Taste of the Island, Wilton Manors

Posted By : denise/ 359

Hey there Foodie Friends!

The 12th annual Taste of the Island Wilton Manors took place this past Monday, November 13 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.! For a very affordable $35, ticket holders had the opportunity to sample some of the best food and beverage options in South Florida from the more than 20 local restaurants and bars in the greater Wilton Manors and surrounding areas. This year’s event at Richardson Historic Park and Nature Preserve (1937 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors, FL 33305) featured local favorites such as Chima Brazilian Steakhouse, Blue Martini, Funky Buddha BreweryTrader Joe’s,  LLCCroissan’Time, Jupiter Donuts, Bravo! Gourmet Sandwich & Peruvian Cuisine and Spatch Peri-Peri Grilled Chicken!

The 12th Annual Taste of the Island is made possible by the tremendous support of the Wilton Manors Community Affairs Advisory Board, Waste Management, Sterling Accounting, and the City of Wilton Manors, among others and benefits Kiwanis Int’l, Wilton Manors Historical Society, the City of Wilton Manors and the Wilton Manors Development Alliance.

This was the first time I attended this event and the first time I had been to the Richardson Historic Park and Nature Preserve. I highly recommend a visit (to both), if you haven’t been.

Here were some of our favorite bites of the evening:

Ethos Greek Bistro: the tzatziki and the meatballs were my favorite bite of the night.
Tee-Jay: The Thai Beef was well balanced and packed lots of yummy Thai flavors.
Croissan’Time: The lines were long to get to these baked goods, and they were worth the wait!
Bravo! Gourmet Sandwich & Peruvian Cuisine : The ceviche was oh-so-good. In my top three for sure!
Blue Martini : serving up tasty martinis. So delicious I had to go back for more than one!
Jupiter Donuts : A nice display with assorted donuts; very fresh and tasty.
Chima Steak House: Steak cooked to everybody’s liking (smart)!
Fitlife Foods : Chicken Pesto Tortellini
Fitlife Foods : Miso marinated salmon with quinoa

Got a busy, sometimes hectic schedule like me? Find yourself eating at odd hours and often times ingesting less than good-for-you meals? Of course there are lots of meal option plans available on the market today. And now, here’s one more for you to consider. The pesto tortellini drew me in and after one taste of the miso glazed salmon, I had to learn more about the creator of this delicious food. The company is called Fitlife Foods. They are not a restaurant, which initially threw me, being at a Food Festival surrounded by restaurants, caterers & private chefs. The company prepares made-from-scratch meals that are deliciously prepared with local and organic ingredients whenever possible. They have locations throughout FL, including Tampa, St. Pete, Sarasota, Orlando, Winter Park, and in South FL – Plantation, Ft. Lauderdale and Boca. You can stop in and pick up a meal to go or have it delivered to you. Love it? $ave money when you become a member. To learn more about Fitlife Foods visit their website.

Trader Joe’s : Pulled pork in bbq sauce
Trader Joe’s : BBQ pulled pork sliders

Well, there you have it. A great evening for a worthy cause was had in a lovely outdoor venue. I for one, can’ wait to visit all the new places I discovered at this year’s Taste of the Island.

Until we eat again…

  I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

 

 

Gridiron Grill-Off 2015

Posted By : denise/ 392

Hello Foodie Friends,

After being a sponsor of this event for a couple years now, I finally made it there in person this year. I can’t even begin to describe how super generous the organizers of this event are to their sponsors. Not only were we invited to several events leading up to the Grill-Off but following too. We also received a gorgeous box customized with our company’s logo placed on some cookies, some commemorative glasses and a lovely bottle of Cab personally signed by John Offerdahl himself. First class all the way.

