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Zest! of Sarasota

Sarasota , FL
CONTACT US
CONTACT US

LOCATION

6584 Superior Ave
Sarasota, FL 34231 US (map)

PHONE

941-924-2535

WEBSITE

View website
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ABOUT US

ABOUT 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... Read more
ABOUT 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.

Green Catering!
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. Read less
Catering

PHOTOS

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INFO FOR CATERING

What event services do you provide?
Clean Up, Delivery, Set Up
What catering services do you provide?
Buffet, Cocktail Reception, Dessert, Hors d'oeuvres, Outside Cake OK, Plated, Server(s), Stations, Tastings
What types of cuisine do you cater?
African, American, Asian, British, Cajun, Caribbean, Chinese, French, Indian, Italian, Latin American, Local, Mediterranean, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Southern, Southwestern, Spanish, Thai
What dietary needs can you accommodate?
Gluten Free, Lactose Free, No Pork, Nut Free, Organic, Vegan, Vegetarian
What bar services do you provide?
Bartender(s), Champagne Toast, House Beer, House Liquor, House Wine, Liquor License, Outside Alcohol OK, Premium Liquor, Signature Cocktail(s), Specialty Beer, Specialty Wine
Which of the following items can you provide?
Chairs, Tables
Which of the following items can you provide?
Barware, China, Chocolate Fountain, Flatware, Glassware, Linens

