Meet Nick Soto! Born and raised in Key West, Nick gives the tour a local peek into the life of a Conch. He’s had a long-lasting love affair with all things food, and has worked in the front and back of the house in restaurants both here and Boston. We asked him a few questions about the tour, Key West, and what makes this native tick. Here’s what he said…
What do you love most about Key West food?
Boy, where do I begin?? Tropical Fruits by the plenty; the freshest seafood in a wide range of varieties. Key West cuisine is a melting pot of cultures! But, as a native local that has moved away many times, one of the things that always called me back was the Cuban cuisine. Especially the coffee & bread! I have fond memories of Cuban cheese toast with bacon to start my day before school, and a cafe con leche to wash it down. My favorite would have to be a home made lobster & stone crab enchilado. Go ahead and google that to see what you’re missing!
What’s your favorite thing about leading food tours?
My favorite thing about the tour is sharing the things I love most about the island with travelers. People get to see the island through a natives eyes and really appreciate that. It stream lines the whole tourist experience for them and gives them the confidence to head in the right direction, off the beaten path. Which is usually the best direction in my opinion.
Where would we find you when you’re not on a food tour?
At the bench in my workshop. I went to the North Bennet Street School for jewelry design & repair and graduated in 2006. After working in the field for a while I decided to start my own company, Made by Soto, specializing in Gold & Silver jewelry made from precious metal wire & sheet. I’m also featured at Wanderlust Boutique in Bahama Village as well as my new location in Stock Island, 6651 Maloney Avenue, where you can find me in the flesh. Kasidy Fritts of Washed Up Key West offered me a studio space and a spot to display in his gallery, and I just couldn’t pass it up.
If tonight was your last supper in Key West, what might we catch you eating?
Definitely start off with some Stone Crabs. The entrée would be a surf and turf (mainly surf) of Black Grouper, Spiny & Maine Lobster (I’ve got New England in my blood), and Filet Mignon. I’d have the best Rosè possible, and the Ron Zacapa rum for dessert!
(Wow. He fancy!)