West Tampa businessman
and chef Julio Portales was known in show business circles
as Caterer to the Stars. For nearly a quarter of a century,
he served breakfast, lunch, snacks and often dinner to cast
and crew of movies filmed all over Florida.
Always wearing a bright smile, Julio became
forged friendships with such show business icons as Burt Reynolds,
Debra Winger, Carl Reiner, Rip Torn, Richard Crenna, Tim Burton,
Johnny Depp, Henry Winkler, Ron Howard, the late John Candy and
lots of others.
with Burt Reynolds
on old Jefferson HS movie set
Tampa, Florida ~ 1992.
He has been on hand for the filming of "Edward
Scissorhands," "Doc Hollywood," and many, many
more great pictures.
In 1985, Julio stayed overtime to personally
cook dinner for John Candy at his quarters during the filming
of "Summer Rental" along the beaches of Pinellas County.
He's always part of the family and the stars have adopted him
as one of their own.
That same year, he served the stars of "Cocoon," a
Ron Howard movie filmed primarily in St. Petersburg, one that
got Don Ameche his first Academy Award. In 1992, during the Tampa
filming of "Cop and a Half," he won big-time points
from buddy Burt Reynolds by keeping him in constant supply of
great local cigars.
No matter what may be needed on a movie set,
if nobody else can find it or do it, Julio is the man to come
through. There was never a nicer man on a Florida movie set.
Now in retirement, he still lives in the same
house just off Columbus Drive and Armenia Avenue, these days
being very selective on the assignments he accepts.