BAKEOFF: CUPCAKE WARS
Think you got what it takes? You still have time to enter your cupcakes in the sixth annual Great St. Pete Cupcake Contest on Aug. 20 at the Morean Arts Center. A $15 entry fee allows each participant to enter one submission, which requires a minimum of four delicious cupcakes for the judges. Participants are encouraged to bring larger quantities (most contestants bring at least a few hundred mini cupcakes) for the public to taste, but it's not required. First and second place awards will be given in both novice and professional categories as well as a People's Choice award. The Morean has added an additional category this year, specialty for gluten-free or vegan recipes.
Cupcakes are judged on icing/frosting, flavor/texture and presentation/creativity for a total of 50 points, which allows plenty of room for edible creativity. Winners receive bragging rights around St. Petersburg and a newly designed trophy made by a professional clay artist from the Morean Center for Clay.
If you're not a baker, just a taster, you can vote for the People's Choice award for $1 per taste. Noon to 3 p.m. Aug. 20. No admission fee. 420 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 822-7872. moreanartscenter.org/calendar/cupcake-contest/.
DRINK LOCAL: OLD ST. PETE PAIRING
Council Oak Lounge in Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa hosts an Old St. Pete pairing dinner Aug. 18. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception, followed by a four-course menu designed by chef de cuisine Dave Puatu at 7. Courses will be paired with Old St. Pete Tropical Gin, Righteous Rum & Spice, Sweet Corn Whiskey and Royal Mead Honey Wine. Each guest who attends will receive a commemorative bottle of Banyan Reserve Vodka. There will also be a special performance by JAC of All Trades. $221 per person, which includes taxes and gratuity. 5223 Orient Road, Tampa. (813) 627-6630.
SAVE THE DATE: FERRAN ADRIA-INSPIRED DINING
This fall, in conjunction with the Dalí's exhibition "Ferran Adria: The Invention of Food," the museum hosts a series of curated immersion dinners weekly in October and November. The events feature seven innovative chefs from the Tampa Bay region paying homage to the Spanish chef widely celebrated for changing the landscape of gastronomy in the same way Salvador Dalí changed art. Each event begins with a private gallery viewing of the exhibition, followed by the dining experience and live music at the museum. Tickets are now available at thedali.org/immersion and are $150 per person; seating is limited.
Oct. 4: Michael Mina, FarmTable Kitchen
Oct. 12: Jeremy Duclut, Cassis American Brasserie
Oct. 19: Tyson Grant, Parkshore Grill
Oct. 25: Greg Baker, the Refinery and Fodder & Shine
Nov. 6: Fabrizio Aielli, Sea Salt
Nov. 9: Marty Blitz, Mise en Place
Nov. 16: Jeannie Pierola, Edison: Food + Drink Lab
Also to celebrate the opening of the exhibition, St. Petersburg's FarmTable Kitchen will host an afternoon Paella Party on Sept. 24. Attendees will have an opportunity to meet chefs Adria, below, and Mina and enjoy paella stations, a Spanish meat and cheese station, other tapas and unlimited sangria. Tickets are available first to Dalí Museum members for $50 through Tuesday; tickets for the public are $60 and available beginning Wednesday at thedali.org/paella.
Also during the run of the exhibit, guests can sample one of Adria's culinary masterpieces. The museum's Café Gala will be serving a seafood gazpacho dish created by Adria exclusively for the Dalí.