GASPARILLA MUSIC FESTIVAL:
THE FOOD EDITION
Sure, it’s definitely about the music. But the seventh annual Gasparilla Music Festival, presented by Cigar City Brewing, is also all about the comestibles. Held Saturday and Sunday in Tampa’s Curtis Hixon Park and Kiley Gardens downtown on the Riverwalk, it features an eclectic array of culinary offerings. And get this: continuing the tradition of celebrating the cultures of Tampa Bay, all participating food vendors are local, independently owned and operated.
"I am excited and honored to represent what I feel are some of the best restaurants in Tampa Bay," said Ty Rodriguez, co-owner of Rooster & the Till and the festival’s director of food and beverage. "Restaurants such as Ichicoro and Holy Hog coming back and joining newcomers Haven, Elevage and Casa Santo Stefano, the newest (Richard) Gonzmart restaurant, which has chosen to make its debut at GMF, are sure to bring the food scene to another level."
To accompany the range of foods, the fest will present a robust selection of beverages. GMF sponsor Cigar City Brewing will feature its award-winning beers (including its Gasparilla Music Festival Pilsner, canned for the first time this year) at multiple venues around the festival, including at the SYNOVUS Beer Garden. Tito’s Handmade Vodka is the official vodka partner, celebrating seven years supporting GMF. Jameson Irish Whiskey will be showcasing its Caskmates whiskeys in Kiley Gardens and Bota Box is the official wine sponsor. Once again the festival will eliminate 100 percent of plastic water bottles through its partnership with Boxed Water.
Here’s the complete lineup of this year’s food offerings:
Anise Global Gastrobar: Stinky Bunz and lettuce wraps
Big Ray’s Fish Camp: Grouper sandwiches and coleslaw
Cafe Hey: Cuban sandwiches and vegan truffle mac and cheese e_SClBDochos: French fries, fried pickles and dipping sauce
Dough Nation: Cookie dough and ice cream
Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe: Chicken and waffle sandwich
Haven & Elevage: Smoked chicken torta and Juicy Lucy burger
Holy Hog BBQ: Ribs, pulled pork sandwich, redneck nachos, chicken wings
Hot Donut Co.: Donuts and coffee
Ichicoro: Japanese fried chicken, spicy mayo, furikake and tostonese_SClBIndependent Bar & Cafe: Grilled cheese and vegan sloppy Joes
Kona Ice: Shaved ice and novelty ice cream
Malio’s Prime Steakhouse: Prime rib sandwich
Nico’s Arepas Grill: Venezuelan arepas and cachapas
Parnell Foods: Lemonade
Rooster & the Till: Vegetarian nachos and roasted pork nachos
Sexton’s Pizza: Pizza
Spain Restaurant & Toma Bar: Empanadas
Whatever Pops: Gourmet ice popse_SClB
IRON CHEF: CAT CORA
At the University of South Florida, you can nosh on healthy Mediterranean food at Olilo, a new on-campus eatery created in partnership with celebrity chef Cat Cora, right.
Soon, you can see Cora herself there, too.
Cora, the Iron Chef America competitor, entrepreneur and co-host of programs like Around the World in 80 Plates and My Kitchen Rules, will speak as part of the school’s University Lecture Series on March 20. The event coincides with Women’s History Month and National Nutrition Month. Such speeches are free and open to the public, although priority for admission is given to USF students, faculty and staff. 8 p.m.; doors open at 7:30 p.m. at the Oval Theater in the Marshall Student Center. 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. usf.edu/uls.
BAR SPOTLIGHT: RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER
John McMahan and Tom Rockhill have always had a love for craft beer, homebrewing, and old-school arcade games. Put them all together and you have the Right Around the Corner brewery in the Grand Central District at 2244 Central Ave. in St. Petersburg. Rockhill founded the St. Pete Homebrew Club and, with a background in marketing, McMahan founded the local running club called Running for Brews. They opened in the space of an old gelato shop, a local craft beer bar to start but with the aim of transitioning to a brewery. For now, here’s what you need to know: Classic arcade games and local craft beers. stpetearcadebrewey.com.