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Simply The Best Magazine - November/December 2013

Steve O and Rene have really made their mark on the South Florida radio scene with The South Florida Eat & Critique Radio Show. Every Saturday at 2 p.m. Steve O and Rene welcome listeners who dine out two to four times a week who want to hear reviews on restaurants around South Florida. Steve O graduated from the Florida Culinary Institute and he has written for many upscale publications. Steve O published two cookbooks and he is no stranger to radio. Co- Host Rene along with her New York humor is the president of one of the largest communication and marketing companies in Florida, MBAS Inc.

Both Steve O & Rene love dining out which led them to create a restaurant radio show that was non bias. They wanted a platform to let others know where the best restaurants were to dine out or where not to dine. The show offers weekly restaurant reviews, interviews with local and national chefs, and listener promotions. Each week they offer their top 5 restaurants broken down by cuisine. Rene says she loves giving away fine dining restaurant gift certificates, which is a big part of the show. It’s nice being able to give away Gift Certificates to restaurants like Vic & Angelo’s, The Office, Thasos, Buddha Sky Bar and Maggiano’s.

It started out as a 30-minute show on Saturday afternoons and eventually grew to one hour after hundreds of emails came in pleading for the show to be longer. Jack a long time listener, wrote Steve O and Rene “just when I get into your show its time for you to sign off leaving me starving for more.” Rene says that incoming emails went from two or three a week to over 100 emails a week from listeners just asking us for restaurant suggestions. Callers keep the phone lines lit up during the entire show with questions about dining out to wanting to win gift certificates.

Many listeners enjoy the show because it’s informative and Rene and Steve O’s humor will not allow you to get bored. One listener wrote “if I’m ever in a bad mood I know Steve O and Rene’ s show will lift me up.” After 8 months and 36 shows, they are now rebroadcasted at 9 p.m. on Sundays and 6 p.m. on Tuesdays. The show keeps growing by the week so they’ve also added streaming video to the last Saturday show of each month, allowing listeners to watch the show on streaming video or listen over the radio.

Steve O says he has a handle on the size of their audience since their last summer promotion, Critic for the Night, registered over 2,500 listeners. Their first simulcast showed over 9,000 people viewed their streaming video show and they expect that number to keep growing.

The show is a great marketing vehicle for a restaurants trying to target people who enjoy dining out. With IHEART Radio their show receives emails from as far away as a soldier stationed in Afghanistan to the snow birds who call from New York.

Catch their Chef of the Month, restaurant reviews, or Steve O & Rene’s Top 12 Restaurants on their website:

Meet the Voices of South Florida Eat and Critique Radio Show

By Jess Swanson Tue., Jun. 25 2013 at 8:36 AM
Broward/Palm Beach New Times

Despite what the song says, video did not kill the radio star and neither will the internet. Thanks to smartphones and tablets, we're all reading more online, even if it's coming in 140 character bites. But, a human voice will always remain the ultimate hands free device. Steve O and Rene, are the hosts of the South Florida Eat & Critique Radio Show, a locally produced program dedicated to critiquing Broward and Palm Beach restaurants every Saturday at 2 p.m. on WNN 1470 AM. The pair started on the air just five months ago after feeling a void in the community for honest reviews of restaurants by everyday people.

Steve O went to culinary school, has published two cookbooks, and has critiqued restaurants for other local publications. The other voice, a woman with a prominent New York accent, is Rene. President of a promotional company by day, she moonlights as an avid foodie by night.

"Online reviews can be so confusing," Steve said. "We try to do all the leg work so that when you go out, you already know what to expect and won't have to waste your time or money."

Forced by popular demand to extend from a half hour to an hour less than two months after its debut, the show caters to the older, less technically-inclined crowd who may know their way around a radio dial better than a smartphone. Each week the duo reviews a local eatery that they visited the night before. They interview the chef or owner of that place and, finally, offer gift certificates to a lucky caller. If you were wondering about the popularity of a local AM radio show about food, wonder no longer -- the lines are always jammed.

"There was one lady, an older lady, who had a stroke," Steve recounts. "She asked her daughter to bring in her laptop to the hospital so she could listen to the show on iHeartRadio."

While the commercials seem to tiptoe the advertorial lines, Steve O vouches that the pair only promotes a place once they have eaten there and enjoyed it. They say they won't even pass the gift certificates on to their callers if they had to ask the server for more water. Listen to one of their negative reviews, and you know it's not about making friends or money for these two.

Listen for yourself by tuning into the South Florida Eat & Critique Radio Show Saturdays from 2 to 3 p.m. on WNN 1470 AM, finding them on iHeartRadio, or visit