Hi my name is Susan. I founded Key Culinary Tours and Sarasota Suncoast tours because I thought our area really needed cool tours of local food scene and historical and fun tours of this amazing place we call paradise. Each of our tour guides bring a unique perspective to the tours and no two tours are alike.
Our portfolio has expanded to include something for everyone — culinary tours, historical walking tours, family centric tours and tours that are just plain crazy fun. We love meeting people and welcoming them to our area and are proud to be ambassadors of Sarasota. We also offer international tours to various locations because I personally love to travel! So, check out our websites for descriptions of all our offerings and thank you for choosing our company for your tour!
Daniel - Tour Guide
Daniel is new to our Key Culinary Team and we are thrilled to have him! He has been in the travel/hospitality business for over 17 years and has traveled all over Europe leading groups through multiple countries and destinations. A resident of the Sarasota area for 26 years, he loves the area and his love of history and along with having a degree in Baking and Pastry makes him a perfect fit for our tours. “After leading groups of 50 to several thousand, I very much enjoy working with Key Culinary Tours as a guide for a more intimate and personal guiding experience. I have a tendency to focus on the historical aspect as well as the quirky facts and figures. Above all else, I like to spend the time with each guest to ensure they’ve had an enjoyable and enlightening experience with us. Whether you’re a local or visiting us for the first time I’d love to have the privilege of showing you the best of Sarasota!”
Denice - Tour Guide
In her professional life, Denice was an entrepreneur in the beauty industry and enjoyed owning two salon & spas during her career. She also had a Paul Mitchell distributorship for New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Puerto Rico. She is a Paul Mitchell Educator and has had her images published worldwide. Denice has traveled extensively through the Caribbean, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Having been a visitor to Sarasota for 25 years, she is now thrilled to call it home. She is a true foodie and loves to follow culinary trends.
Gabe - Tour Guide
Gabe moved to Venice in 2012 and fell in love with the beauty of the area. Great climate, world-class beaches, Old World architecture and wonderful restaurants. Before his journey here, he worked as a architect in his own firm in NY for over 35 years designing houses and apartment buildings. He is excited about being a part of our team. “Key Culinary Tours offered me an opportunity to merge two of my passions – food and architecture.”
Jeni - Tour Guide
Jeni is originally from Illinois farm country and has come to the Sarasota area each year since she was two years old! Her family still owns a small beachfront motel that was purchased by her grandfather a few years before she was born. She moved here permanently after graduating from the University of Colorado in Boulder with a degree in finance and enjoyed a 25 year career in commercial banking. A sports enthusiast and yoga instructor, Jennifer is happy to help her motel guests and area visitors get out and enjoy all our area has to offer, including stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, great restaurants, and now… Key Culinary Tours!
Maggie - Tour Guide/Tour Coordinator
Maggie joined our culinary family with a love of history and extensive tour guide experience having been a tour guide in St. Augustine, FL for five years before moving to Sarasota via Mexico. Maggie’s previous experience also included managing two community theaters, so performance is in her blood. She is not only one of our guides, she is also our Tour Coordinator. In her spare time, Maggie is a mixed media mosaic artist. Born in Florida, she is one of those rare true Floridians and she makes history come alive on her tours! Ready to have some fun? Come on a tour with Maggie! (Sorry, her dog Jake won’t be able to join you).
Robert - Tour Guide
Born and raised outside of Detroit, Robert discovered the beauty of Southwest Florida later in life, first in Ft. Myers and later Sarasota. With his passion for the outdoors, the arts and culture, Sarasota immediately become home with its rich history, cultural community, and natural beauty. When he’s not providing tours with Key Culinary Tours, Robert owns and operates Italian Culinary Tours, a specialty travel company that offers unique dining experiences and educational tours through the diverse regions of Italy, and Ciao Bella Productions, an innovative, private party catering company. Active in the community, Robert is a member of the Rotary Club of Sarasota and a board member and volunteer for Save Our Seabirds, a wild bird education center and rescue.
Seva - Tour Guide
Seva hails from Lake Placid, NY and later headed to NYC where she worked for ten years as a dancer. Subsequently, she worked as an internationally-known aerialist in RBB&B Circus and Las Vegas’ casinos before turning to drama where she performed with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Seva’s gypsy lifestyle is never sure where the next road will lead, but presently, she also runs her own interactive traveling drama troupe called the Red Rose Parlour Theatre. When she’s not leading a tour or performing, Seva, a 14 year-resident of Sarasota, uses the remainder of her time to write, direct and walk along the bay with her lovable Maltipoo pup, Rappy.
Tricia - Tour Guide
As a Sarasota resident for 13 years ,I am an avid food and wine enthusiast who learned to cook as a young girl from my Italian grandparents on the family farm in upstate New York. I fondly remember my mother, aunts, and cousins in the farmhouse kitchen preparing fruits and vegetables for dinner and canning.
I started my culinary career by studying at the Culinary Institute of America and at the Art Institute of Atlanta in the culinary center. I have also studied chocolate with Ewald Notter and Jean-Pierre Wybauw, and attended an advance food styling class with Denise Vivaldo of Food Fanatics. As a cooking school director in Atlanta, I worked with Anthony Bourdain, Emeril Lagasse, and Giada De Laurentiis, along with other celebrity chefs. I am a member of Women Chefs & Restaurateurs where I have received four culinary scholarships.
I’ve lived in Sarasota for thirteen years and another passion is traveling… to discover the greatest foods and wines!
LuAnn - Tour Coordinator Assistant
LuAnn Ward has lived her whole life in the mountains of Pennsylvania. She visited Sarasota several times in the past 5 years and fell in love with it. Getting married on Siesta Key Beach was what really got her hooked. She loves the sun, the sand and all that Sarasota has to offer. Most of her work history has been in office, marketing and business development areas. LuAnn is excited to join our team, meet new friends and to learn more about everything that our beautiful area has to offer. She enjoys gardening, the beach and FaceTiming her grand-kids in Pa.