The Gridiron Grill-Off in case you are not familiar with it is a Food, Wine & Tailgate Festival & Culinary Showdown that pairs up celebrity athletes (former Miami Dolphin legends) with some of the best local chefs to compete for the judges choice and the people’s votes for best recipe. Festival participants are encouraged to download the Gridiron Grill-Off app to vote for their favorite. Grill-Off proceeds benefit kids who are parentless (4Kids of South Florida) and homeless (HOPE South Florida) as well as these additional benefactors: Here’s Help, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association Educational Programs, Miami Dolphins Foundation and the “Taste of the NFL” Feeding South Florida.

Kicking off the sixth annual “John Offerdahl’s Broward Health® Gridiron Grill-Off Food & Wine Festival with a special early access from 12pm – 1pm, VIP ticket holders and media had a chance to do a Meet & Greet with this year’s national celebrity guest Adam Richman, author, actor and television personality.

Adam Richman grew up in New York and began his love affair with food early on, sampling all of the diverse culinary specialties the Big Apple has to offer. After years of travel and invaluable on-the-job experience in the various restaurants, Adam began hosting “Man v Food” for Travel Channel, which quickly became their highest rated show. Richman has returned to television to host Travel Channel’s “Man Finds Food” and NBC’s food competition show “Food Fighters.” Adam’s first book, “America the Edible” (Rodale Publishing), hit stands in 2010 and his second book, “Straight-Up Tasty” (Clarkson Potter), came out in June 2015.

Gridiron Grill-Off VIP ticket-holders received signed copies of “Straight-Up Tasty”.  In addition, Adam cooked a recipe from his new book with John Offerdahl at 4 p.m. in the Toyota Cornhole Stadium and Festival Stage.

The event was held on the grounds of the Pompano Beach Amphitheater and despite the rain ascending upon the crowd pretty much most of the afternoon, it didn’t appear to dampen the spirits of those in attendance. I would not consider myself a sports fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I do have a father and a brother who are fanatical. So as I made my rounds from station to station, I made a point to take a picture with as many of the football pros as possible to share with them. They were all so nice and of course so tall compared to me, lol!

Chef Chris Miracolo from S3 Restaurant at Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort was back again this year to defend his title of 2014 Judge’s Choice Winner. Chef Victor Franco from Oceans 234 was back as well to defend his title of 2014 People’s Choice Winner. Did either of them nab this year’s coveted titles? You’ll just have to wait and see. Here were this year’s teams and what they created:

Bob Baumhover (’77-’86)

NT #73

 

Chef Steve Zucker

Dauphins

Alabama Gulf Shrimp

Marco Coleman (’92-’95)

DE #90

 

Chef Andres Avayu

Piccolo Ristorante

Feta Stuffed Lamb Burger

Jeff Cross (’88-’96)

DE #91

 

Chef Nicole Rhone

The G-Bar, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina

Donut Bourbon Bacon Burger

Channing Crowder (’09-’11)

LB #52

 

 

Chef Chris Miracolo

S3 Restaurant at Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort

Grilled Lobster & Pork Belly

 

Troy Drayton (’96-’99)

TE #84

Chef Zhongbo Zhang

Mai-Kai Restaurant

Chicken Yakitori

 

AJ Duhe (’77-’84)

LB #77

 

Chef Jeff Pfeiffer

Lobster Bar Sea Grille

Miso Kebabs

Mark Duper (’82-’92)

WR #85

 

Chef Victor Franco

Oceans 234

Thai Chicken Wrap

 

Jay Fiedler (’00-’04)

QB #9

Chef Michael Saperstein

Rebel House

BBQ Lamb Spare Ribs

Roy Foster (’82-’90)

G #61

 

Chef Oliver Saucy

Darrel & Oliver’s Cafe Maxx

Grilled Wagyu Steak Tacos

Mark Higgs (’90-’94)

RB #21

 

Chef Ralph Pagano

Naked Taco

Key West Shrimp Tacos

Jim “Crash” Jensen (’81-’92)

QB / WR / RB #11

 

Chef Rick Schwager

Grille 401

Crusted Beef Tenderloin

 

