Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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EatBeat: Feast of Little Italy and United Cerebral Palsy Great Chefs Party This Weekend

November 6th, 2009 · No Comments

Two don’t miss events: The Feast of Little Italy in Abacoa, and the UCP Great Chefs Tasting Party take place this weekend.  I’ll be at the latter as usual — I’ve been at almost all these Tasting Parties for the past 20 years. Good food for a great cause.

Get your Italian face on

feastitalylogoMeatballs – of course. But terrific pastas, entertainment and fun for families is on tap at Abacoa’s street festival – the Feast of Little Italy today through Sunday just off Main Street in Abacoa.

This is the 7th annual event — and it keeps growing yearly. Cooking demos, food samples and wine tastings are part of the interactive entertainment. Live entertainment this year includes Frank Stallone — yes, Sly’s bro.

Chef Erik Petterson of Evo restaurant in Hobe Sound is one of the chefs giving demos all weekend – check the Sorrento Cheese cooking theater tent to find out when he’ll appear and what he’s preparing.

It starts at 3 p.m. today – lasts till 10 p.m. Here are the other details.

Feast of Little Italy

Where: Abacoa Town Center (next to Roger Dean Stadium), Jupiter

When: Friday, 3-10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

Cost: $5; children under 12, free

For more information and schedule: www.feastoflittleitaly.com

Great Chefs Tasting Party Benefits United Cerebral Palsy

ucplogoJoin me Sunday late afternoon at the Marriott in West Palm Beach for the UCP Great Chefs Tasting Party.

This event, in its 21st year – can you believe it? – is Sunday, 4-7, and will feature tastings from some of the area’s top chefs.

I’m headed first for the table from Roy Villacrusis — one of my favorite sushi chefs (formerly with Mark’s CityPlace). Can’t wait to try the food from Da Francesco at 251 (it’s organic and natural and they have a flair for design). The Palm Beach Steakhouse last year had some of the best lamb chops I’ve ever tasted — hope they return with them.

Charlie at Talay Thai is always up to something yummy, Havana Hideout has fun pub food, bet on the Palm Beach Convention Center chefs to win for best display, and often for food, too.

So many more choices: Nick and Johnnie’s, and Cucina dell’ Arte as well as the Chesterfield’s Leopard Lounge will bring samples from their menus; Leila, a Middle Eastern favorite from downtown West Palm Beach, is back again, and Field of Greens with its unique salads and soups offers good greens to balance the other rich foods.

A big wine table offers a chance to try a number of good domestics and pair them with different foods to see what works. (It’s my favorite way to do some food and wine pairings, when you have a room full of foods to choose from.)

The Switzer Trio will again provide the cool jazz and standards, and my longtime friend from the Colony Hotel in Palm Beach, Rob Russell, will emcee.

There are numerous raffles – almost always a great trip involved or a hotel stay somewhere.

Stop and say hello if you come: I’ll be on the dias judging, and look forward to seeing you there.

Great Chefs Tasting Party for United Cerebral Palsy

Where: Marriott Hotel, 1001 Okeechobee Blvd.

When: Sunday, Nov. 8, 4-7 p.m.

Cost: $75 in advance, $85 at the door

More information: (561) 357-7779; www.ucpsouthflorida.org/calendar/php

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