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Sarasota Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014 6 years ago

Junior League dishes out new food festival

by: Amanda Morales Staff Writer

Life will imitate the arts at the inaugural Art of Food Festival presented by the Junior League of Sarasota.
Chefs from more than a dozen local restaurants have been given the challenge to either create an appetizer, entrée or dessert using a Sarasota arts institution as inspiration. Appetizer samplings will be inspired by the Sarasota Orchestra. The Sarasota Opera will serve as the inspiration behind entrée samplings, and The Sarasota Ballet is the muse for dessert. Restaurants that will be featured include Louies Modern, M.A.D.E., Libby’s Café + Bar, Selva Grill and Café Americano.

The inspiration for the festival is a chance for restaurants to showcase the best of Sarasota’s sophisticated culinary scene, according to event Chairwoman Olivia Thomas.

“We’ve been trying for a while to come up with a new idea for a signature fundraiser,” Thomas said. “We feel like Sarasota has a sophisticated enough of a culinary vibe going on, and we think our chefs are good.”

The location is set for the heart of the arts district on the Palm Avenue parking garage rooftop, where guests can mingle in a lounge setting. Thomas said that the hope is to make the event an annual festival that continues to grow each year and possibly invites celebrity chefs in the coming years.

“We really want something that could ultimately have the potential to be a national destination festival like South Beach Food and Wine Festival,” Thomas said.

The festival idea and structure fits in with the Junior League’s Childhood Nutrition Initiative. Funds collected from the event will benefit the initiative to help malnourished children in the community.

Art of Food Festival

When: 6 to 11 p.m. Nov. 8

Where: Palm Avenue parking garage rooftop

Cost: Tickets are

$100; patron tickets are $125 and include the champagne bar.

Info: To purchase tickets and for more information, visit


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