Above: Dishes at Burlingame Restaurant in Fernandina Beach, Florida

In recent years, Florida has developed one of the most interesting and distinctive restaurant scenes in the United States. Fine local seafood — oysters from the Panhandle, shrimp from the Gulf and fish like grouper, snapper and cobia — is a constant on menus everywhere. But contemporary Floridian cooking is also a reflection of the state’s Southern heritage, as well as its ethnic diversity. The large Latin American and Caribbean communities have contributed dishes and foods to the culinary repertoire. And in addition to such local luminaries as star chef Michelle Bernstein (who recently opened a wonderful casual dining table called Cafe La Trova in Miami’s Little Havana), Florida has been attracting culinary talent from all over the United States. A good example is chef Steve Phelps, from Shaker Heights, Ohio, who, in 2001, moved to Sarasota and opened Indigenous, a sustainable seafood restaurant that specializes in inventive contemporary American dishes, a decade later. Phelps was a semifinalist for a James Beard Best Chef in America award in both 2014 and 2015.

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Above: Dishes at Burlingame Restaurant in Fernandina Beach, Florida

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