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Columbia Restaurant, Habana Café earn Cordon d'Or awards

The sixth annual Cordon d'Or culinary awards honoring cookbook authors, culinary teachers and chefs will be held Friday at the Don CeSar Beach Resort and Spa in St. Pete Beach.

The awards, the brainchild of Noreen Kinney of St. Petersburg, honor both international and Florida culinary professionals. Among the 2010 honorees are the Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City, Habana Café in Gulfport and Michael's on East in Sarasota.

Kinney, herself a cookbook author, founded Cordon d'Or more than 20 years ago in Ireland to promote culinary arts worldwide. In the 1970s and 1980s, Kinney conducted public cooking demonstrations to raise awareness about Ireland's under- utilized food bounty, including wild salmon and oysters. Kinney moved to Florida in 1990.

The event has come a long way since the first private awards ceremony, held in the St. Petersburg main library. Since 2007, the ceremony has been a public fundraiser for various charities. Kinney also has added a Florida category to the awards. This year, Sarasota restaurateur/chef Michael Klauber will be inducted into Cordon d'Or's Florida culinary hall of fame. His restaurant, Michael's on East, was chosen as one of the Top 10 restaurants in America by the National Restaurant Association in 2009. Also honored is Keel & Curley Winery in Plant City as the state's top winery.

Among the cookbook winners are two instructors at the Jacobson Culinary Arts Academy at Tarpon Springs High. Chef Gui Alinat takes top honors for Chef's Repertoire (American Technical Publishers) in the culinary reference category and pastry chef Cathleen Ryan, along with co-author Roger Morris, is honored in the illustrated culinary category for The Brandywine Book of Food (Storm Coast Press).

For a complete list of winners, go to

Friday's awards ceremony is open to the public. A reception begins at 5:30 p.m. with the awards presentation and dinner to follow. Tickets are $47 and may be purchased online from the Cordon D'Or website. Some of the proceeds go to the Pinellas chapter of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association and to ProStart, a mentoring program for students interested in the culinary field.

Call (727) 347-2437 for more information about the event.

Columbia Restaurant, Habana Café earn Cordon d'Or awards 04/27/10 [Last modified: Monday, April 26, 2010 6:23pm]
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