 

Larry Little (’69-’80)

RG #66

 

 

Chef Ulises Mar

15th Street Fisheries

Shrimp Ceviche Tostadas

Sam Madison (’97-’05)

DB #29

 

Chef  Heather Waid

Beauty and the Feast, The Atlantic Hotel & Spa

Dr. Pepper Pork Sliders

Don McNeal (’80-’89)

CB #28

 

Chef Kenny Velsor

The Grill, Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale

Pork Tostada

Eugene “Mercury” Morris (’69-’75)

RB #22

 

Chef Gary Klinefelter

Diplomat Prime, Diplomat Resort & Spa Hollywood

Mojo Pulled Pork

Tony Nathan (’79-’87)

RB #22

 

Chef Dustin Gordon

Chef’s Palette Café and Grill, The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale

Grilled Octopus

Ed Newman (’73-’84)

G #64

Chef Peter Boulukus

YOLO

Greek Chicken

 

Louis Oliver (’89-’93)

S #25

 

Chef David Hackett

Palme d’Or / Fontana / Cascades / 19th Hole, The Biltmore

Sausage Corn Dog

Fuad Reveiz (’85-’88)

K #7

 

Chef Kareem Anguin

The Oceanaire Seafood Room

Jerked Cobia

Keith Sims (’90-’97)

G #69

 

Chef Eric Luban

JB’s on the Beach

Tenderloin Lettuce Wraps

Dave Shula (’82-’88)

Wins – #347

 

Chef Peter Farrand

Shula’s Steak House

New York Strip

Dwight Stephenson (’80-’87)

C #57

 

Chef Rey De La Osa

Publix Aprons

Chimichurri Flank Steak

Troy Stradford (’87-’90)

RB #23

 

Chef Greg McGowan

Pelican Landing, Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six

Grilled Spanish Octopus

 

 

Zach Thomas (’96-’07)

LB # 54

 

 

Chef Daniel Gerety

McCoy’s Oceanfront, Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa

Wagyu Beef Tostones

Shawn Wooden (’96-’99)

S #22

 

Chef Anthony Fiorini

13 American Table

Grilled Octopus

While there were so many wonderful dishes being turned out, there were a few stand out dishes in my opinion. I really enjoyed the taste and presentation of the Grilled Octopus from Team Wooden/Chef Anthony Fiorini 13 American Table. I also enjoyed the pork belly dish created by Team Crowder/Chef Chris Miracolo S3 Restaurant. And last but not least, I thoroughly enjoyed the Thai Chicken Wrap created by Team Duper/Chef Victor Franco Oceans 234.

This year’s esteemed judges were Chefs Michelle Bernstein, Allen Susser & Mark Militello along with Burger Beast’s Sef Gonzalez and Jack Kane, the culinary academic department director at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. So….who does the 2015 judge’s choice trophy go to???? Chef Greg McGowan from Pelican Landing and #23 Troy Stradford earned it with their Grilled Spanish Octopus. And the People’s Choice???? Chef Ralph Pagano from Naked Taco and #21 Mark Higgs nailed it with their Key West Shrimp Tacos. Congrats to them and to all the participating contenders for an awesome day; one that will undoubtedly enrich the lives of many children in need. Here are some of my highlights from the day. Enjoy.

12233427_1087293867949126_1960311085_n

12204550_1087292317949281_1629357712_n
Grilled Octopus from Table 13
12226774_1087287917949721_427295965_n
Thai Chicken Wrap from Ocean’s 234

12226460_1087288431283003_464039560_n 12226588_1087288367949676_235873756_n 12231161_1087292201282626_359451296_n 12231164_1087288644616315_768411289_n 12231362_1087288327949680_2002098605_n 12233084_1087292407949272_990601738_n 12232990_1087287977949715_1685747103_n 12243862_1087292371282609_1832125096_n

naked taco title Pelican Landing title

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise