February 20-24, 2019 Miami Beach
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Headshot 1 e1544820902852 400x400 - Zavala, Demetrio

Demetrio Zavala

Born on an Army base in Colorado Springs, CO, Executive Chef Demetrio Zavala spent most of his life in Florida. His family has Greek, Italian, French, Spanish, and Mexican roots and his grandmother and uncle were his greatest influences growing up.

Chef Zavala started cooking at the age of 15 as a prep cook in an Italian Restaurant in Boca Raton, Florida. He then learned classic French cooking at Gazebo Café and went on to La Vieille Maison and Mezzaluna with Chef Pierre Viau, where he really was inspired. Today, his culinary influences include Chefs... READ MORE

Born on an Army base in Colorado Springs, CO, Executive Chef Demetrio Zavala spent most of his life in Florida. His family has Greek, Italian, French, Spanish, and Mexican roots and his grandmother and uncle were his greatest influences growing up.

Chef Zavala started cooking at the age of 15 as a prep cook in an Italian Restaurant in Boca Raton, Florida. He then learned classic French cooking at Gazebo Café and went on to La Vieille Maison and Mezzaluna with Chef Pierre Viau, where he really was inspired. Today, his culinary influences include Chefs Pierre Viau, John Belleme, Eric Ripert, Daniel Boulud, Jean Georges, and Dante Boccuzzi. He also attended Culinary Programs to enhance his cooking Le Cordon Bleu and NY French Culinary Institute for Hydrochloride Cooking Techniques.

Chef Zavala worked at Max’s Grille in Mizner Park for 10 years. From there he went to work for the Jade Restaurant Corporation, running eight successful Asian fusion restaurants. During that time, he was contacted by the prestigious James Beard Foundation and was a Semi Finalist for New and Up and Coming Chef. He was able to bring his dream of owning a progressive pizza restaurant to fruition when he founded Coal Mine Pizza in Boca Raton. It was so successful in its first year that he sold it and began a restaurant consulting business. Chef Demetrio has also been featured on various cooking shows such as Chopped, Chopped Beat Bobby Flay, Chopped Champion, Guys Grocery Games and Beat Bobby Flay.

Chef Zavala is passionate about his new position as Executive Corporate Chef of Shula’s Restaurants. “In the coming years, I see more food coming from local farms with natural ingredients,” says Zavala. He enjoys taking old favorites and creating modern presentations around them adding, “Lifelong learning about my craft invigorates me; it makes me feel alive.” Chef Zavala has two beautiful kids Chandler (19) and Chase (17), whom he loves to cook and dine with at home.

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