130x130_sq_1340563661276-jandnbykate909

Zest! of Sarasota

Sarasota , FL
CONTACT US
CONTACT US

LOCATION

6584 Superior Ave
Sarasota, FL US 34231 (map)

PHONE

941-924-2535

WEBSITE

View website
Please let this vendor know that you found them on the WeddingWire Network.

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

130x130_sq_1340569126049-andrewandmariah6912010
130x130_sq_1340567923104-andrewandmariah6912015
130x130_sq_1340567951576-andrewandmariah6912023
130x130_sq_1340567978138-andrewandmariah6912024
130x130_sq_1340567899772-andrewandmariah6912013
130x130_sq_1340569184869-andrewandmariah6912027
130x130_sq_1340569224867-andrewandmariah6912030
130x130_sq_1340569249204-andrewandmariah6912033
130x130_sq_1340569272338-andrewandmariah6912031
130x130_sq_1340569293969-andrewandmariah6912040
130x130_sq_1340572495826-abbyandjohnwedding004
130x130_sq_1340572529650-abbyandjohnwedding005
130x130_sq_1340573053476-abbyandjohn001
130x130_sq_1340573108517-abbyandjohn004
130x130_sq_1340572412639-abbyandjohnwedding001
130x130_sq_1340573154190-abbyandjohn014
130x130_sq_1340573210628-abbyandjohn018
130x130_sq_1340573272264-abbyandjohn020

INFO FOR CATERING

What catering services do you provide?
Buffet, Cocktail Reception, Hors d'oeuvres - Displayed, Hors d'oeuvres - Passed, Plated, Stations
What bar services do you provide?
Limited Bar, Open Bar
What alcohol services do you provide?
Champagne Toast, House Beer, House Wine, Premium Liquor
What types of cuisine do you cater?
African, British, Cajun, Caribbean, Chinese, French, Italian, Latin American, Mediterranean, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Southern, Southwestern, Spanish, Thai
Do you accommodate dietary needs?
Vegan, Vegetarian
What is your maximum catering capacity?
250

REVIEWS

4.9
out of 5.0
5.0/5.0
4.9/5.0
4.9/5.0
4.9/5.0
4.9/5.0
Sort by
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!
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!
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.
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!!
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!
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!!
Services Used: Catering
Default-vendor-profile-pic
Shauna
Wedding:
12/22/2012
4.4/5.0
John and his team were awesome to work with- he even visited my venue (a state park), to make sure he could get everything set up there prior to working out the details of our service. They provided our appetizers, lunch, and dessert - everything was absolutely mouth-watering -best food I've ever had at a wedding. The staff was professional and friendly.
Services Used: Catering
Default-vendor-profile-pic
James
Wedding:
11/10/2012
5.0/5.0
I have nothing but positive things to say about Zest. John and his staff did
a great job and were all highly professional. John made us feel at ease with our planning and always had ideas to help guide us. I would highly recommend Zest and would use them again for planning an event.
Services Used: Catering
Default-vendor-profile-pic
Anonymous
Wedding:
1+ year ago
5.0/5.0
What a fabulous experience! We decided to have a wedding on short notice 4 weeks out - and thought it would be small and informal. It quickly grew to over 50 people with rooftop ceremony, catering, music and dancing. John and Nina were quick to respond, had great recommendations, provided a fabulous tasting for us, rolled up sleeves to help in areas we thought beyond their need to help, and were flexible at every turn. This included when hurricane Sandy came barreling in! The options were limited for redirecting the event but John made it work! Ceremony outside, cocktails and dancing in, dinner outside in a more sheltered location. Phew! Everyone had a great time... and this bride and groom could relax and enjoy the experience without a worry to any detail.

