Grow and thrive, but protect and sustain. That's the Sustany Foundation's message, served to nearly 1,000 like-minded folks at its seventh annual Sustainable Buzz. Locally sourced, organic, fresh and natural were the buzzwords as 40-plus restaurants, wine stewards and brewmasters converged at the Straz Center on Nov. 13.
Urban Juice Co. poured its cold-pressed lineup. Squeeze featured a seasonal pomegranate juice they call Santa's Little Helper. Maestro's grilled sustainable amberjack tacos; the Wine Bistro ladled farm-to-table gazpacho; Anise Gastropub curried coconut butternut squash soup. Hydroponic greens enhanced everything made by chef Bryan Gallagher of First We Eat.
Generous pours included Two Henry's blueberry jalapeno beer made with Plant City berries and Barley Mow's Nipperkin, a dark porter brewed just for the event. St. Pete Distillery dashed cinnamon and nutmeg on its pumpkin spiced rum and mango punch.
VIP ticket-buyers got a special treat: a moonlit river cruise on an e-boat with Josh Dohring.
Frankie's Friends, Unleashed for Hope
Lucy and Desi would have enjoyed flamenco dancers, dominoes and cool cocktails at La Tropicana, the fourth Unleashed for Hope benefit. Vintage Havana flavored the historic Rialto Theater on Nov. 7, with tapas from six restaurants and dancing to Orquesta Infinidad, sponsored by Lisa and Nikki DeBartolo, and their parents, Candy and Eddie DeBartolo, for Frankie's Friends, the charitable pet foundation named in memory of the family's greyhound.
Guests barked a bit when a dog catcher nabbed them for the doghouse. The only way out? A donation to help families pay for lifesaving emergency pet care. Auctioning off the dog house at the end of the evening added to the proceeds.
Taste of Ybor
Paella rallied the troops at the Taste of Ybor auction party, chaired for the third year by Sung and Tom Hochhausler for Boy Scouts of America's Gulf Ridge Council. Historic Hospitality catered Nov. 14, along with restaurants Aqua, Red Elephant Cafe and Spain. Buddy Brew's Cubano Espresso and hand-rolled cigars added to the Ybor allure. Five Eagle Scout candidates passed appetizers and six Gold Award Girl Scout candidates made yummy s'mores, impressing the 300 guests at the Tampa Garden Club. Silent, live and Chinese auction bids helped net $50,000 for scouting, venturing and Learning for Life programs in eight counties.
Dessert First, Girl Scouts of West Central Florida
Chef Gerald Bayona of the Columbia restaurant won the Golden Whisk award at Dessert First, the cookie-inspired benefit for Girl Scouts of West Central Florida. Judges chose his ice cream Samoa Bombe over six other chefs' entries at the Hotel InterContinental on Nov. 14. The People's Choice vote, tallied from 200 guests, awarded the Silver Whisk to Chef Felicia LaCalle of Roy's Tampa for "Everything but the Kitchen Sink Peanut Butter Pie." Four scouts shared their learning experiences as the event netted countless calories and $30,000 for programs.