Enjoying the Arts & Tastes Festival

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Celebrity chefs kick off the weekend event at HSN with Mayor-elect Rick Kriseman, HSN CEO Mindy Grossman and DT Minich of Visit St. Pete/Clearwater.

The Enjoy Arts and Tastes Festival swept through the ‘Burg last weekend, with a bevy of famous–and locally celebrated–chefs showing off their chops in tasty events catering to the foodies among us. Pronounced by many as an showcase of the incredible talent in the area, the event was a smooth running collaboration between local restaurants, HSN, and waterfront venues–including the Mahaffey, the Dali, the Vinoy, and the Club at Treasure Island.

For those other, ill-informed publications that haven’t seen the ‘Burg as a culinary destination, this event gave a crowd of people the real story. 

Savory Spice Shop owner Paul Bailey, whose shop participated in the Grand Tasting and provided spices for the celebrity chef demos, was impressed with the scope of the festival, the conviviality of the famous chefs, and the efficiency with which the event was carried off.

"It was first class," Paul says. "Having an event like this adds real credibility to our cultural growth."

 
Rococo Steak CEO Joe Orsino agrees. "I thought it was fabulous, very well executed. It definitely puts St. Pete on the map as an upcoming arts and food center." Joe says he was impressed by the caliber of all the local restaurants that offered up their tasty bites at the Grand Tasting event.

"There was a consistent quality to the presentation, to the quality of the food," he says. "It was all world class."

For those who didn’t make it, and for those who want to relive their fondest memories, here’s a final taste of Enjoy Arts & Tastes 2013.


After his demo, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto puts finishing touches on his dish as admiring fans press forward.


iLovetheBurg‘s Brian Bailey is flanked by event producer Herb Karlitz, Goldman, English, Tsai, Curtis at the late night Nocturnal Cravings event.


Ace of Cakes Duff Goldman poses with his extraordinary, edible ode to Dali.


The lovely Donatella Arpaia waxes eloquent on olive oil.


Left and bottom right: Chef Dylan Elhajoui (MoZaic Restaurant) displays his interpretation of Dali’s work; top right, Cassis’ Chef Jeremy Duclut take on surreal sweets.


The handsome–and funny!–Curtis Stone admires a muffin made by the blind-folded man’s wife.


Ming Tsai indulges a craving for William Dean chocolates, left, and squints to see Dali’s portrait of Lincoln in Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea, right.


Former ‘Burg Mayor Rick Baker was all over Enjoy Arts and Tastes, left, at demo hosted by Donatella Arpaia, top right, with wife Joyce at the Dali’s Nocturnal Cravings event, bottom right, enjoying Red Mesa Cantina’s offerings.


Left, Chef Morimoto demonstrates how to ship a fish while Todd English demonstrates how to look good at the Dali.


BellaBrava crew serves with a smile at the Grand Tasting.


Chefs from The Club at Treasure Island catch a demo after their stint at the Grand Tasting event.

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Written by Brian Bailey

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Brian Bailey is the founder of I Love the Burg and That's So Tampa. In addition to regular contributions to each blog, he's been featured as a commentator to Bay New 9, The Tampa Tribune, The Tampa Bay Times, The Tampa Bay Business Journal and The Business Observer as well as national outlets including The Huffington Post and The Wall Street Journal. Brian is currently the Chief Marketing & Experience Officer for Metro Inclusive Health.