Monthly Industry Insights

Hear from industry leaders their guilty pleasures, the oddest thing in their refrigerator, their inspirations and take on new trends. We've asked all of questions and have the answers for you here.

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October's Featured Interview: Tavoris Ingram, The Twisted Tuna

Chef Tavoris was recently crowned the Rapid Fire Champion at the recent Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show in September!

What made you want to become a chef?
I was inspired by my mom who worked as a kitchen manager at an elementary school.
What was your favorite class in culinary school?
I never had the opportunity to attend a culinary school but one of my favorite aspects is creating new soups and sauces.
What is the newest trend you see emerging?
People are far more educated in the foods they eat these days and with the emergence of social media the latest trends are out there. I see a lot of fresh fruits and nuts being blended into certain dishes along with the use of whole foods. We create many dishes using these fresh ingredients and the flavor explosion on the palate is just incredible. The customer feedback we get is just amazing. It's a true pleasure to talk with a customer and really listen to what they like.

What’s the strangest thing we would find in your refrigerator? 
That would have to be bacon grease. Everything is better with bacon.

If you could eat anywhere in the world, where would that be?
That's easy, Paris, France. They have amazing and passionate chefs there with tremendous talent and incredible foods.

Is there one comfort food that you're secretly obsessed with having at home?
Macaroni and cheese. I am definitely obsessed with quality macaroni and cheese.

Which talent would you most like to have that you don't possess?
I would like to improve my pastry skills. Some of the desserts I see and taste are just amazing and I would like to be able to do that too.

What’s your favorite meal to cook for friends?
Zuppa di Pesce! I love cooking with seafood and this dish has it all. The presentation is a always crowd-pleaser and the textures and flavors simply cant be beat.

Who was your mentor as you were becoming a chef?
Executive Chef Ralph Formisano. He taught me the ins and out of the profession and insisted on making everything from scratch. That's something I've carried with me throughout my career. 
If you could cook for and dine with anyone, who would that be?
I would love to cook for the President of The United States. Any President.


Rapid Fire Competitors & Judges


More about Tavoris Ingram: 

Executive Chef Tavoris Ingram cooks with passion, style and soul. A native of The Treasure Coast right here in Florida, Chef Tee at the early age of 15 had the opportunity to apprentice under a renounced French Chef at Club Med Sandpiper. Then he went on to learn the art of authentic Italian cuisine from Chef Ralph of Shucker's Beach Resort. While obtaining two degrees from Florida State University, Chef Tee was able to hone and perfect his skills and unique southern style at some of the top restaurants in Tallahassee. After graduation, he opened a small but successful seafood grill in North Carolina. Years later he found himself missing home and family and moved back to The Treasure Coast. He then settled into his new home and position as Executive Chef of The Twisted Tuna in Port Salerno. Chef Tee has more than 16 years experience in the culinary arts and specializes in Seafood, Southern, Italian and Caribbean styles of cooking. 



September Insights - Keith Williamson, Datz
August Insights - Kristen Ramsey, Krimsey's
July Insights - Chef Joseph Johnson, Charcoal Venice
June Insights - David Adir, The Carving Board
May Insights - Chef Ricky Estrellado, Nobu New York
April Insights - Chef Manjit Manohar, The Pierre Hotel
March Insights - Chef Justine MacNeil, Del Posto
February Insights - Chef Stephen Yen, Paige Hospitality Group
January Insights - Chef Amanda Martin, Leoness Cellars
November Insights - Michelle Noble, Le Cordon Bleu
October Insights - James McGuinness, Keiser University
September Insights - Norman Van Aken, NORMAN'S
August Insights - Richard Pink, Pink's Hot Dogs
July Insights - Keith Breedlove, Culinerdy Cruzer
June Chef Insights - Rob Valencia, Great Performances
May Chef Insights - Marc Murphy, Benchmarc Restaurants
April Chef Insights - Megan Johnson, Casellula
March Chef Insights - Sara Moulton, Chef, Cookbook Author, TV Personality

February Chef Insights - Barret Beyer, Hell's Kitchen
January Chef Insights - Anton Testino, Mulberry Street Cafe
November Chef Insights - David Binkle, Los Angeles Unified School District
October Chef Insights - Alan Ogard, Lexington Hotel
September Chef Insights - Barbie Marshall, The Farming Chef
August Chef Insights - Cal DeMercurio, Corporate Executive Chef, Black Bear Diner
July Chef Insights - Johannes Bernau, Executive Chef, Who Song & Larry's
June Chef Insights - Ryan Vargas, Chef de Cuisine at Emeril's Tchoup Chop