MOSI's 19th annual Einstein on Food & Wine
Proving the space-time continuum theory, 2,000 people packed the Museum of Science and Industry on Saturday, inching between three floors of tasty bites (25 vendors) embedded between exhibits and 60 tables of wine, beer and spirits (thanks, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits) at the 19th, and biggest yet, Einstein on Food & Wine sampling.
The energy-momentum equation worked in the driveway, too, where Texas Roadhouse grilled steaks near six cigar stands and four food trucks. How does wild game poutine sound? That's what Fan Favorite winner NYO (Not Your Ordinary) Food Truck calls its fries topped with cheese curds and antelope, camel, buffalo and llama gravy.
A secret panel of judges ranked Shells Seafood's oysters, clam chowder and margaritas No. 1. Bailey's Catering's shrimp and grits took second place. Evos' kale salad was voted third. MOSI's STEAMpunks, South Florida Ghostbusters and 501 Legion Stormtroopers roved and photobombed while mermaid Eden Sirene drew gawkers to her tank in the museum lobby.
A night earlier, 50 VIPs paid $200 to dine beneath the stars in the planetarium at an Annus Mirabilis patrons dinner. Special guest standup-comic-turned-chef Alex Thomopoulos' dry wit seasoned her lamb slider and liquid nitrogen ice cream sandwich demonstration.
Ticket sales, a silent auction and $20 glasses of champagne poured by an acrobatic lady twirling from the ceiling raised net proceeds to $100,000. One random glass of the bubbly came with a diamond, donated by the Gold and Diamond Source, and won by a true gem, event chairwoman Beth Drummond-Monts De Oca.
Super Tailgate for Sunrise Communities
The sports-themed Barbara Hobbs Gala scored points for Sunrise Community of Hillsborough promoting its residential living arrangements, work and life skills training and other programs to assist adults with intellectual and physical challenges. Special guest Tony Mayberry, former Tampa Bay Buc, said hearing Sunrise's chief operating officer Jim McGuire was enlightening.
Hobbs upscaled tailgating Saturday for 150 guests dining on sliders and fries, turkey chili and corn bread at TPepin's Hospitality Centre and posing with the Lightning's ThunderBug and the Bucs' Captain Fear. Emcee Charley Belcher dedicated the evening to the late Roger Curlin, whose recent bequest helps operate one of the 11 group homes in Hillsborough.
Then onto the dance floor, to groove to the soulful vocals of Bobby G. Summers kicking up old school rhythm and blues.
Tampa Choice Affair
Safe sex apps and digital technology is one reason to celebrate the lowest teen pregnancy rate ever recorded, said Leslie Kantor, Planned Parenthood Federation of America guest speaker at A Choice Affair luncheon Tuesday at Maestro's at the Straz Center. "But Florida still ranks No. 14 in the nation."
Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida CEO Barbara Zdravecky greeted 250 "enthused and passionate advocates of health education and access to reproductive options," including public health policymakers, elected officials and hopefuls, including gubernatorial candidate Nan Rich, attorney general candidate George Sheldon, frequent candidate Joe Redner and former Sen. Helen Gordon Davis, who led the funding appeal for the agency.
TJF annual President's Dinner
Ehud Barak, a former Israeli prime minister and defense minister, communicated a hopeful message at Tampa Jewish Federation's 11th annual President's Dinner, despite challenges in the Middle East, including Iran's nuclear threat, the crisis in Syria and the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is envious, he recalled telling President Bill Clinton, that "your neighbor is Canada."
The 900 guests, including dozens of city and state officials, heard two big announcements before dinner at A La Carte Event Pavilion on Jan. 26. Funding to turn the historic Howard Avenue armory into a South Tampa Jewish Community Center has reached $9 million. Lead donor Bryan Glazer joked members would actually have to travel "1,760 feet north of Kennedy Boulevard" when the facility opens next year. And "more secret than the Oscars," past-president Alice Rosenthal was surprised with the Tikkun Olam award for "passion and persistence."