Jan Norris: Food and Florida

Food, Restaurants, Recipes and Pre-Disney Florida

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EatBeat: Food, Wine, Beer and Horses, Chocolate, Garlic, Emeril

January 17th, 2009 · No Comments

You can’t be bored if you’re a food and drink enthusiast around here — there’s too much happening.

First up: Come and join me at the Taste of Compassion Monday night at the Harriet Himmel Theater in CityPlace. The annual wine and food taste-around is a benefit for the Quantum House — a home away from home for families while their loved ones are hospitalized in our area for extended periods.

The list of chefs and their dishes should tempt you. Best part: you can meet and talk to the chefs and wine representatives in this casual setting, and learn more about their foods or wines. Many of them are high talents who work for private country clubs, and this is a chance to taste their food without spending thousands to belong.

Among the 27 signed up to bring the goods are chefs Erik Petersen of Evorestaurant in Tequesta, with tiramisu; Christian Cotton, of Cafe Copenhagen in Jupiter, with traditional Danish frikadellar; Tim D’Antuono of the private Devonshire at PGA National, with chipotle-mango barbecued shrimp; Don Sedivy of the private Sailfish Club, with Maine lobster and veal sweetbreads; James Cunningham of Willoughby Country Club, with velveted shrimp piri-piri; Brian Sode of the private Bears Club, with Canandian lobster and pink shrimp terrine, Monica Rojas of Paddy Mac’s Irish Pub, Palm Beach Gardens, with seared dayboat scallops; Charlie Soo of Talay Thai in Palm Beach Gardens, with chicken Panang curry; Armando Rodriguez of private Hunter’s Run, with a petite veal chop Milanese; Tim Hurley of Gulf Stream Seafood, West Palm Beach, with king crab and Caribbean lobster crabcakes; Tom Huser and Christopher Spitz of the Fountains Country Club, cooking marinated octopus, and a modern gyro. Other names represented include Cafe Boulud, The Breakers, Holiday Foods, Mariner Sands Country Club, Hoffman’s Chocolates, Independent Seafoods, Sysco Southeast, and Southern Wine and Spirits.

Tickets to the event are $75, but if you go to one of the sponsor’s web sites — SouthFloridaDines.com  –you can get them for $60 (or at the door, mention that you’re there with South Florida Dines and Jan Norris). A VIP reception (where the premium wines are poured and diners get an early shot at the foods) is $125.

  • What: 5th Annual Taste of Compassion
  • When: Monday, Jan. 19 – 6 p.m. for VIP reception; 7 p.m. event begins
  • Where: Harriet Himmel Theater, 600 S. Rosemary Ave. (in CityPlace), West Palm Beach
  • Tickets: $75; $125 for VIP tickets
  • Information and tickets: Call 561-494-0515
  • More info on the Quantum House and their needs: www.quantumhouse.org

Jupiter Hops Up Its Brewfest

The 3rd annual Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival is January 24 in Abacoa’s downtown. This year’s fest brings down the biggest beer celebrities on the planet — the famous Budweiser Clydesdales. They’re allegedly coming to us from Grant’s Farm, their breeding stables, in St. Louis, Mo. (Click here to see one of my favorite of the horse commercials.)

New to the festival this year is the Field of Beers Friday night– a beer and food pairing, in Roger Dean Stadium. The foods will be served by Chef John Carlino whose new Cook’s Inc.will soon provide chef’s dinners at his shop in Abacoa. Fifteen premium craft beers will be paired with 15 dishes, such as venison sliders and crabcakes.

The main event on Saturday is the big festival where more than 100 beers from more than 30 breweries will be poured for tastings. The craft beers are names you may recognize from reading The Beer Guy, Dan Oliver, here or in The Palm Beach Post. Come back to my blog next week to get his overview of the festival and some suggestions of beers not to miss.

The “Dress Like a Monk” contest returnsto the event. It promotes the local organic beer, Monk in the Trunk, made by Inlet Brewing Co. in Jupiter. You can win $300 by donning monk garb. Food and entertainment also are planned.

  • What: Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival
  • When: Friday, 6-9 p.m., Field of Beers; Saturday, 2-7 p.m., Craft Brewers Festival
  • Where: Friday night, at Roger Dean Stadium; Saturday, at Main Street in Abacoa Town Center, Jupiter
  • Cost: Field of Beers food and wine pairing, $70 (tickets limited); Craft Brewers Festival, $22.50
  • More information and tickets: www.JupiterCraftBrewersFestival.com

Amateurs Invited! Chocolate Decadence in Boca

Next up, join me as the Junior League of Boca Raton presents Chocolate Decadence— a chocolate taste-around from area chefs, at the Shops at Boca Center. Mark your calendars: It’s Thursday, Feb. 5.

