Daytonian of the Week: Amy Zahora

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Daytonian of the Week: Amy Zahora

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Amy Zahora with Chef Wiley of Meadowlark,  Chef Liz of Wheat Penny, and Chef Dave of Meadowlark and Wheat Penny (Source: Amy Zahora) 

A well-known face in the Dayton food and drink community is Amy Zahora, Executive Director of the Miami Valley Restaurant Association (MVRA).

It’s natural to hear Zahora’s name buzzing about this time of year, or before any major festival or Restaurant Week.

Since we're smack-dab in the middle of 2016 Winter Restaurant Week, we thought there was no better time to introduce Zahora to those who were interested in reading up on one of Dayton’s most influential foodies.

As the Executive Director of the MVRA, which plans Dayton's Restaurant Weeks in the winter and summer, Zahora has done so much to help build Dayton up as a prized food and drink destination for foodies local and everywhere else.

If you’re in love with the food scene here in Dayton, Zahora is a key person to thank.

What do you do, and what is the most fulfilling aspect of your work?
Zahora: I am the Executive Director for the Miami Valley Restaurant Association. The most fulfilling part of my job is building a relationship between independent restaurants and their community.

What’s the biggest way you believe your work impacts the Dayton community? 
Zahora: Introducing people in the area to new restaurants and cuisines. We [who live in Dayton] have some of the finest locally-owned restaurants around, and it's so fun to get people to try them at one of our many events. People like getting out and trying new things and new places. And our events are a great place for them to do so.

Label yourself.                                             
Zahora: Ultimate Foodie Event Planner.

What is your favorite Dayton food and recreational activity?  
Zahora: Food. Any Miami Valley independent restaurant -- depends on my mood. Recreation. Spending time with my family and supporting local teams and events.

What do you love about life in Dayton?
Zahora: I love that there are so many different options for dining. We truly are fortunate to have so many different cuisines and amazing chefs.

What would you change about Dayton? 
Zahora: I wouldn't change a thing about Dayton - #daytonrocks. If you are going to make me choose something, [it would be to] increase awareness on supporting local.

What’s the biggest way you believe your work impacts the Dayton community? 
Zahora: By creating awareness and building bridges between local small business owners and the community.

What do you wish people knew about Dayton? 
Zahora: We are extremely well diversified in food, art, and music.

What are some events and exciting news about Dayton dining the people can look forward to in this year? 
Zahora: The 3rd Annual Buckeye Vodka's Battle of the Bartenders on Feb. 24. The 1st annual Food Truck Bash Celebrating 25 years is at the Fraze on Jun. 11. July 9 is the Kickin' Chicken Wing Festival at the Fraze. July 20 is the Sneak Peek to Summer Restaurant Week. Summer Restaurant Week is July 24-31. The Bacon Fest is Aug. 21 at the Fraze. The Taste of All Things Oregon is Aug. 28 in the Oregon District, and Taste of Miami Valley is on Sept. 17.

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