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Chef's Mission

Keeping with their mission of conscientious sourcing, Indigenous’ menu of seasonal American cuisine changes progressively throughout the year based on peak ingredient availability. The restaurant’s physical home, too, was meticulously restored to compliment its surroundings, the historic Towles Court district in downtown Sarasota. Comfortable, sophisticated indoor and outdoor dining are both available year round.

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Chef Steve Phelps opened Indigenous in 2011, and since then has honed his reputation as one of the region's most inspirational and educational chefs, earning a James Beard Foundation semi-finalist nomination for Best Chef, South in 2014 and 2015. Indigenous has helped to put Sarasota, Fla., boldly on the map as a wonderful city in which to live, visit and dine.

Inspired by Chef Phelps’ passion for food, the planet and the community, Indigenous uses perfectly executed techniques and carefully sourced local, sustainable and seasonal ingredients to give guests a unique and conscious dining experience.



Steve Phelps - Chef/Owner 

Originally from Cleveland, Chef Phelps was fortunate to begin working in the kitchen at a young age under the guidance of his uncle, a military chef. Classically trained in France and Germany, his uncle passed on his techniques to the young Phelps, teaching him about every aspect of being a restaurateur. This turned out to be both fulfilling and fun for the rising chef and his talents quickly blossomed, running kitchens at the prestigious Hyde Park Steakhouse entities as well as other top Cleveland spots.

After moving to Sarasota more than ten years ago, Chef Phelps fell in love with the ocean's bounty. He is known to be either out fishing or cooking fish, and his concerns and involvement in sustainability have earned him praise from conservation organizations nationwide. A constant educator of his guests, staff and the community, his mission is simple: good sourcing and respect for the planet. It is now clear that "this chef knows his fish!" 


We are honored to partner with the following organizations in order to strengthen the vital movement to encourage communities to engage in sustainable sourcing and to inspire respect for the planet.

lymp5 bf Monterey Bay Seafood Watch Niman Ranch Logo RGB


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