Back in 2003, Southern Living magazine awarded Jo Hastings a whopping $10,000 for her cream cheese flan recipe, the winner of its signature desserts award. By now, it must feel as though she has created that yummy dessert about 10,000 times.
She did so again for patrons at one of the Stuart Society's Affaires d'Art to benefit the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, preparing the signature flan and chocolate mousse and cafe con leche, and those were just the dessert course.
Hastings entertained nearly 40 women in her home in Gulfport's Pasadena Yacht & Country Club, showing them how to prepare a versatile piccata sauce, a magical combination of butter, lemon, wine, capers and seasonings that can be used over chicken, fish, vegetables and pasta. At the luncheon, she served the sauce with chicken prepared in her restaurant, Habana Cafe, accompanied by mashed potatoes and asparagus.
Her presentation also featured a creamy poppy seed salad dressing, which she drizzled over fresh greens mixed with berries. And Hastings signed copies of her Habana Cafe Cookbook, which the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards deemed the Best Latino Cuisine Cookbook in the World for 2004.
Hostesses for the fundraiser were Betty Bowley, Helene Hardick, Mary Shuh, Maritza Smith and Julia Sorbo.
Talented Tampa Bay glass and metal artist Duncan McClellan, right, has moved his studio from Tampa to St. Petersburg, to the delight of patrons who toured his new space during another of the Affaires d'Art events.
The fiesta was the first event to be held therein, and McClellan was an enthusiastic host. In addition to having more space for creating his glass and sculptures, he also has a gallery area, catering kitchen, a design studio and other public rooms at the building on Emerson Avenue S.
Hosts for the buffet dinner and open house were Sandi and Dick Averitt, Chris and Bob Hilton, Mary and Tom James, Carole and Dr. Lawrence Merritt, Fran and Bud Risser, and Jane and Van Sayler.
Guests Betty Jean Miller and Helene Hardick were the fortunate winners of a drawing for two of McClellan's "bullet" creations.
McClellan also designed the poster for this year's Mainsail Arts Festival in St. Petersburg's Vinoy Park. It runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. McClellan is among more than 200 Mainsail exhibitors.