Profile: ‘Taste’ Chefs, part 1

January 17, 2020
By Marcy Shortuse

This week’s profile may seem a bit confusing on first perusal, but there is a method to our madness. We want to introduce you to the chefs behind “The Taste of Boca Grande,” a few at a time, in the weeks leading up to the event on February 3 at the Boca Bay Pass Club. 
See next week’s profile for six more chefs.
Acosta, best known as “Chef Ozzy,” is originally from Ft. Lauderdale. He graduated Dean’s List from Johnson & Wales University in 2008, earning his bachelor’s degree in culinary arts and restaurant management.  Osmany has worked for prestigious operations including Marriot Corporation, Joy Wallace Catering, Seminole Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos, and he also owns and operates his own catering company. He has been on the Seminole Hotel and Casino culinary team since May of 2004 and took part in the grand opening of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, Fla.  
He joined the Seminole Casino Hotel in Immokalee in February of 2009 as the opening chef of the 1st Street Deli and is currently the banquet production chef at the Seminole Casino Hotel in Immokalee. 
Chef Tim Fain grew up in Rhode Island and graduated from Johnson & Wales University. After college his culinary career truly began when he went to work for the Broadmoor Hotal in Colorado Springs. He spent five years on the road, spending winters in Colorado and summers on Cape Cod.
Tim was eventually recruited to take over the Spruce Point Inn in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. He was there for a time, but is now with us at the Coral Creek Club.
The rest, as they say, is history …
Chef Glenn Scarpa is a relatively new face to the business district of Boca Grande, but he has had a home here for many years. He and his wife, Ashley, opened Scarpa’s Coastal – a counterpart to their restaurant in Lakeland called Scarpa’s Italian Restaurant – last summer.
Glenn’s family has been in the restaurant business for generations, dating back to his grandmother’s New York kitchen. Some of her recipes are still being made in Scarpa’s restaurants today.
Glenn and his father owned Mario’s Restaurant in Polk County but sold it in 2006. 
Glenn and Ashley have four children – Kacy, Jessie, Sandy and Brecken. Glenn enjoys fishing and golfing when he isn’t in the kitchen.
Chef Kono Wendel is one cool dude and is well known on the island. He is the executive sous chef at The Gasparilla Inn & Club, but for this “Taste” event he is working with a staff representing The Pink Elephant (also owned by The Inn). He has been at The Inn since 1994, and prior to that he worked as a sous chef at the Basin Harbor Club in Vergennes, Vt. from 1987 to 1994.
After spending much of his childhood overseas as part of a military family, Kono had his first kitchen job on the island of St. Croix, but he learned to cook in Hawaii. He learned to bake at a Switzerland culinary school, owned a real French bistro, was a juggling mime for awhile and went on many other assorted adventures.
Chef Michael Klocinski, CEC has served as the executive chef of the Boca Bay Pass Club since April of 2015. Chef Michael has elevated the culinary program at the club in the last five seasons. The Pass Club has two restaurants, a full-service banquet kitchen that services the club’s private dining rooms, tented events on the Gulf Lawn, Powerhouse, and for Boca Bay homeowner events at their Beach Club.
Chef Michael came to the Pass Club from Forest Highlands Golf Club, a master-planned residential Golf Club community with over 1,500 members in Flagstaff, Arizona. At Forest Highlands he achieved record-setting revenues and the highest customer satisfaction surveys ever at that club. 
Prior to Forest Highlands, Chef Michael was the executive chef at Shaker Heights Country Club, Classics, and worked at the Ferris Steak House in Cleveland, Ohio, McGraw-Hill Publishing Executive Dining Services and Handke’s Cuisine in Columbus, Ohio. 
Chef Michael is a certified executive chef, a member of the American Culinary Federation and Club Managers Association of America. He has received numerous awards from the American Culinary Federation, including first place in the fish category in Las Vegas. 
Chef Kevin Stockdale was born and raised in Boca Grande, and in the kitchen. His father worked for Belcher Oil, and his mom was one of the lunch ladies at Englewood Elementary. It was in that lunchroom, in fact, that Kevin had his first experience with food handling and preparation. 
Chef Kevin worked for PJ’s Seagrille for 11 years and has also worked at Beaches and Mad Sam’s when they operated on Englewood Beach. 
Now Kevin is not only the head chef at The Temptation restuarant and has been for 13 years, he has also been a co-owner for six years. He has been doing the “Taste” event, as he said, “since before the tent was there.”
Kevin has a wife named Shelby, a 25-year-old son, a 23-year-old daughter and two grandbabies.