Save the date: SUNDAY SUPPER
This just might be the dinner of the year. The Bern's family of restaurants has organized a James Beard Foundation fundraiser to fund the Bern Laxer Memorial Scholarship for culinary students in the state of Florida for a number of years. But this week they announced the second annual Sunday Supper on Nov. 12, an epic evening bringing together 25 of our most notable local chefs.
The evening will be staged as a progressive dinner, starting with a reception at Haven and ending at the Epicurean Hotel. Following the reception, guests will be transported via trolley to the Epicurean Hotel for a family-style dinner (hey, it's only a few blocks, but this is going to be a heavy-eating evening). Wine and beer will be served, sure. But Bern's public relations rep Brooke Palmer Kuhl says the 225 event guests will experience 25 courses. Remain calm.
The cost is $235 and chefs will include Bern's Steak House's own Hab Hamde and Kim Yelvington, Haven's Chad Johnson and Courtney Orwig, the Epicurean's Jonathan Atanacio, Cena's Michael Buttacavoli, the Refinery and Fodder's Greg Baker, the Reading Room's Lauren Macellaro, Ichicoro's Noel Cruz, Mise en Place's Marty Blitz, Parkshore Grill's Tyson Grant, Rooster & the Till's Ferrell Alvarez, FarmTable Kitchen Cucina's Jeffrey Hileman, Restaurant BT's B.T. Nguyen, Café Ponte and On Swann's Chris Ponte, the Mill's Ted Dorsey, and another big handful of the area's best.
"This event not only gives us a chance to showcase the food talent in our area, but it allows us to pay it forward to aspiring chefs," says David Laxer, right, owner of Bern's Steak House and architect of the event.
It's likely to sell out early. You can buy tickets at sundaysuppertampabay.com. 5 p.m. Nov. 12 at Haven, 2208 W Morrison Ave, Tampa.
FOOD FESTS: CRAB, 'CUE AND MORE
Commemorating the start of stone crab season (Oct. 15), today through Sunday is the annual Crabfest at Cooters Restaurant and Bar in Clearwater Beach. Crabs are king at this festival with fresh off-the-boat crustaceans including stone, king, Dungeness and snow crabs with live music and regular menu items available. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. No cover. 423 Poinsettia Ave., Clearwater Beach. (727) 462-2668.
Bring chairs and enjoy the music as local amateur chefs cook up pork butts, ribs or both at the Barbecue Cook-Off and Rodeo on Saturday at the England Brothers Bandshell Park in Pinellas Park. There's also a full rodeo with bull-riding, beer, fireworks, kid's rides, bounce houses and something called a bubble runner. Noon to 10 p.m. Free. 5010 81st Ave. N, Pinellas Park. (727) 369-5746.
Eat Rich, Play Dirty is the Morean's annual fundraiser marrying art, music, decadent food, drinks and hands-on activities. Saturday 7 to 10 p.m. $100. Morean Arts Center for Clay, 420 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 822-7872.
And also on Saturday, this one in Largo Central Park, the Sweet Eats Festival is where sweet tooths find satisfaction with free pie samples and endless pies, cakes, cookies, brownies and other sweets for one all-you-can-eat price. Also, a 2,000 square-foot kids area, pie-eating contests, a baker's buffet, scavenger hunt, Pokémon lures, pie smash and live entertainment. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free admission, $7 all-you-can-play, $10 all-you-can-eat. 101 Central Park Drive, Largo. (727) 674-1464.