

Yes, Louie Spoons. It’s my fictitious mob name, and it’s also because as a chef I’m always carrying around a spoon.

What’s a tip for cooking at home?

Always use quality ingredients and keep it simple. Simplicity is key, especially with pasta.

What’s the most important thing about a kitchen?

Cleanliness and safety. In this business, you can kill someone if everything isn’t right. I’m a chef who loves when the health inspector comes. I’m proud to have a clean kitchen, and you always sleep better knowing you got a great health inspection.

Nicolay Adinaguev
Adinaguev and his wife have been on the Keto diet since late February. He prepares an almond flour mustard-encrusted rack of lamb served with an avocado tomato salad and sautéed Swiss chard with coconut aminos.

Nicolay Adinaguev

Diplomat Prime

The Peruvian native’s introduction to the culinary world was through his first job at Häagen-Dazs in the Aventura Mall when he was 14. His first foray into fine dining at Chef Allen’s paved the way for an opportunity to open Stephen Starr’s Steak 954 at the W Fort Lauderdale. Now, the 37-year-old is serving up searing steaks at Diplomat Prime as executive chef.

What’s one condiment you can’t live without?

Mayo. It reigns supreme in my life.

What food is your guilty pleasure?

Rice with French fries. I’m a double starcher.

Tell us a kitchen horror story.

I dropped a sashimi knife and the 10-inch blade went through my shoe and landed right in between my big toe and my second toe. It was just sticking out of my shoe. Luckily I only suffered a minor cut.

What’s the most important thing about a kitchen?

A kitchen is about experiences, being with family, having gatherings, enjoying a meal. It’s a place of love.

Philip Darmon
Darmon poses with a photo of him and his grandfather.

Philip Darmon

Hardy Park Bistro

At 16, Darmon’s grandfather suggested he try culinary art. After several years of experience cooking at five-star hotels, he left Australia for Europe. There he worked at luxury hotels and fine dining restaurants until he decided to head out into open water to cook on mega yachts in the Caribbean. Upon anchoring in Fort Lauderdale, he met his wife, Jessica, and they opened Hardy Park Bistro in 2013.

Eat in or eat out?

I love eating out, but I haven’t had much of a chance these last four years.

What’s a food trend we should be looking out for?

Forget food trends. They are just a distraction.

Who is one person you would want to cook for?

My grandfather. He’s no longer with us, but he’d be so proud and happy.

Tell us a kitchen horror story.

I was 17 and just starting to learn to cook. I was in the kitchen and went to push the garbage down to make more room in the bin. There was an opened can and it sliced my thumb tendon straight through. The chef I was working with came over and threw white pepper on it to stop the bleeding. It made it worse, and I ended up having to have surgery.