This year, any cook can get in on the fun and win prizes in the Amateur Chocolate Contest called Mix and Melt. Non-professional cooks can enter their best chocolate dish or drink. The dish must be cooked and plated, and brought to the contest completed on Thursday — there will be no cooking on site. Prizes for Best Overall, Most Unique, Best Taste and Best Presentation will be awarded, and winners get a VIP ticket to the big tasting. Winners will also be mentioned in Florida Table Magazine. It costs $25 to enter (money goes to the Jr. League programs); go to www.bocachocolate.com to get an application and more information.

The main contest for pastry chefs and restaurateurs is for desserts and drinks, with prizes awarded for the Best Dessert, Best Drink, Best Confection and Best Presentation. Other chefs will be providing foods for tastings and the great line-up of food vendors includes: The Addison, 3030 Ocean, Arturo’s, Renzo’s, Zed 451, Pranzo, Opus 5, 32 East, GOL! Taste of Brazil, and Max’s Grill.

The money raised at this event benefits the many community programs that the Junior League of Boca Raton sponsors, such as In the Pines, a low-cost housing project for migrant and ag workers, where the League has set up a Child Development Center, and Kids in Distress, an organization that helps out children of neglect or abuse.

  • What: 8th Annual Chocolate Decadence, and Mix and Melt competition
  • Where: The Shops at Boca Center, 5050 Town Center Circle, Boca Raton
  •  When: Thursday, Feb. 5; 4:30 p.m. for amateur contestants; 6 p.m. for general admission.
  • Tickets: $40, or $75 for VIP admission
  • For tickets, or information about the contests, visit the web site at www.bocachocolate.com, or call 561-620-4778, ext. 2
  • More info on the Junior League of Boca Raton: www.jlbr.org

Another Stinking Judging at Delray’s Garlic Fest

Break out the nose plugs — for the 10th year (congrats to organizers!) the Delray Beach Garlic Fest will return to that city’s downtown Feb. 13-15. There are dozens of activities if you don’t want to come just to eat – the main thrust, of course.

Entertainment includes Big Head Todd and the Monsters on Friday night, Los Lonely Boys on Saturday, and B-Liminal on Sunday. Andy Childs of Sixwire will emcee the stage.

Andy Trousdale

At the Garlic Chef competition, where I’ll be judging, chef Andy Trousdale of Le Bistro in Lighthouse Point will defend his trophy and crown as Garlic Chef. The competition is a seeded contest, with chefs cooking off on Saturday and winners advancing to the final cook-off on Sunday. It’s a timed 60-minute competition, with a mystery ingredient that always has its surprises.

Numerous vendors are on site, and new this year is the Wine and Beer Garden. A kid’s play area, and other kid activities are planned. Admission to all events is free; food and drink – and anything you buy – costs extra.

A big bonus: On Sunday, there’s free admissionin honor of the fest’s anniversary.

Many of you remember when this fest was held in November — Hurricane Wilma changed that, and it’s been in February since.

  • What: 15th annual Delray Beach Garlic Fest
  • Where: Grounds of Old School Square at Atlantic Avenue and North Swinton, downtown Delray Beach
  • When: Friday-Sunday, Feb. 13-15; 5-10 pm. Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday
  • Tickets: $12 each day Friday and Saturday; free on Sunday. Parking $5 at nearby garages; free at City Hall.
  • Information: www.dbgarlicfest.com, or call 561-274-0907

SoBe Wine and Food Festival – Life’s a Beach

All you Food Network junkies out there take note: Many of the fan favs will be at this year’s South Beach Wine and Food Festival and most of them offer book signings or some kind of personal interaction.

Bobby Flay

The “names” include Rachel Ray, Paula Deen, Emeril, Guy Fieri, Florence Tyler, Bobby Flay and the Neely’s. Among the other TV personalities are Martha Stewart, Tom Colicchio, Rocco di Spirito, Mario Batali, Rick Bayless and Cat Cora.

Emeril Lagassse

At each fest, the big name chefs honor another chef with a tribute dinner, and this year’s recipient is Emeril Lagasse.Tickets to that dinner are already sold out; other dinners, dine-arounds, wine seminars, and kids’ events are still available. Tickets to the grand tasting villages — the huge tents on the beach filled with food and wine samples — are still available.

  • What: South Beach Wine and Food Fest 2009
  • Where: Various locations in Miami Beach
  • When: Thursday-Sunday, Feb. 19-22
  • Tickets: Priced per event; costs range from $20 for a kids’ class to $600 for wine dinners
  • For schedule, information and tickets: www.sobewineandfoodfest.com

Tags: The Eat Beat: Restaurant News

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