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SRQ DAILY Oct 31, 2023

Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

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Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

"It is an over-the-top and elevated French toast that you will not have to use syrup on."

- Mike Whalen, Co-owner, Food + Beer.

[Recognition]  Congratulations to the 2023 Women Who Roar Leadership Circle Class
Barbie Heit, barbie.heit@srqme.com

On Friday, October 27th, SRQ Media presented its 8th Annual Together We Roar Leadership & Awards Luncheon at Michael’s on East. Today, we are pleased to announce and welcome the 10 exceptional women who were inducted into the 2023 Women Who Roar Leadership Circle:

Blair Bloomston from Game on Nation
Erin Cigich from Perform [CB]
Jennifer Compton from Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP
Susan Hines from Sabal Trust
Heather Koester from Koester Consulting Group
Jennifer Lee from Modern Wealth
Karen Medford from Sirius Day Spa
Tanya Ryskind from NewGate Montessori School
Colleen Thayer from NAMI Sarasota and Manatee Counties
Alyson Zildjian from Zildjian Catering and Consulting

Each of these women has strengthened their resilience and innovative thinking to lead our businesses, nonprofits, organizations, municipalities and philanthropic and community initiatives to realize new opportunities that positively impact our region. Congratulations on your accomplishments! 

Pictured: The 2023 Leadership Circle Class with historical Leadership Circle Class Members. Photo by Dan Wagner/Wagner Visuals.

[The Dish]  The New Brunch Menu at Food and Beer Makes Mornings a Delight
Laura Paquette, laura.paquette@srqme.com

Nothing says “weekend vibes” better than brunch. Toast with friends and family over Food + Beer’s new brunch menu and enjoy tasty twists on classics and familiar favorites.

Food + Beer’s updated menu includes offerings like the delectable blueberry muffin French toast, a battered and griddled blueberry muffin served over a warm blueberry compote and topped with whipped lemon ricotta and, for good measure, fresh blueberries. “It’s an over-the-top and elevated French toast that you won’t have to use syrup on,” says Mike Whalen, who co-owns the establishment’s six locations with Casey Daniels. Guests with savory palates will enjoy the shrimp and grits, featuring jumbo shrimp in creamy New Orleans barbecue sauce with andouille sausage, peppers, onions and celery served over a plank of fried jalapeno grits. Soak up of every morsel of goodness with a freshly made biscuit. For a Southwestern play on a bagel and lox, sample the citrus-cured salmon tostada. The team cures the citrus salmon in-house and presents it with chipotle cream cheese, fresh radish, avocado and lime crema on a crispy corn tostada. This bright and flavorful dish arrives garnished with cilantro. Alongside the new menu items are the chicken and red velvet waffles, a crowd-pleaser at Food + Beer. After testing out various recipes, the team landed on the current red velvet Belgian waffle which comes with cream cheese icing, Sriracha syrup and pecans, as well as scratch-fried chicken.

Along with your meal, sip on a mimosa flight or go all out at the bottomless mimosa bar, available on Sundays from 10am to 3pm. Rumor has it that the garnish bar even includes gummy bears. Whether you’re looking to chow down on something spicy or catch up with friends over drinks, Food + Beer’s new brunch menu delivers big flavor and fun.

Food + Beer; Gulf Gate: 6528 Superior Ave., Sarasota, 941-952-3361; Sarasota: 5446 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota, 941-444-7823; Bradenton: 4808 14th St. W, Bradenton, 941-751-2675, Venice: 301 Tamiami Trl S; Rosemary District 1525 4th St. Unit B Sarasota and Lakeland: 3615 S Florida Ave. Suite 1350, Lakeland, eatfooddrinkbeer.com. 

Pictured: The delectable yet elegant blueberry muffin French toast at Food and Beer. Photo by Cassi Checklick.

Food and Beer

[University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee Campu]  29th Annual "Brunch on the Bay"

USF Sarasota-Manatee's Brunch on the Bay, the campus’s annual marquee fundraiser, returns on Nov. 5. Attendees will enjoy delicious cuisine from dozens of local restaurants and caterers, with proceeds supporting student scholarships and campus initiatives. The event will take place against an exciting backdrop: The construction site for a new student center and residence hall set to open in fall 2024. 

