Chef Spotlight: Ed Reese Is Poolside at Caliza Restaurant

September 6, 2010 by admin

Chef Reese began his career at the age of 15 in the fine dining restaurants of nearby Destin, Florida. Ed left the Gulf Coast to pursue his degree at the acclaimed Culinary School at Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina.

Upon graduating from Johnson and Wales, 23 year old Reese returned to the restaurants of Destin. In 1991 Ed seized the opportunity to move to Birmingham, Alabama and work under James Beard Award-Winning Chef Frank Stitt. Working under Chef Stitt.  Working under Chef Stitt enabled him to explore many different flavors, European regional cuisines and to expand his creativity.

"I learned from Frank to keep it simple and fresh. I love using fresh produce and seafood and letting those flavors come through." After a year and a half at Bottega, Ed was asked by Chef Stitt to work in his premier restaurant, Highlands Bar & Grill. There, he expanded his knowledge to include French Cuisine, which was incorporated into the Southern menu.

In 2005, after so many years away, the Gulf breezes and coastal flavors called Ed home to the restaurants of 30A. He and his wife, who also grew up on the Florida coast, and their six children quickly fell in love with South Walton. "We love to explore the places that can only be found with our kayaks, bikes, and flip flops."

Ed loves bringing his many culinary influences and passion for simple, extraordinary flavors together with ingredients to "This area’s local farmers and fish markets give me access to so many fresh, sustainably produced ingredients.  I ruly enjoy bringing them all together to create wonderful dishes for our guests."

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