About Zest! of SarasotaABOUT Zest!
Owned and operated by John and Nina Arico, Zest! is an award-winning full service catering company, specializing in destination weddings as well as private, corporate and promotional events. Complete party planning is available. Their attention to detail and delicious food has gained them the confidence of Sarasota's most particular hosts, as well as brides and grooms from Sarasota and beyond. Zest! is a two-time recipient of a Bride’s Choice Award from www.weddingwire.com, and was a finalist in the category of “Best Caterer” in the SRQ Magazine’s 2012 reader’s poll.
John and Nina will work closely with you on your special event, whether it’s a wedding reception, rehearsal dinner, pre-wedding party, or post-wedding brunch or other private or corporate function. They can handle all the details of your event, such as staffing, rental of tables, chairs, place settings, and any other needs you may have. They also have a network of reliable professionals in related fields such as photography, florals, music and officiating wedding ceremonies Once they've discussed your needs with you, you can leave the details to them and enjoy the food and friends you've brought together.
Zest! is not trying to be the biggest catering company in Sarasota, but definitely wants to be the best. To that end John and Nina will listen closley to your ideas, make suggestions, and never try to talk you into something that's not appropriate for your situation, while still covering everything you will need. Zest's motto is "no surprises". John and Nina know how confusing it can be to deal with different caterer's proposals, and will be happy to help you sort everything out so it makes sense.
Zest! is Sarasota's Greenest catering company and the first catering company in the areas to become a Sarasota County Green Business Partner. "Green" is not just a word at Zest!, or a marketing concept. John bought land in Vermont in 1969, where he built a cabin and practiced composting, organic gardening and recycling, and participated in a fledgling food coop. "Green" has been a part of his life ever since. At present Zest! buys as much produce as possible from the fruit stand down the street, which sources it locally, and never uses any supplies from non-sustainable sources. All scraps from food prep get composted and added to the garden, where, at present, most of Zest's herbs are grown. On the job, recyclables get collected, rather than added to the trash. Zest! welcomes any suggestions you may have that may help keep it the most responsible "green" company it can be.
ABOUT JOHN AND NINA
John and Nina have been working in the catering business in Sarasota for the past eight years, and have had their own catering business since the fall of 2006. Both grew up learning cooking skills at home; John's father worked part time as a sous chef, teaching him many basic skills. As a boy of 9, John would cook Sunday Breakfast for the family, and as a teenager in boarding school, he set up a Sunday Breakfast Service for his fellow dorm mates. Both Nina and John have worked, over the years, in all positions in the food and beverage business, from waiting table, to bartending, to managing various facilities. Both have also had their own food oriented businesses, notably Nina's luncheon business for owners and employees of St. Thomas' waterfront shops, and John's providing original menus aboard the sail boat he captained for vacationers in the Caribbean. Other occupations: Nina, who has a degree in Television and Radio from Brooklyn College in NY, worked in video production and managed a major video studio in Manhatten. John made his living as a Coast Guard licensed captain, sailing chartered trips in the Caribbean and delivering sailboats of all sizes to and from various destinations on both sides of the Atlantic. Then, settling down with Nina in NY, he developed a successful contracting business doing both residential and commercial remodeling. Both dreamed of getting out of NY City to a cleaner ( and warmer) climate, and consider themselves fortunate to have landed in Sarasota, with it's friendly people, pleasant climate and cultural amenities. Since settling here, Nina has become a Master Gardner, while John enjoys getting out on the water again, where he indulges a passion for kayaking and flyfishing.
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