Jul 7, 2022 - Food and Drink

Last meal with First Watch chef Shane Schaibly

Photo illustration of a place setting shaped like a skull and crossbones containing a photo of Chef Shane Schaibly.
Photo Illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo courtesy of First Watch

Chef Shane Schaibly has given the nation a taste of Tampa Bay.

  • As senior vice president of culinary strategy with Bradenton-based First Watch Restaurants, he cooks by the "follow the sun" approach, highlighting seasonal fruits and vegetables at more than 430 locations in 28 states.

We wanted to know what the Dunedin native and recipient of a 2022 MenuMasters Award would order if he had one meal left to enjoy.

  • First course: "The mushroom soup from Café Ponte. It's the subject of legend and lore ever since the restaurant closed back in 2020. I worked for the chef way back in the day, maybe '04–'07, and made this on a very regular basis, so I know quite well the care that went into every spoonful and the ridiculous ratio of mushroom to heavy cream to butter involved. It's a special bite finished with crème fraîche, a touch of truffle and perfectly placed chives."
  • Second course: "Easily the 1905 salad from Columbia, paired with a sparkling pinot noir. … While the salad's ingredients are not especially difficult to find or exotic, the balance of the entire thing and the bite when you hit a briny olive or a dash of the Worcestershire is second to none!"
  • Pre-entrée: "Stone crab — as local as it gets. My brother sets traps every season in Dunedin and there is nothing like that amazing, sweet reward after a long day on the water. Shamelessly, I'd pair this with Busch Light in a can — also a classic family accoutrement to any saltwater delicacy."
  • Entrée: La Teresita's Bistec Empanizado. "Extra onions, side of yucca (boiled, not fried) … It's also the first meal my wife Lisa sent me out to get after each of our children were born right down the street at St. Joe's!"
  • Dessert: "Rooster & The Till's black sesame/pineapple coconut jam/Thai tea caramel ice cream and then their foie gras entrée — trust me, it's the perfect dessert course."
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