The city of Tampa Bay has a lot to offer for both residents and tourists alike with its blissful beaches, upscale shopping venues and bright Florida sun. So what could this beautiful city possibly be missing? How about a local farm-to-table restaurant that gives customers the quality eats they’ve been searching for? That is exactly what celebrity chef Michael Mina is bringing to the table with his new restaurant Farmtable and gourmet market, Locale, set to open in Tampa’s Sundial shopping and dining center. Chef Michael Mina has partnered with friend, and culinary superstar, Don Pintabona, the executive chef at Robert DeNiro’s Tribeca Grill in New York City, to make his vision of the grand 20,000 square foot sustainable restaurant and gourmet market a reality.
Chef Michael is an award-winning chef recognized by the likes of Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Time magazines. He is the type of culinary mastermind who is not afraid to take risks and his proven success in San Francisco and Las Vegas in the past makes him the perfect candidate to lead the charge into one of Florida’s untapped culinary markets. From booking numerous speaking engagements and cooking demonstrations to his partnerships with businesses on several joint ventures, this guy is always making moves. The innovative vision for his new massive two-story market, Locale, will provide diners and shoppers with an option they rarely see; all the quality gourmet ingredients of an upscale restaurant ranging from charcuterie to chocolate, available for them to purchase and enjoy in the comfort of their own home.
After the recent culinary gold rush found many celebrity chefs rushing to claim their “steak” in Sin City’s thriving culinary scene, this decision by Chef Michael could ultimately lead to the founding of a new culinary metropolis if all goes as planned. His decision to couple his farm-to-table eatery with an accompanying local produce market only further validates his commitment to local ingredients and provides Tampa Bay farmers with a big opportunity to jump on board. The concept of farm-to-table cooking and only using local, seasonal ingredients is a trending movement in the culinary industry and many of the nation’s top restaurants are shifting to this method of cooking as the public’s demand for only the freshest and highest quality ingredients increases.
Given the Tampa Bay Buccaneers recent revamp of their uniforms and ultimate hope to produce a new team attitude, maybe adding a members-only club at Raymond James Stadium might help? You may be in luck Bucs fans! It’s interesting to note that Chef Michael has connections with the NFL, as he is set to open up a members-only club in the San Francisco 49ers stadium that will provide Niners fans with an exclusive pregame dining experience. Now there is already talk of Michael expanding this business to the east coast and opening the same type of club for the Buccaneers could increase fan support and attendance.
Despite not even having opened its doors yet, Chef Michael’s restaurant is creating a culinary revolution for this gulf coast city. Rumors have already begun spinning around the mixing bowl about other celebrity chefs potentially opening up restaurants in the Sundial shopping and dining center that will house Michael’s new venture. Some of the biggest names in the industry such as Emeril Lagasse, Donatella Arpaia, and Iron Chefs Masaharu Morimoto and Geoffrey Zakarian have been mentioned as potential tenants in Tampa’s newest hotspot. Becoming the first celebrity chef venture in a new city takes courage but Chef Michael is the man for the job. As you can see, his move to open a new restaurant and adjoining marketplace will not only fill tourist and Floridian stomachs with good eats but also has the potential to boost the local economy in more ways than one.
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