ABOUT LAST NIGHT…
Friday was quite a cheesy surprise.
What did Black Tie say when Molly Klauber, co-founder of the Gulf Coast Cheese Fest, called and invited her to attend her cheese dinner, La Fete du Fromage? She said yes!
I hadn’t any idea what to expect when I arrived at the event, but former Black Tie Editor, Stephanie Hannum, whose last day with the Observer was Friday, assured me I would have a fantastic time.
I didn’t realize 1) that it was an interactive dinner or 2) that I would be first up — alongside Mercedes Mann and Bridget McGrath — to sauté what turned out to be delicious, creamy and spicy white shrimp, parma proscuitto, reggiano and shaved Cortez bottarga fettuccini dish for a table full of Sarasota’s young (and hungry) professionals. Paired with Merryvale “Starmont” sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley, it hit the spot, if I do say so myself. And the prep tables, with everything already sliced, diced and ready to sizzle, made cooking so easy!
As Molly and Tommy Klauber finished conducting a paddle raise for sending kids to G. WIZ summer camp, my table mates got started on the next course — pan seared grass-fed filet with green peppercorn-port demi and whipped gorgonzola cream.
Elas Wallace, Carlos Solorzano, Jr., who deemed himself “the tong man” for the duration of the evening, and Alex Floethe seared filet on one end of the table while Jen McAlister, Max Amster and Denver Stutler took charge at the other. The latter team began with a clanking of their skillets. The second course was paired with a Starmont cabernet.
When prep tables for the third course, Ruskin strawberry mascarpone crepes arrived, it seemed guests were feeling a little lethargic, so I jumped up to the skillet once again. If you’ve never been asked to flambé anything, well, it’s quite a fun time! I drenched those strawberries in brandy and set fire to them like I knew exactly what I was doing. When you’re cooking with butter and brown sugar, you really can’t go wrong. Same goes for dessert wine.
At Saturday’s 31st Annual Orchid Ball: An Evening at Versailles, I found two unusual purses. I would give the guests props on such unique taste, however, the purses were placed in chairs as the guests enjoyed cocktail hour, and therefore, I cannot share the names of the owners. Co-Chairwomen Kristiana Serbin and Sheryl Vieira did a fabulous job chairing the French-inspired event.