At every turn there was a helpful suggestion, an ability to help, and a wonderful outcome. This is a first rate shop and a wonderfully delicious experience!
Services Used: Catering
Default-vendor-profile-pic
mariah
Wedding:
6/9/2012
5.0/5.0
John and Nina are amazing! My husband and I decided on a destination wedding in Longboat Key FL. We met with John and Nina few months before the wedding and gave them our ideas of what we wanted. Not only was the food spectacular and a great staff , they made everything come together. They were assessable and attentive to our needs from beginning to end. Our day was even better than we imagined!
Services Used: Wedding Cake, Catering, Wedding Planning, Lighting & Decor, Rentals & Photobooths
Default-vendor-profile-pic
Lori
Wedding:
5/27/2012
5.0/5.0
John and his staff did a fabulous job!! I hired Zest of Sarasota for our post wedding day brunch--They traveled to The Sunrise Garden Resort on Anna Maria Island where they set up and fed 75 people. (creme brulee french toast--excellent!) Our guests were very happy!!
Services Used: Catering
Default-vendor-profile-pic
OBWan52
Wedding:
4/22/2012
5.0/5.0
The people at Zest had to respond to a change of venue at the last minute due to inclement weather. Without hesitation they moved their whole set up to the new location and prepared a working area in our kitchen. The hard work and dedication that John and his wife put into this reception was much appreciated by all, and the food was magnificent. I would recommend them to anyone without the slightest doubt.
Services Used: Catering
Default-vendor-profile-pic
Lacherite
Wedding:
3/23/2012
5.0/5.0
John and Nina catered our daughters Wedding Breakfast Brunch the day after her wedding. They put a finishing touch to the wonderful wedding week end.
I just want to thank them for a wonderful brunch. We had so many compliments how good the food was. My daughter said that she had never had such wonderful scrambled eggs.I didn't know what to expect as I have never had anything catered and I was just thrilled on how the room looked and the presentation of the food. Thank you so much John and Nina.
Services Used: Catering
Default-vendor-profile-pic
Susan
Wedding:
1/7/2012
4.9/5.0
The food and service exceeded my expectations, and I am very picky. John & Nina did a wonderful job!
Services Used: Catering
Default-vendor-profile-pic
roro
Wedding:
1/2/2012
4.8/5.0
Every little detail was taken care of by John and Nina. Food and service was wonderful. Very professional, and personable.
Services Used: Catering
Default-vendor-profile-pic
e
Wedding:
9/25/2011
4.0/5.0
The food was great and so was the set up. John and Nina were very easy to work with!
Services Used: Catering
Default-vendor-profile-pic
DALLEY
Wedding:
3/12/2011
5.0/5.0
Zest! of Sarasota catered our rehearsal dinner in Sarasota. We had the dinner at a very unique place, and they were open to any challenge. They were perfect with making everything customized to what we asked. We had around 60 guests, and everyone loved the food, presentation, and definitely the staff. We definitely recommend Zest! of Sarasota to anyone needing a catering company. They offer tons of different selections.

They were great to work with.
Services Used: Catering
Default-vendor-profile-pic
Pamela
Wedding:
6/26/2010
5.0/5.0
John and Nina were incredible. The planning process was all long distance and I was a very exacting bride. We did a beach ceremony and a reception at a different location. John and Nina anticipated every potential need. I've done wedding planning for over 800 weddings and I was very, very impressed with them.

We had two vegans attending our wedding (my step-son and his girlfriend) and they made a special DELICIOUS meal especially for them. My brother is severely lactose intolerant and, after I alerted Zest of this issue, everything was made so he could eat everything.

My husband is Cuban and they made food with the Cuban flair beautifully. Every single one of my guests ranted and raved about the food and the service was nothing short of superior.

