Patrick and Mariely Crowne watched the Netflix cooking show The Final Table like any foodie fan would. They enjoyed the competition that featured 12 teams of two chefs bringing global gastronomy into your home while sprinkling in guest appearances from the likes of Victoria’s Secret model Alessandra Ambrósio and boxing champion Julio César Chávez.
They agreed on their favorite — Michelin star chef Graham Campbell. After the show, Patrick became one of thousands who began following the Scottish chef on Instagram @chefgraham1, noting he was down-to-earth.
But as owners of The Forge, the couple had an idea to invite him to the Irish pub they opened in Brandon earlier this year. The celebrity chef accepted the invitation and in July came to Florida for the first time in his life for a meet and greet. The sold-out appearance was so successful, Campbell has agreed to return for a second course — a three-event cooking weekend Nov. 15-17.
“Before we started The Forge, one of the only shows we watch together was The Final Table, Mariely Crowne said. “Patrick then reached out to Graham on Instagram and Graham reached back and they created a relationship, and here we are.”
For Graham, his first Florida event at The Forge was akin to a taste test. But the follow up is slated to be more like a pre-Thanksgiving party and feast.
“The first event is always a learning curve because you don’t know the kitchen, the staff, the people, the owner, et cetera,” said Graham, who at age 25 in 2009 earned his Michelin star while working at The Ballachulish House in Scotland. “We can plan a lot better for the second one and make it really stand out. Dessert night is just something fun. The fine dining one is to showcase my food.”
To book a table you must pay in advance by calling The Forge at (813) 548-7090 or visiting the eatery at 109 W Bloomingdale Ave. in Brandon. The Nov. 15, Michelin Star Desert Night is $45 and the Nov. 16 Fine Dining Experience is $100, all set in a relaxed atmosphere. On Nov. 17, Graham will be the judge for a neighborhood cook-off.
“We are extremely excited to have him back at The Forge,” Mariely said. “His first time was a total success. Everyone loved him and the food.”
Visit www.theforgeirishpub.com for more information.