Restaurants in St Pete Florida
Much of TradeWinds Island Resorts’ culinary success is thanks to Executive Chef Justin Harry and team. With a combined effort, they bring impressive dining experiences to all the resort’s catered events and food and beverage outlets.
To view some of our chef’s creations, click here for recipes.
Executive Chef Justin Harry
Growing up traveling the United Stated and Europe, Executive Chef Justin Harry first became interested in culinary arts at a very young age while learning to cook with his family in Naples, Italy. It was then that he decided to make his career in the culinary industry.
With no formal culinary education, Chef Justin always relied on his intuition and innate pleasure for cooking when creating his blend of old world and modern cuisine with bright and clean flavors.
Chef Justin was previously the Executive Sous Chef at La Torretta Lake Resort and Spa in Montgomery, Texas and the Executive Chef at The Canyons Resort in Park City, Utah.
Currently when he's not playing golf or fishing, you will find Chef Justin behind the scenes as the Executive Chef at TradeWinds Island Resorts, a position he's held since 2010. Since joining TradeWinds, he has led his team of chefs in hosting top companies, over-the-top weddings, and local, state and federal dignitaries
Chef Thomas G. Mandzik
It took 8 years in the food and beverage industry before Chef Thomas Mandzik considered a career as a chef. After working in every area of restaurants, he made the decision to attend culinary school at The Art Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Prior to joining the TradeWinds culinary team as the Chef de Cuisine at Bermudas, Chef Thomas interned with one of Tampa’s top chefs, Chris Ponte. After completing culinary school, Chef Thomas had a thirst for knowledge and went on to apprentice for Chef Jean Phillip Polo where he was promoted to the Executive Sous Chef position at the Treasure Island Yacht and Tennis Club. Propelling himself in the culinary world, Chef Thomas went to work for Chef Matt Tracy at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club as the Banquet Sous Chef.
Today Chef Thomas can be found in the Breckenridge building where he oversees all culinary operations for Bermudas Steak and Seafood Restaurant, Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, Room Service and Salty’s.
Being native to Florida, Chef Thomas has a passion for Gulf Coast regional cuisine and showcases his love for local sustainable foods with a fine dining approach.
Executive Banquet Chef Michael E. Karasek
Chef Michael Karasek's first taste in the kitchen was when he was a young man and his father got up every morning to make him breakfast before school. This family tradition quickly became a lifelong passion.
Prior to joining TradeWinds culinary team, Chef Michael worked in Orlando, Florida at the five star resorts, The Peabody Orlando and Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress. In 1990, Chef Michael attended the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts in downtown Pittsburgh, where he also became a Steelers fan. While attending school, he worked at the CA MURE flagship restaurant "The Grand Concourse" and the Vista International Hotel, both located in downtown Pittsburgh.
Chef Michael relocated back to Florida where he worked at Hilton Worldwide as Executive Chef and the Walt Disney World Company. As his family grew he decided it was time to share his knowledge with the young generation of future Executive Chefs and spent many years working with the American Culinary Federation's “Chef & Child Foundation" which educates children and families in understanding proper nutrition. Chef Michael was also a Culinary Instructor and Mentor at the LE Cordon Bleu Orlando Culinary Academy.
Chef Michael believes you learn many ways to accomplish your goals and that you gain experiences from the Chefs you work under, which in the end, shape you to be the Chef you are today. After many experiences in teaching and mentoring, we are proud to have Chef Michael as the Executive Banquet Chef at TradeWinds Island Resorts.
Chef Jon Hilton - Chef de Cuisine Palm Court Italian Grill
Chef Jon Hilton grew up in a family of home cooks where he learned the fundamentals of southern cuisine. Landing his first job in an Italian restaurant, Chef Jon discovered his love for food and decided to make culinary arts his career.
Expanding his knowledge in the art, Chef Jon went to technical school where he received his diploma in culinary arts. He quickly rose through the ranks and became Lead Line Cook at Osprey Village, an upscale retirement center. After a brief stint at the Ritz Carlton Amelia Island, Chef Jon began working at Amelia Island Plantation Resort alongside the Master Chef where Chef Jon became a Tournant Chef of all the food outlets. Chef Jon also was Chef de Cuisine at The Florida Yacht Club in Jacksonville.
Since joining the culinary team at the TradeWinds Islands Resorts in March of 2013, Chef Jon has worked his way to the position of Chef de Cuisine of the TradeWinds signature restaurant, Palm Court Italian Grill where guests enjoy the results of his love and passion for Italian cuisine.
Chef Aaron Schweitzer - Guy Harvey RumFish Grill
Like many chefs-in-the-making, Aaron Schweitzer started young. He and his family vacationed on the Outer Banks and, at 17 years old, he thought he’d try to get work there and stay the whole summer. He landed in a kitchen run by a Culinary Institute of America graduate. The experience had a huge impact on him as he worked his way up from dishwasher to food prep by the end of the summer.
Schweitzer went on to attend Pennsylvania Culinary Institute and has worked in cities such as New Orleans and Charleston before moving to Wilmington, NC. There he was the Chef de Partie at a private country club for four years before moving into a new direction as the Chef for Circa 1922.
Throughout the following 14 years, he assisted in opening various concept restaurants to include Boca Bay, Prima, Osteria Cicchetti, The Grand Union Pub, The Kitchen and Osteria Cicchetti II. He’s led a varied career when it comes to cuisine styles, but he says all food really follows the same principles. “Just keep it simple.”