Chef Spotlight: Chef Doug Bebell


Chef Doug Bebell

A local grown Tampa Bay Chef, growing up in Redington Shores FL.  Chef Doug spent most of his time at the beach, fishing, snorkeling and eventually starting his restaurant career washing dishes at the Lobster Pot in Redington Shores at age 14.


He started his self-taught restaurant career in the early 80’s in Redington Shores, working his way up the ranks for several restaurants, a hotel and a bakery. Working next to and under the supervision of CIA graduates and a White House Sous Chef. In 1986, he landed a position at the Lobster Pot, and was Head Chef for 12 years. While at the Lobster Pot, Chef Doug honed his culinary skills, taught cooking classes in private homes and at Williams and Sonoma, in Hyde Park.

Wanting to pursue more than Lobster Pot had to offer he went to Salt Rock Grill for two years and opened the Boulevard Bistro in Seminole. In 2001, with partner Eugen Fuhrmann, they opened the Mystic Fish in Palm Harbor. Since opening in 2001 the Mystic Fish continues to be rated in the top 100 restaurants in Tampa Bay.

Mystic Fish is proud to work with Family Resources, The Ryan Wells Foundation, The Abilities Foundation, The Hospice Foundation, Ruth Eckerd Hall, March of Dimes, The American Cancer Society, Chambers of Commerce in Clearwater, Palm Harbor and Safety Harbor., Dunedin Art Center, All Children’s Hospital, Operation Par just to name a few.


Now into their 10th year at the Mystic Fish they change with the economy. Offering over a dozen small plates and moving to a focus on vegetables. Sourcing and featuring meats and seafood that keep their menu pricing attractive; Mangrove Snapper, Triggerfish, Yellowtail Snapper, Short Ribs, Pork Chops and much more. They continue to offer Chilean Sea Bass, Bison Tenderloin, Dry Aged Bone in Steaks, Lamb Racks and King Crab Legs due to the customer demand. Mystic Fish has a full liquor bar, reputable wine list with reasonable by the glass pours as well as a prestigious reserve list.  Mystic Fish is not your typical restaurant.

Open seven days a week starting at 4:30 p.m.

3253 Tampa Rd. Palm Harbor FL 34684



Chef Doug took time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions that we were dying to know the answers to:

1.As the head chef and owner of Mystic Fish, what’s the most challenging role you face and why?

The most challenging issue in the restaurant today is the rising cost of goods and commodities. We can only pass so much of the increase along to the customer, before replacing an item with a more affordable one.


2.How do you deal with customers who are vegetarian or have special dietary needs?

We have our servers ask the customers what they like and don’t like, allergies, etc and customize to order. My pantry chef is a vegetarian and he thinks outside the box when it comes to vegetarian meals. That is one of our focus points, more vegetable options, not just for vegetarians.


3.How do you keep your menu fresh and exciting?

Use seasonal fruits and vegetables, buy the freshest meat and fish, try new combinations of flavor and keep ahead of the trends.


4.What flavor profiles would you put together to highlight coconut oil in your cooking?

I love coconut and I think curry pairs very well with it. I have noticed curry eaters have a very wide palate when it comes to food.


5.What 5 ingredients are always in your kitchen at home?

Hot sauce, olives, olive oil, garlic and anything pickled


Thanks Chef Doug!


Another great Tampa Bay Chef!

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