REVIEWS

4.9
out of 5.0
4.9/5.0
4.9/5.0
4.9/5.0
4.9/5.0
4.9/5.0
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Default vendor profile pic
Bunny
Wedding:
3/21/2015
4.5/5.0
This was the second time we've used ZEST! as our caterers. We had a Spring Employee Outdoor party and John & his team presented us with a wonderful spring-themed menu. They set our venue up beautifully and I was even asked if we were having a wedding on-site. I would highly recommend ZEST!. They are very flexible and creative and we will use them again and again.
This was the second time we've used ZEST! as our caterers. We had a Spring Employee Outdoor party and John & his team Read more...
This was the second time we've used ZEST! as our caterers. We had a Spring Employee Outdoor party and John & his team presented us with a wonderful spring-themed menu. They set our venue up beautifully and I was even asked if we were having a wedding on-site. I would highly recommend ZEST!. They are very flexible and creative and we will use them again and again. Read less
Services Used: Catering
Default vendor profile pic
Colleen
Wedding:
3/14/2015
5.0/5.0
We used Zest of Sarasota for our full service catering the day of our wedding, and we couldn't be happier! The food was great, we are still getting compliments, especially on the appetizers! The staff was very professional and considerate, and made everything flow smoothly!
We used Zest of Sarasota for our full service catering the day of our wedding, and we couldn't be happier! The food was Read more...
We used Zest of Sarasota for our full service catering the day of our wedding, and we couldn't be happier! The food was great, we are still getting compliments, especially on the appetizers! The staff was very professional and considerate, and made everything flow smoothly! Read less
Services Used: Catering
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Cassandra
Wedding:
11/7/2014
5.0/5.0
Amazing! John is the best at what he does, he's a master chef, the favors and presentation of his dishes were superb. I had shopped around for our cater, and when I had spoke with John, he's company was a perfect fit, priced great with exceptional service and food. Zest! made our wedding. Our guests are still talking about how yummy the food was! John is easy going but detail oriented, he met with my husband and I numerous times to go over details, he was like a second planner! By far, one of our favorite things about our wedding was hiring Zest!
Amazing! John is the best at what he does, he's a master chef, the favors and presentation of his dishes were superb. I Read more...
Amazing! John is the best at what he does, he's a master chef, the favors and presentation of his dishes were superb. I had shopped around for our cater, and when I had spoke with John, he's company was a perfect fit, priced great with exceptional service and food. Zest! made our wedding. Our guests are still talking about how yummy the food was! John is easy going but detail oriented, he met with my husband and I numerous times to go over details, he was like a second planner! By far, one of our favorite things about our wedding was hiring Zest! Read less
Services Used: Catering
Default vendor profile pic
Anonymous
Wedding:
1+ year ago
5.0/5.0
I cannot say enough wonderful things about John at Zest of Sarasota! They are so accommodating and do everything in their power to make sure your day is special. And their food is amazing!!! So delicious! My guests are still talking about the food and service and it's been four months since the wedding. Highly recommended!
I cannot say enough wonderful things about John at Zest of Sarasota! They are so accommodating and do everything in their Read more...
I cannot say enough wonderful things about John at Zest of Sarasota! They are so accommodating and do everything in their power to make sure your day is special. And their food is amazing!!! So delicious! My guests are still talking about the food and service and it's been four months since the wedding. Highly recommended! Read less
Services Used: Catering
Default vendor profile pic
Kathryn
Wedding:
2/22/2014
5.0/5.0
We can't say enough good things about John and Nina from Zest! From our very first contact, to the end of our reception John might have been the most helpful person in making our wedding perfect. I feel like he became my wedding planner he was so great! He immediately responded to every email, helped us stay in our budget, created the most perfect personalized menu..and simply helped in every way imaginable. I wish I could convince every bride and groom to use Zest! We could never thank them enough!!!
ps. We are still getting compliments on on the food!! Absolutely delicious and sooo much flavor!
We can't say enough good things about John and Nina from Zest! From our very first contact, to the end of our reception Read more...
We can't say enough good things about John and Nina from Zest! From our very first contact, to the end of our reception John might have been the most helpful person in making our wedding perfect. I feel like he became my wedding planner he was so great! He immediately responded to every email, helped us stay in our budget, created the most perfect personalized menu..and simply helped in every way imaginable. I wish I could convince every bride and groom to use Zest! We could never thank them enough!!!
ps. We are still getting compliments on on the food!! Absolutely delicious and sooo much flavor! Read less
Services Used: Catering
Default vendor profile pic
Kim
Wedding:
2/9/2014
5.0/5.0
The food was wonderful! John was very flexible and gracious with all the changes we made along the way. They worked with our budget and everyone enjoyed the dinner. Could not ask for a better experience. I have one more son to get married and will use them again!
The food was wonderful! John was very flexible and gracious with all the changes we made along the way. They worked with Read more...
The food was wonderful! John was very flexible and gracious with all the changes we made along the way. They worked with our budget and everyone enjoyed the dinner. Could not ask for a better experience. I have one more son to get married and will use them again! Read less
Services Used: Catering
Default vendor profile pic
Karen
Wedding:
11/30/2013
5.0/5.0
My fiance and I were living in NZ and planning our wedding in Sarasota, FL - without any references or recommendations to go from in terms of our catering since we were planning a small, intimate ceremony at a private residence. By a stroke of fortune, I stumbled upon Zest while 'googling' and immediately noticed the extensive menu options - Steve and I are very particular about food and wanted simple, yet elegant, with fresh and delicious local cuisine. Planning via email communication at such a distance could have been a logistical nightmare but with John's easy going, relaxed yet professional attitude we ended up with exactly what we wanted - and much more. John and his team were a pleasure to work with and the food was absolutely outstanding! From the appetizers (my fav was the crab cakes!) to the pecan-encrusted salmon, tender filets, amazing chocolate dipped strawberries, and incredibly flavorful grilled veggies - everything was excellent. We highly recommend John and Zest Catering for exceptional quality and value.