Sunday, Nov. 5 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. USF Sarasota-Manatee Campus

Click here to purchase tickets.

[The Dish]  Michael's On East Announces Chef Ray Lajoie on the lineup for Celebrity Chef Tour Dinner at Pop's Sunset Grill

Michael's on East Executive Pastry Chef, Ray Lajoie, is back in stardom creating his famed desserts as the finale for the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour Dinner on Thursday, November 2, 2023 at Pop’s Sunset Grill in Nokomis, FL. Along with local renowned chefs, the lineup also includes Chef Jonathon Sawyer from Chicago & Chef Britt Riscigno from New Gretna, NJ. Along with Chef Ray is a best-of-the-best lineup of featured James Beard Award-winning Chefs and Food Network Champions, each showing off their talents in the 6-course wine-paired dinner extravaganza. As an added bonus, the dinner benefits both the Unbroken Foundation & Friends of Hawaii Charities, Inc. The Unbroken Foundation’s mission is to create conditions for professional medical, rehabilitation, psychological help & comprehensive treatment of patients in Ukraine. Rachael Ray, TV Personality and Chef, is an Ambassador for the foundation. The Friends of Hawaii Charities provide support for local not-for-profit programs that serve and benefit Hawaii’s women, children, elderly & impoverished. Known as a local Sarasota celebrity, Ray Lajoie's culinary career stemmed from his childhood growing up in New England surrounded by rustic farms & bountiful orchards. He received his formal education from Southern Maine Technical College and then pursued his passion for creating pastries & desserts for renowned establishments such as Marriott Portland Hotel, Mattison’s & Michael’s On East Restaurant. Chef Ray also worked at The Lobster Pot in Provincetown, MA for over 14 years, and a chapter in their own cookbook is devoted to him! For over three decades, he has been a well-known figure in Sarasota and has appeared on numerous segments of ABC’s SunCoast View, magazine articles & received numerous accolades for his award-winning desserts. For Celebrity Chef Dinner tickets, please visit the website for more information: https://www.popssunsetgrill.com/ccd-nov2023/. For more information on tasting Chef Ray’s famous desserts visit Michael’s On East Restaurant website to make your reservation today: https://bestfood.com/. 

[The Dish]  The Original Wolfie's Deli and The Rascal House: A Schmear of Deli Magic in Sarasota

Hold on to your kishkas, because the Suncoast is in for a real treat! The Original Wolfie's Deli and Wolfie Cohen’s Rascal House are making their grand entrances into the vibrant Rosemary District in Sarasota, Florida, on Thursday, November 2nd. Located at 1420 Boulevard of the Arts, the establishments combine the best of Broadway style with traditional deli charm to create a dining experience like no other – every customer will feel like a star. Long-time deli connoisseur and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Sol Shenker curates a medley of favorites from the country’s most historic delis, including South Florida’s renowned Wolfie’s, Pumpernik’s and the Rascal House (where Shenker worked years ago), Miami’s Epicure Market and Southern California’s Jerry’s Famous Deli. To kick things off, legendary singer and comedian Dani Luv, a regular on the stage of the iconic Sammy's Roumanian in New York, will be performing from November 2 to 4 in the evenings and during Saturday and Sunday brunch. Luv will bring out the classics, including his rendition of “Casablanca,” crooning “a bris is just a bris,” along with favorites from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Neil Diamond, and Billy Joel. Wolfie’s is not just a restaurant; it's a meeting place for the Sarasota mishpucheh. Whether you're looking to nosh with family, grab a quick bite with friends or enjoy specialty cocktails, fine wines and locally crafted beers, The Original Wolfie's Deli and the Rascal House has you covered seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The restaurant offers full-table service for breakfast, lunch and dinner, making sure every occasion is a treat. With The Original Wolfie’s and Wolfie Cohen’s Rascal House up and running, take-out orders and grab-and-go delights will be available at the restaurant, while The Box Office down the street will serve as the establishments’ catering hub. For hours, online ordering, catering and general information, please visit www.originalwolfies.com or call 941-312-4072.


