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November 29, 2015

Culture Shock - Florida chefs meld unlikely combinations.
by Restaurant Editor Chris Sherman

Florida's newest generation of chefs is experimenting and cross-pollinating with more passion and wit than ever, running shockwaves of fiery Korean through Colombian cuisine or piling Southern comforts onto a wood-fired pizza.

That's a big change from the more refined, delicate fusion pioneered 25 years ago by the California chefs who carefully melded ingredients and style from Japan, Italy and Mexico, often using classical French technique.

No longer. In the new millennium, cooking and dining have turned more casual, artisanal and sometimes downright rustic. Chefs are exploring more authentic flavors of the American farmhouse and bar and regional variations of every ethnic stripe.

The 2016 Golden Spoon restaurants feature chefs reaching out to Peru, Turkey, Korea and other regions — fusion 2.0 from food truckers, small-plate nibblers and a generation of ethnic restaurateurs who just want to have fun.

All the new combustions are boosting Florida's energy level, so fasten your seat belts. The earth is turning faster than ever. Stick your tongue out the window, and you can taste the world.

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What are the Golden Spoons?

» Read this FAQ about Florida Trend's Golden Spoons with Restaurant Editor Chris Sherman to learn what the Golden Spoon Awards are, when they started, and much more.

Dining in Florida

» Browse all Chris Sherman's restaurant reviews and features at the Dining & Spirits archive

About Florida Trend's Restaurant Editor

Florida Trend restaurant editor Chris Sherman stuck his finger into Key lime pie 20 years ago. He has eaten his way up down and across Florida, tucking into grits, datil peppers, and medianoche sandwiches as well as the dishes of our grandest chefs, young and old. Florida sets a big and constantly changing table, so when you find a great new restaurant or have a grand meal, let Florida Trend know. Ditto for those dinners that don't match the hype. He can't be everywhere... although he'd like to be.

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