Chefs Up Front

Florida Introduces Physical Activity and Nutrition to Youth (FLIPANY) was my very first rotation site during my dietetic internship. My short time at the organization was spent leading the Mommy and Me classes as well as the after school nutrition education classes.
Working with FLIPANY was an eye opening experience to say the least. Most of the classes were taught in under privileged areas that were miles away from any supermarket and to children who have only known vegetables as things they have seen in school books.
Food deserts are REAL people, and these children live in them day in and day out.
Although my rotation was only one month, I clearly remember how tirelessly the FLIPANY staff worked to prepare for each nutrition education class and amount of dedication poured into the planning and prep for the organizations’ largest charitable event for the year, Chefs Up Front.
As an intern, I remember wishing I could attend Chefs Up Front. Who wouldn’t right? Brilliant and talented chefs preparing an amazing five course meal right at your table, sounds like a dream.
This year I was fortunate to have been invited to attend as a guest … YIPPIE!
The Fort Lauderdale Chefs Up Front took place aboard the South Beach Lady and was set to cruise the inter-coastal during dinner.

Before dinner there was cooking demos on the main level and a performance by a few of the Flipany children. The children had put together a nutrition themed song and dance routine “got some fruit in my belly” …. Super cute !

Once upstairs I was seated at table of Chef Steve Zobel with Big City Tavern of Las Olas Ft. Lauderdale. Chef Zobel’s  five course menu was deliciously crafted and began with a lovely watermelon, feta cheese and tomato salad with mint and pomegranate molasses.

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 Blue Point Oyster Stew Vermouth, Bacon and Cream + Brioche Croutons

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Butter Poached wild Salmon with Artichoke heart, Asparagus and Lobster Butter

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 Braised Beef Short Rib, Parsnip Potato Purée and Preserved Lemon Gremolata


Creme Caramel with Fresh Whipped Cream and Berries


The experience was fascinating. I can only imagine how challenging it can be for a chef to create and beautifully plate a dish in the comfort of their own kitchen. Add in 100 guests and 9 other chefs prepping and sautéing on one level of a boat , things definitely got busy (and HOT!). Nevertheless, I would like to send a HUGE thank you to Chef Zobel from Big City Tavern and FLIPANY for putting on a fantastic event.  Despite all the “heat in the kitchen”, the entire event went without a snatch!

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