Photo by by Peter Acker.

[The Dish]  Hooters of Sarasota 35th Anniversary Party on November 2

Mark your calendars! Hooters of Sarasota is celebrating their 35th Anniversary with a party on Thursday, November 2 from 3pm to 7pm. All day deals include 20 wings for $20 and $2 domestics. Plus Sarasota Hooters is offering a giveaway of free wings for a year to one lucky winner during the party. In addition, all Sarasota Hooters Girls Alum are invited to a free meal during the party in celebration of the 35th anniversary. The event will also feature a calendar signing by the Sarasota Hooters Girls featured in the 2024 Hooters Calendar including “Miss January” Sarah Magda and “Miss June” Miya Vidales. This is the first time two employees from the same store have been selected as Feature Months in the Hooters Calendar. Both Magda and Vidales work at Sarasota Hooters. Additional local calendar girls who will be at the Sarasota Anniversary Calendar signing are “Miss November” Grace Burchett who works at Naples Hooters and “December 2023 Feature” Alannah Friedman who works at Bradenton Hooters. The calendar signing will take place at 6pm. Since 1988, Sarasota Hooters continues to be very active in the community. They assist numerous organizations including Sarasota Fire Department, Hope Family Services, Special Olympics Florida, Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, Suncoast Charities for Children and additional local charities. 

[Recognition]  Gecko's Hospitality Group Employees Recognized for Service Excellence

Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association’s inaugural ROSE (Recognition of Service Excellence) Awards event took place at the Westin Sarasota, and several Gecko’s Hospitality Group and other local hospitality employees were recognized for the prestigious awards. The ROSE Awards recognize the very best front line and service individuals in the hospitality industry who exemplify dependability, passion for their job, leadership as a role model to peers and commitment to customer service. Recognized from the Gecko’s Grill & Pub family of restaurants were: Victoria Garcia-Sanchez, Michelle Sarkis, Janie Wolfe, and Danielle Berry and from the Red Barn Bar, Kathy Martin. ROSE awardees were: Luis Valenzuela, Embassy Suites Sarasota; Marvin Palacios, The Resort and Longboat Key Club; Molly Glen, Anna Maria Oyster Bar Landside; Raymond Alexander, Michaels Wine Cellar; Danielle Berry, Gecko's Hospitality Group; David Gunn, The Westin Sarasota. ROSE Award nominees included the following categories: Hotels: Front desk, housekeeping, valet, bellmen, administrative assistant, security, maintenance, engineers. Restaurants: Chef, cook, kitchen staff, hostesses, bartenders, servers. Mike Quillen, GHG co-owner with Mike Gowan, attended the event and said, “This is one of the most affirming events in our industry, being able to publicly recognize the many contributions of the amazing hospitality professionals that work in our restaurants every day. Many of our employees have been part of our work family for decades, including three-generational family, so we are so proud to work alongside of them and very pleased to see that the judges recognized them with these richly deserved awards.” 

[SOON]  FOOD: Forks and Corks Food and Wine Festival , January 25 – January 29, Various times
The 2024 Forks and Corks Food and Wine Festival, hosted by the Sarasota Manatee Originals, will take place January 25 to 29. Grand Tasting tickets go on sale in October. A full five day slate of food and wine themed fun is planned, including the University Master Classes, wine dinners at area restaurants, wine shop tasting events, a trade tasting and the much anticipated Grand Tasting at The Ringling Museum of Art. Due to the unprecedented demand for tickets, ticket sales for The Grand Tasting launch on two consecutive Tuesdays: On October 10 at 9 a.m. there is a presale of the VIP and Early Access tickets and on October 17 at 7 p.m. General Admission tickets will be available and historically have sold out in a matter of minutes. All Forks and Corks Grand Tasting tickets will be available online only. For more information, please visit www.eatlikealocal.com.
[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Feast Upon the Fields , December 3, 12:30pm
Join us for an unforgettable afternoon at the beautiful and conserved Myakka Headwaters Preserve. Located where seven creeks converge to form the mighty Myakka River, our Myakka Headwaters Preserve is a breathtaking slice of natural Florida. The property contains numerous diverse landscapes, including floodplain forests, marshland, longleaf pine flatwoods, and oak hammocks. Fields of wildflowers host pollinators of all shapes and sizes, and fern-lined streambanks rise just a foot or two above the clear-flowing water, which supports submerged aquatic vegetation unable to grow in the sunlight-blocked blackwaters found elsewhere in the Myakka River. Experience this stunning landscape firsthand at our eighth annual farm-to-table luncheon, Feast Upon the Fields. Featuring a one-of-a-kind menu by Chef Paul Mattison, this ticketed event will sell out quickly. Early reservations are strongly recommended. conservationfoundation.com.
[SOON]  GALLERY: Artscape Wellen Park , November 11, 2-10pm

