Roux 30a in Grayton Beach's Art District
Live Like a Local: Where Chefs Eat When They’re Off the Clock

When you’re wondering where to eat, ask a chef. They've usually got great taste, and on top of that, they have limited opportunities to eat out because they’re always working. So they make their meals count! We asked a few great local chefs where they eat when they aren’t working, and here’s what they had to say:

Executive Chef Gio Filippone can typically be found dishing out contemporary seafood dishes like lobster macaroni and cheese or pistachio-crusted grouper at South Walton mainstay Vue on 30a in Santa Rosa Beach. When he gets a little time away from the top-notch food and spectacular view of the Gulf, he goes for comfort food and ambiance. “When I’m not at Vue on 30a, Restaurant Paradis, which is located in Rosemary Beach, is my favorite off the clock dining experience. Their cast iron filet is juicy and tender – really fantastic, and the atmosphere of the restaurant is beautiful.”

At Roux 30a in Grayton Beach’s Art District, Chef Nikhil Abuvala uses farm fresh ingredients to explore a wide variety of cuisines, from sushi to Mediterranean. He doesn’t get much time away from the restaurant at dinnertime, so most of his off-the-clock meals are lunches, and his goal is to just relax and have a good time. One of his first choices is Sushimoto in Miramar Beach, where Chef Andy “is just awesome,” and makes, in Chef Nikhil’s opinion, “the best sushi in the Panhandle.” When he’s looking to eat light and healthy fare, he stops by Chiringo in Grayton Beach for a delicious grain bowl, with the option to add fresh local seafood on top! And on the infrequent occasion he can sneak away for dinner, you’ll usually find him at the bar at Amici 30a, hanging out with Chef Mack and enjoying a succession of Italian plates.

Hugues Le Berre, Director of Food & Beverage at Alys Beach, admits that he hasn’t had as much time as he’d like to really get out and explore South Walton’s restaurants, but he’s still managed to compile a few favorites, including Basmati Asian Cuisine & SushiHavana Beach Bar & GrillSeagrove Village Market Café and Abrazo. Chef Drew Dzejak of Caliza Restaurant agrees with Hugues on two others, Chanticleer Eatery and Stinky’s Fish Camp, and adds that he’s also a fan of Hurricane Oyster Bar.

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