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A Chef from Coral Springs Excels in Guy Fieri’s Grocery Games



Coral Springs, Florida – Chef and Hellenic Republic owner Nicol Zarbalas demonstrated her culinary prowess in another Guy Fieri program, Guy’s Grocery Games.

When Guy Fieri visited Zarbalas’ restaurant at 2764 N University Drive in December 2022 to shoot an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, he declared that the restaurant’s lamb burger and Kataifi Fried Shrimp were “hands down, the best Greek food he’s had.”

Zarbalas competed against three other chefs that Fieri had previously featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives in the DDD Budget Battle episode, which debuted on April 17, 2024, to demonstrate her budgeting prowess.

To find out how much money they can spend on creating their restaurant’s best-selling dish, the chefs in the show first compete in a game. Zarbalas used a $18 budget to make chicken and waffles. She improvised and created her own powdered sugar and hot sauce because she didn’t have enough money for some of the required items.

In the second round, the final three contestants use a $25 budget and a constrained grocery list to create dishes that feature their particular seafood loves. Zarbalas took second place with her phyllo dough shrimp and grits, a specialty of the Hellenic Republic.

Zarbalas revealed that filming Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives in her Coral Springs restaurant was a vastly different experience than what it was like for the show. She enjoyed her flight to film Grocery Games, where she competed against other cooks.

It seemed like twenty cameras were watching me at all times at times. Up until I was in the kitchen and in my zone, that was perhaps the portion that I found most difficult. With such a limited budget, scurrying around the grocery shop was enjoyable and presented many obstacles, but I managed to make it work by making the most of the ingredients in my cupboard,” she remarked.

Zarbalas told Fieri on the broadcast that she is an extremely good budgeter because she owns a restaurant and is a mother of five.

Zarbalas, who has lived in Coral Springs for eighteen years, inaugurated the Hellenic Republic at The Walk in 2019. The locals soon started going to the eatery for authentic Greek food.

In the March episodes of the newest season of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Fieri—who has lived in Florida since 2022—featured a few more local locations, including Rose’s Daughter in Delray Beach, La Cosinita Latina in West Palm Beach, and The Butcher and the Bar in Boynton Beach.

She revealed that she is now working on other projects and collaborating with others when Coral Springs Talk inquired about her future plans to appear in any more cooking series.

“To learn more details, you’ll just need to stay tuned,” she remarked.


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