Join Wellen Park on Nov. 11 from 2 to 10 p.m. for its first celebration of visual and performing arts. Downtown Wellen will come alive with the sounds and visions of local artists. Experience visual arts exhibitions, mesmerizing public art, an artist marketplace, immersive family experiences, unforgettable live musical performances, and so much more. For more information on Artscape Wellen Park, visit wellenpark.com/events/artscapewellenpark.

[SOON]  FOOD: Suncoast Largest Food Truck Festival 4.0 at UTC , November 11, 12-9pm
Featuring over 70 Food Vendors, and coinciding with the Grand Arrival of Santa Parade held at UTC. 140 University Town Center Dr., Sarasota.
[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: UF/IFAS Farm City Week Agricultural Tour , November 9, n/a

Join UF/IFAS Extension Manatee County for the 32nd annual Farm City Week Agricultural Tour in Manatee County. The event is a day-long, chartered bus tour taking place Thursday, November 9. Each year, Farm City Week explores a new theme prevalent in agriculture. This year, attendees have the privilege of seeing first-hand how Manatee County agricultural productions are leading Innovations in Agriculture. Each tour stop explores different facets of the agriculture industry that have their own unique perspective on what innovation means for their operation. Learn more about how local Manatee County agricultural operations are using the latest innovations from technology to ideology, to improve their business, the local economy, and our environment on the 32nd annual Farm City Week Agricultural Tour. The tour is $75 per person plus Eventbrite fees and includes transportation, lunch, water and snacks, and entry to each location. Register at 2023fcwagriculturaltour.eventbrite.com.

[SOON]  GALA: Brunch on the Bay at USF Sarasota Manatee , November 5, 11:30 am to 1:30 pm

Tickets are on sale for Brunch on the Bay, the annual marquee fundraiser for the USF Sarasota Manatee campus, which returns on Nov. 5. Attendees will enjoy culinary delights from local restaurants and caterers, and get a sneak peek at a major campus expansion project, a new student center and residence hall set to open in the fall of 2024. Proceeds from the 2023 Brunch on the Bay will support student scholarships and campus initiatives. Brunch on the Bay will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 5, on the USF Sarasota Manatee campus, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Visit sarasotamanatee.usf.edu/brunch for ticket and sponsorship information.

[SOON]  GALA: Resilient Retreat Farm to Table , November 5, 4 pm

Please join us for the annual Resilient Retreat Farm to Table dining experience on Sunday, November 5, 2023 at 4:00 pm. The funds raised at the event are critical to Resilient Retreat to continue to serve survivors of trauma and first responders and helping professionals. Come immerse yourself among the majestic oaks at 84 acres of conservation land on the retreat. In true farm to table fashion, our local chefs will craft a tasting menu featuring the very best local seasonal foods. Dine under the stars nestled among the beautiful live oaks while experiencing al fresco farm to table dining. Farm to Table proceeds will benefit the Resilient Retreat mission to empower survivors of trauma to thrive through self care and community. Visit https://givebutter.com/farmtotable2023 for more information and to purchase tickets.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Eric Vincent at So French Cafe , November 1, 6pm

