Best Of 2017

Best Culinary Double Whammy: Maryann Ferenc and Marty Blitz

Best Culinary Double Whammy

If Maryann Ferenc and Marty Blitz of Mise en Place hadn’t begun turning Tampa into a contemporary food town 30-plus years ago, Tampa would have had to invent them. They’re that important to the city’s culinary culture. In CL’s Meet the Chefs roundtables over the last few years, the chefs of many of the region’s best restaurants paid homage to the mentorship of Blitz, who’s still killing it in the kitchen with his masterful, innovative cooking. And Ferenc, his partner in the business (though no longer in life), has expanded her own sphere of influence, serving as current chair of Visit Florida and three two-year terms on the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, advising the Secretary of Commerce and the President. She has led the way in uniting indie businesses and supporting organizations that feed the hungry. Meanwhile, the Mise en Place/Sono Cafe restaurant and catering empire just keeps growing, with a new concept scheduled to join their In Flight Wine Bar at the Tampa International Airport and another restaurant planned for Pass-a-Grille. —David Warner