They made the day I married my best friend and true love even more spectacular. I cannot recommend them enough. You won't regret hiring them.
Services Used: Catering
Default-vendor-profile-pic
Teresamariko
Wedding:
10/9/2009
5.0/5.0
My husband and I live in San Francisco but we wanted our wedding in the state we grew up, in FLORIDA! But I was extremely hesistant planning our wedding from long distance. My husband actually found Zest on the web because he noticed that they are "an Original Green Catering Company" meaning they recycle, use organic ingredients, and they even grow their own herbs! Of course the San Francisco people we've become we were definitely sold. The next issue was location; I decided on the most beautiful venue in Sarasota, the Powel Crosely Estate. The mansion is Beautiful, Vintage, and Romantic however the only thing they offer are tables and the bar. But Zest basically planned my entire wedding; they booked the chairs, planned the gorgeous menu, helped me with the schedule, they basically did everything. The menu was perfect, they planned our 4 course meal with such ease, all we told them is that we wanted an Asian cuisine and Voila Thai it is. Everyone enjoyed our non-traditional wedding from the dinner to the desert. Thank you so much John and Nina you're the best and our wedding was exactly what we wanted.
Services Used: Wedding Cake, Catering, Flowers, Wedding Planning, Rentals & Photobooths
Default-vendor-profile-pic
Chrissy
Wedding:
8/28/2009
5.0/5.0
When my husband and I planned to have our vow renewal ceremony in Florida, we were a bit nervous about finding vendors as we're from Minnesota. Food was one of the biggest aspects of our day and I wanted to make sure we got it right. Upon recommendation from our officiant, I contacted John and Nina from Zest! and was completely impressed with their quick response, their ideas for food and their assistance in obtaining all the rental equipment. From day one they assured me all would be taken care of and I wouldn't have to worry and boy, did they deliver!! Everything was taken care of, they let me mess around with my menu until we got it perfect and on the day of the event, they showed up with huge smiles and an amazing meal. Over a week later, my family and friends are still talking about the food! In addition to their planning assistance, I feel like they really took an interest in our family and they were as much a part of the fun that day as they were the caterers. My girls were wanting to help them and John and Nina had a few tasks they could perform - the kids loved that! The overall effect of their efforts was amazing - fantastic food, a beautiful set up, great drinks (John makes the best pina coladas!) and an amazing atmosphere to have a party in.
Services Used: Catering
Default-vendor-profile-pic
lauradc
Wedding:
5/16/2009
5.0/5.0
I'm not usually one who leaves 5-star feedback, but John and Nina were absolutely phenomenal to work with, and made planning a breeze -- they deserve every star! They're fun, energetic people who run a fantastic business. The food was truly incredible, and nearly 3 months after my wedding I'm *still* getting comments about the coffee, Zest! tea and the creme brulee french toast. We would work with John and Nina again in a heartbeat!
Services Used: Catering
Default-vendor-profile-pic
George
Wedding:
4/9/2009
5.0/5.0
Planning a wedding from 4,000 miles away in Scotland we thought would not be easy. It was. We had excellent service from Zest. Nothing flusterred them - not even bringing the wedding forward an hour at fairly short notice.They were easy to discuss things with; the food was excellent and the tables were beautifully set out. The price was reasonable and we would have no hesitation in recommending them.- And they are nice people!
Services Used: Catering
Default-vendor-profile-pic
JOE
Wedding:
6/9/2007
5.0/5.0
ZEST IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. FAST, COURTEOUS SERVICE AND OUTSTANDING FOOD.
Services Used: Catering
Default-vendor-profile-pic
Mani
Wedding:
6/25/2006
5.0/5.0
Nina and John do an outstanding job and their food is top notch.They are very flexible and really care about the client and the services they are providing.The menus are one of a kind and are very unique.It's the little details that they do with the food that most BIG catering company's don't care about and that sets them apart from all the rest.
Services Used: Catering

MAP

 
6584 Superior Ave, Sarasota, FL 34231 See On Map
Thanks for visiting the vendor listing for Zest! of Sarasota
Please let this vendor know that you found them on the WeddingWire Network.
Ww_logo
 
220x220_1340563661276-jandnbykate909