Globe-trotting French singer-songwriter, Eric Vincent will be stopping in Sarasota on his farewell USA tour. He will be performing at So French Café on November 1st.
Tickets $20 online, $25 at the door. Get your tickets early as seating is limited. Doors open at 6pm, come early so you can sample a delicious menu from the restaurant before the concert. There will not be food service during the concert. Cash bar and restaurant service available. Tickets are available by phone 941-955-0700.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Kids in Costumes Eat Free at Hooters on Halloween , October 31

Children wearing their Halloween costume at any of the South Florida Hooters restaurants on Tuesday, October 31 will receive a free kids meal. Kids meal choices include grilled cheese, wings, boneless wings, burger sliders and mac & cheese. Kids meals include a side and beverage. Deal is for children 10 and under wearing a Halloween costume on October 31. One free kids meal per paying adult, for dine in only. For more information, visit hootersflorida.com.

[SOON]  FOOD: School of Hospitality and Tourism Management All-Inclusive Dining Event , October 17 – November 14, 6-8pm

The public is invited to enjoy an elegant night out at the Powel Crosley Estate, where Sarasota-Manatee students will deliver an unforgettable hospitality experience from 6 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 17. The event promises to delight guests with a gourmet spread, including risotto, salmon, steak, dessert and an opportunity to customize their own “potato martini” with sautéed Spanish onions, roasted garlic confit, apple smoked bacon and other savory toppings. A second dinner will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 14 at the same location. The semi-annual dinner series is an opportunity for students in the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management to gain hands-on experience in designing, preparing and executing an all-inclusive dining event. “This will be a dynamic learning experience for all of them,” said Joe Askren, a professor of instruction in the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, who, along with his colleague Angad Dang, will assist the students throughout the night. “We look forward to showcasing our students’ skills at these events.” Visit usf.to/taste to purchase tickets.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Sarasota Cars and Coffee at University Town Center , March 11 – December 9, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

This monthly gathering of car enthusiasts brings together automobile lovers from every walk of life, not to mention a wide array of spectacular cars. Bring your own vehicle (all makes and models are welcome) to show off, or check out the hundreds of cars on display. Each month, the event sponsors a different charity, and attendees are encouraged to donate $10 to benefit the charity. The event, occuring on the second Sunday of each month, will feature live music, complimentary coffee and more. To learn more, visit facebook.com/carsandcoffee941. Sarasota Cars and Coffee, The West District at University Town Center near Ford’s Garage, 295 N. Cattlemen Rd., Sarasota.

[SOON]  FOOD: Siesta Key Rum Distillery Tours , September 2 – September 30, Various times

Siesta Key Rum runs free year-round tours for guests to learn the story of the craft distillery, the awards they have won and the secret to how they make their rums taste so good. During our 30-45 minute tour we will discuss the following topics: history of Siesta Key Rum, an overview of the awards our small company has won, what makes our rums taste so good, the rum-making process from mashing and fermentation to distillation, barrel aging and bottling of our rums. After the tour, we welcome you to sample a freshly made Siesta Key Rum cocktail, stock up on your favorite rums and browse our gift shop. 2212 Industrial Blvd., Sarasota.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Lets Connect at Oscura in Old Manatee , August 31 – December 26, 8:30-10am

Connect with local business owners at every Thursday at Oscura. Lets Connect is a community of collaborative business professionals from the Manatee and Sarasota County areas. RSVP on Eventbrite to attend, admission is free.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Women's Resource Center You Are Worthy Series , September 14 – November 9, 6-8pm

The Women’s Resource Center presents “You Are Worthy,” an eight-week series from September 14th through November 9th moderated by Chris Florand and Denise Whalin. This in-person series is part of the Women’s Resource Center’s life enrichment programs. The program is $25 for all sessions and takes place at WRC’s Sarasota office at 340 S. Tuttle Ave. To register, please call 941-256-9721 or visit mywrc.org/youareworthy. This program meets weekly on Thursdays from 6-8pm, with each session focusing on developing self-awareness skills, the building block where real personal growth and power to change lives starts.

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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