The Key West Insider Guide Story
In 1996, I began writing weekly restaurant reviews for an independent Key West newspaper called Solares Hill. After close to seven years of this, I’d become familiar with not only Key West dining and its family tree of chefs and restauranteurs, but Florida keys dining as a concept. I’d learned what defined the unique, regional dining of the keys, and the places that offered a travel experience along with good food on a plate. I learned, in essence, where I would want to dine in Key West and the lower keys, and why. It occurred to me that there was no singular guide to this kind of dining. So in 2003, I created the first Key West Dining Guide based on a “membership” format. I only include restaurants I truly stand behind, by invitation only. Within a couple of years, the guide had evolved into the Key West Insider Guide, incorporating spas, boutiques, and art galleries. What began as only a book also grew to include a website, a social media presence, and an app. We’ve grown, but the mission is still the same: to direct those who read my guide to the authentic, top-quality, and generally locally-owned places to eat and drink.