Skip to main content
Chefs are working to perfect this dinner roll, influenced by a red beet and red pepper vegetable puree.
East County Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 5 years ago

Getting ready to wine & dine

by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

Getting ready to feed 2,500 guests is no simple task.

But, more than 30 local restaurateurs are getting ready to do just that for this year’s Suncoast Food & Wine Festival, which will offer attendees samples of wines and good eats, while raising funds for charity.

Manatee Technical Institute, which has gained a reputation for its elaborate spread, is utilizing the skills and hands of more than 50 students this week to prepare for the event.

Culinary Arts Department Chairman Garry Colpitts estimates students and staff, in total, will dedicate more than 1,500 hours to get ready for the Nov. 10 event.

MTI will offer a variety of samples, including dozens of appetizers, ceviche, sushi, barbecued lamb, artisan breads and cheeses, carved venison and elk, and more than 3,000 handmade chocolates and truffles.

“It’s a big deal for us,” Colpitts says of the event. “Everything is made from scratch. Time management is critical.”

MTI instructors finalized the menu last week, and this week students started on preparations, with the bulk of work to occur Wednesday through Friday.

Students will begin to finish preparing food at 4 a.m. Nov. 10, on campus, before heading to the polo grounds to set up their stations and tables, alongside restaurants whose staffs also have been working hard to deliver savory treats for the masses.

Suncoast Food & Wine Fest
When: 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 10
Where: Sarasota Polo Club, 8201 Polo Club Lane, Sarasota
Details: Sample foods from more than 35 local restaurants and hundreds of wines, while enjoying live music by The Venturas and The Garbage Men. Festivities also include silent and live auctions, a fashion show, cooking demonstrations and more.
Cost: $60
Tickets and info: or 870-0002

By the numbers
10 — In pounds, amount of trout being prepared
60 — In pounds, amount of chocolate to be used for truffles and other desserts
140 — In pounds, amount of Australian beef tenderloin being prepared
1,000 — Number of canapés to be made
1,500 — Estimated number of hours spent on preparations by MTI students and staff.
3,000 — Number of pieces of handmade chocolates and truffles that will be offered


Related Stories