Simmer and Sift: Top Chefs Partner with MFA for Culinary Series

The art of crafting the perfect dish is greatly appreciated in the Burg. Our culinary scene continues to blossom. With elevated options comes elevated expectations. Diners downtown and around the Sunshine City have come to crave food made with passion and meticulous attention to details. The Museum of Fine Arts will offer residents the chance to gain an even deeper appreciation of the love and labor that goes into their favorite dishes this summer.

Simmer and Sift is a new summer series that will see your favorite chefs from St. Pete and Tampa restaurants putting on live demonstrations. The series takes place once a month from June through September.

Programs begin at 6pm. Tickets are $40 per demonstration for MFA members, and $50 for non-members. Space is limited so this interested in attending are encouraged to reserve their tickets soon. You can purchase tickets online or by calling 727.896.2667, ext. 210. Here’s your guide to the four part foodie series hitting the exquisite museum this summer:



June 28

Kenny Tufo

Kenny Tufo, executive chef of Sea Salt, has a culinary career that spans over two decades. Tufo has worked alongside the talents of Gordon Hammersly, Scott Bryan, and Daniel Boulud, and has cooked at New York’s legendary James Beard House.



July 26

Lauren Maccellaro

Lauren Maccellaro, executive chef of the Reading Room, brings her garden-grown demonstration to the Museum of Fine Arts on July 26. A New York native, Macellaro attended the Institute of Culinary Education and served as sous chef for both Cucina 24 and the Locale Market before taking her talents to The Reading Room.



August 23 

Greg Baker 

Dual restaurant-owner Greg Baker will present his old Florida-inspired demonstration on August 23. Baker, the chef-owner of Tampa’s The Refinery and Fodder & Shine, trained at Portland’s Western Culinary Institute and is passionate about Florida cuisine and maintaining partnerships with farmers. He was included in a cookbook by Chef Mario Batali and has been recognized in USA Today, The Washington Post, Bon Appetit and Edible Tampa Bay.



September 27

Norman Van Aken 

Chef Norman Van Aken is the executive chef-owner of 1921 by Norman Van Aken and a James Beard semifinalist. He has been called the “Culinary Titan of Florida” and is one of the founders of New American Cuisine. Van Aken has been featured everywhere from Jimmy Kimmel Live to The New York Times and has published five cookbooks.

Written by Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan is in his third year as Writer/Editor of New York Times bestselling author Andre Dubus III has said of him, “Andrew Harlan has a sharp and discerning eye for detail that deftly captures character and landscape." He has published fiction and poetry in Sabal and Prime Number Literary Magazine. He graduated with honors from Eckerd College in 2013 with a B.A. in Creative Writing and a minor in Literature. He can be reached by phone: (727) 896-3435 or email: