Kenny Tufo, Executive Chef
Sea Salt’s Executive Chef Kenny Tufo’s 23-year culinary career has its roots in some of New York City’s and Boston’s hottest restaurants. His mentors include Gordon Hammersly at Hammersly’s Bistro, where he often cooked for Julie Child, Michael Schlow at Radius, Scott Bryan at Veritas and Daniel Boulud at DB Bistro Modern. His love affair with cooking began at his Italian-American childhood home outside of Boston. Sunday sauce, fresh produce and seafood, daily market shopping and large family gatherings around scratch-cooked feasts are an integral part of the Italian-American culture and the foundation for many chefs. The professional cooking bug bit in high school when he worked at a local bar and grill. From there, he went on to graduate with a culinary arts degree from Newbury College. As a chef at acclaimed restaurants with diverse cuisines, his range extends to French, Asian, seafood and Latin food ways. Before moving to Florida, he served as chef of Casa Nonna in midtown Manhattan, earning rave reviews for his Tuscan-inspired fare, and the honor of cooking at the James Beard House. In early 2015, Chef Kenny met Sea Salt’s owner-chef Fabrizio Aielli who had just opened Sea Salt in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, an area experiencing a cultural and dining renaissance. Kenny knew that Sea Salt would be a perfect fit and accepted the executive chef position at the gorgeous new restaurant, an anchor of downtown’s premier dining and shopping destination, Sundial. Chef Kenny’s experience and expertise is matched only by his passion, evident in his constantly evolving menus.
Justin Chamoun, Sommelier
Our wine collection is housed in an architectural masterpiece, a glittering 22-foot tower at the heart of the restaurant. The collection is overseen by our sommelier, Justin Chamoun, who maintains a list of more than 700 different wines. He also provides guests with an ample selection of fine spirits and beer and keeps our signature cocktails interesting and inventive. Justin plays a major role in our monthly signature wine dinners, working closely with Chef Kenny Tufo on perfect pairings. Justin’s restaurant career spans more than 20 years, dating to the age of 14 when he washed dishes and bused tables at a country inn in Franklin, Tenn. Today he is on hand most nights assisting guests in selecting the perfect bottle of wine for their meals.
Director of Special Events
Maryl’s career in the food industry began in the early 1990’s in downtown Washington, DC as an off-premise catering specialist. For 16 years she worked in gourmet-specialty food distribution sales where she developed a passion for high-quality food and exceptional service. Her experience makes her the perfect fit to represent Sea Salt. As our director of special events, Maryl offers her skillful organization, experience and guidance to help bring the vision of each social or business event into reality – and make it memorable.