My fiance and I were living in NZ and planning our wedding in Sarasota, FL - without any references or recommendations to Read more...
My fiance and I were living in NZ and planning our wedding in Sarasota, FL - without any references or recommendations to go from in terms of our catering since we were planning a small, intimate ceremony at a private residence. By a stroke of fortune, I stumbled upon Zest while 'googling' and immediately noticed the extensive menu options - Steve and I are very particular about food and wanted simple, yet elegant, with fresh and delicious local cuisine. Planning via email communication at such a distance could have been a logistical nightmare but with John's easy going, relaxed yet professional attitude we ended up with exactly what we wanted - and much more. John and his team were a pleasure to work with and the food was absolutely outstanding! From the appetizers (my fav was the crab cakes!) to the pecan-encrusted salmon, tender filets, amazing chocolate dipped strawberries, and incredibly flavorful grilled veggies - everything was excellent. We highly recommend John and Zest Catering for exceptional quality and value. Read less
Services Used: Catering
Default vendor profile pic
Stacy
Wedding:
5/11/2013
5.0/5.0
John and Nina of Zest! are amazing! From the initial consultation up to the day of the event, I had an overwhelming sense of ease and confidence that everything related to my wedding reception would be fantastic. The food was wonderful, their professionalism is top notch (you feel like you are being taken care of by trusted family members!), the value for the quality of menu, and their flexibility and service is unbeatable! I can't even describe how stress free my special day was, in large part, due to Zest! Highly recommended...again and again. Thanks for making my wedding reception perfect!!
John and Nina of Zest! are amazing! From the initial consultation up to the day of the event, I had an overwhelming sense Read more...
John and Nina of Zest! are amazing! From the initial consultation up to the day of the event, I had an overwhelming sense of ease and confidence that everything related to my wedding reception would be fantastic. The food was wonderful, their professionalism is top notch (you feel like you are being taken care of by trusted family members!), the value for the quality of menu, and their flexibility and service is unbeatable! I can't even describe how stress free my special day was, in large part, due to Zest! Highly recommended...again and again. Thanks for making my wedding reception perfect!! Read less
Services Used: Catering
Default vendor profile pic
Lauren
Wedding:
4/6/2013
5.0/5.0
Our wedding was over 3 months ago and people still tell us how amazing the food was! John and Nina at zest of Sarasota did an amazing job of delivering my vision for both the rehearsal dinner and our wedding reception. We are from Texas but got married in Florida, and were set on having tex-mex for our rehearsal dinner conplete with queso, salsa, guacamole, fajitas, etc... John and Nina did several tastings with us until they had over-perfected tex-mex! We had been a little worried that their version of texMex might not translate into what we had in mind, but people were asking for their recipe for queso and fajitas by the end of the night! It was perfect, and they were able to make our rehearsal vision come true! Our wedding reception we also went a little untraditional on the food... Combining a bit of tradition (tenderloin, Caesar salad, twice baked potato casserole with a fun kid and adult friendly station of corn dogs, Mac and cheese and chicken nugget skewers. We also opted for an ice cream sundae bar over cake, which was logistically challenging since our reception was on the beach, but John and Nina made it happen! The food at the reception was better than the tastings, which never happens, bit they took our feedback and made it even better. The best part about zest though on top of the great food is that they were totally focused on what we wanted. We spoke with several other caterers in the beginning and many listened to our ideas but were somewhat rigid as to what they thought we needed out menu to include, and they weren't on board with doing something more fun. John had great ideas and our menu evolved over the time we worked with them, but he always stepped back and let us decide and let us create our vision. He was all about making us happy and we feel like we got exactly what we wanted! While there will only be one wedding, we would definitely use zest in the future for any catering needs and would recommend zest for any wedding or special occasion!
Our wedding was over 3 months ago and people still tell us how amazing the food was! John and Nina at zest of Sarasota did Read more...
Our wedding was over 3 months ago and people still tell us how amazing the food was! John and Nina at zest of Sarasota did an amazing job of delivering my vision for both the rehearsal dinner and our wedding reception. We are from Texas but got married in Florida, and were set on having tex-mex for our rehearsal dinner conplete with queso, salsa, guacamole, fajitas, etc... John and Nina did several tastings with us until they had over-perfected tex-mex! We had been a little worried that their version of texMex might not translate into what we had in mind, but people were asking for their recipe for queso and fajitas by the end of the night! It was perfect, and they were able to make our rehearsal vision come true! Our wedding reception we also went a little untraditional on the food... Combining a bit of tradition (tenderloin, Caesar salad, twice baked potato casserole with a fun kid and adult friendly station of corn dogs, Mac and cheese and chicken nugget skewers. We also opted for an ice cream sundae bar over cake, which was logistically challenging since our reception was on the beach, but John and Nina made it happen! The food at the reception was better than the tastings, which never happens, bit they took our feedback and made it even better. The best part about zest though on top of the great food is that they were totally focused on what we wanted. We spoke with several other caterers in the beginning and many listened to our ideas but were somewhat rigid as to what they thought we needed out menu to include, and they weren't on board with doing something more fun. John had great ideas and our menu evolved over the time we worked with them, but he always stepped back and let us decide and let us create our vision. He was all about making us happy and we feel like we got exactly what we wanted! While there will only be one wedding, we would definitely use zest in the future for any catering needs and would recommend zest for any wedding or special occasion! Read less
Services Used: Catering
Default vendor profile pic
Lauren
Wedding:
2/21/2013
5.0/5.0
Best caterer around! Amazing staff and amazing food, that coming from a gourmet chef and family of chefs! Love love love them!!
Best caterer around! Amazing staff and amazing food, that coming from a gourmet chef and family of chefs! Love love love Read more...
Best caterer around! Amazing staff and amazing food, that coming from a gourmet chef and family of chefs! Love love love them!! Read less
Services Used: Catering

MAP

 
6584 Superior Ave, Sarasota, FL 34231 See On Map
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