Keynote Spotlight

Don Pintabona

Chef Don Pintabona is passionate about local food.

And he’s brought his vision for cooking well to downtown St. Petersburg as the co-owner of the much-buzzed-about Locale Market in the Sundial shopping, dining and entertainment complex. Florida seafood and Tampa Bay products are proudly sold there, alongside sophisticated baked goods and some of the best beef you’ll find in the area.

Pintabona has created an illustrious career for himself over the past 30 years, including a stint as the executive chef at Robert DeNiro’s Tribeca Grill in New York. Born a first-generation Italian in Oceanside, N.Y, Don grew up surrounded by food. He spent his early years working at Grand Union Supermarket under is father’s tutelage, and later earned a degree from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America.

As a graduate of the University of South Florida, his return to the Sunshine State is a homecoming of sorts. The chef spends much of his time here connecting with farmers, fishermen and other food purveyors around the state. He will share his rich experiences with audience members as keynote speaker at the Florida Food Conference.

Early Bird Breakfast

8:15 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Come early to enjoy a continental breakfast and meet some of the day’s speakers. $10

Breakfast Registration is now closed.

After Party

4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Continue the conference conversation at a reception featuring wine and local beer, plus appetizers. $15

After Party Registration is now closed.

Conference Schedule

8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.


USC Pre Function Area, Second Floor

8:15 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Limited Seating Breakfast*

Sponsored by Locale Market
Ballroom 1

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Keynote Address

Closing the Gap: Connecting with Florida’s Farmers of Land and Sea
Chef Don Pintabona, Locale Market

10:50 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Book Sales and Signings

USC Pre Function Area, Second Floor

11:30 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.

Breakout Session 1

Rice: A Cross-cultural Conversation

Florida Seafood: The Good Catch

DIY Cookbooks: Getting Started

12:30 p.m. – 1:50 p.m.


Sponsored by Ricky P’s Orleans Bistro
Ballroom 1 (additional seating in Ballroom 3)

2:00 p.m. – 2:50 p.m.

Breakout Session 2

Rice: A Cross-cultural Conversation

Sizzling Images: Video Tips from the Pros

DIY Cookbooks: Getting Started

3:00 p.m. – 3:50 p.m.

Breakout Session 3

Florida Seafood: The Good Catch

Sizzling Images: Video Tips from the Pros

DIY Cookbooks: Getting Started

4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Book Sales and Signings

USC Pre Function Area, Second Floor

Limited Seating After Party*

Ballroom 1

*All guests must pre-register online to attend limited seating events.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the event being held?

The Florida Food Conference will be held in the University Student Center on the University of South Florida St. Petersburg downtown campus. Most sessions will take place in Ballrooms 1, 2 and 3 on the second floor, with additional breakout sessions occurring in the Ocean Room next door.

How will I know which sessions to attend?

When you register online, you will select three of the four available breakout sessions. We will assign attendees to sessions based on demand and space. You’ll be notified of your assigned breakout upon registration at the event.

Can I register on the day of the event?

No. Due to capacity issues, we are unable to process same-day registration.

Where should I park?

Parking information will be distributed via email to all registered attendees prior to the day of the event. Conference attendees will park on specified levels of the USF St. Petersburg parking garage located at the corner of 5th Ave. S. (Dali Blvd.) and 3rd Street S.

Will I be able to purchase books written by speakers at the conference?

Yes! The USFSP bookstore will have books on hand for sale at the event. Authors will be available for signing following the morning keynote and afternoon breakout sessions.

Will there be vegetarian options for breakfast and lunch?

Yes. When registering online, you can indicate whether you’d like a vegetarian meal option, and for how many people in your party.

Have a question that wasn’t answered here?

2015 USF St. Petersburg Florida Food Conference: Community and Culture

Saturday, April 18, 2015

USF St. Petersburg
University Student Center
140 7th Ave. S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Limited Seating Breakfast
sponsored by Locale Market
8:15 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Keynote & Conference
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Limited Seating After Party
4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Available Breakout Sessions

Rice: A Cross-cultural Conversation

A lively panel discussion on how this universal food staple has different cultural meanings.

Thuy Le, owner La V Vietnamese fusion restaurant, St. Petersburg
Bob Devin Jones, founder Studio @ 620 and author of “Uncle Bends: A Home-Cooked Negro Narrative”
Vivian Fueyo, USFSP

Florida Seafood: The Good Catch

A look at sustainability and bounty from one of Florida’s greatest natural resources.

Authors Pam Brandon, Katie Farmand and Heather McPherson, “Good Catch
Cinthia Sandoval, Wild Ocean Seafood Market, Port Canaveral

DIY Cookbooks: Getting Started

Gathering family recipes for future generations – or maybe for sale.

Sherry Gore, Sarasota food writer and author of “Me, Myself and Pie” and “Simply Delicious Amish Recipes”
Virginie Martocq, Co-owner, Heritage Cookbook, Toronto

Sizzling Images: Video Tips from the Pros

Preserving stories and capturing cooking techniques with the moving image.

HSN videographers