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Florida only state in US with an official chef

'Extreme Cuisine:' Florida is only place in US with a state chef who promotes local food By The Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) ' Move over, Mario Batali. Step aside, Gordon Ramsey. There's a new chef on the cusp of celebrity in the U.S., and he's from Florida.

Justin Timineri's job requires being a culinary ambassador, farm expert and cheerleader for Florida food. Technically, he's a state employee working for the Florida Department of Agriculture. He's also the only full-time state chef in the nation.

Timineri ' a former NASCAR cook ' travels the state showing people how to use Florida-grown fruits and vegetables in recipes. He's also a booster for Florida during trade missions and in TV spots.

The 37-year-old chef's mission this year: teaching schoolchildren to eat healthier. As part of the Department of Agriculture's new effort to get kids to eat veggies, Timineri does in-school cooking demos dubbed "Extreme Cuisine."

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