Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Southwest Florida Chapter American Culinary Federation June 2011 Meeting

On Monday, June 20th, 2011, the ACF Southwest Chapter was warmly welcomed by Heritage Palms Golf and Country Club on 6 Mile Cypress, serving crab Rangoon, beef satay and other temptations.
     Rosemarie and Rainer Drygala met and greeted all at the door, with buckets of son Reiner Drygala's luscious home grown red, orange and green mangoes!
Chef Reiner Drygala
 Reiner has stepped up from being Bell Tower Shoppes' Bistro 41's Executive Chef to now the Director of service and culinary arts/general manager.(No, it's not yet "easy street" for Reiner; he has more responsibility and puts in more time than before!) Heath Higginbotham, Bistro’s executive sous chef, is now Executive Chef.  Heath has also been sous chef at Naples Ritz-Carlton Beach Resort, Cru, and Bacchus.Congratulations to both chefs! As an aside, Bistro 41's summer nightly 4-7 pm  "41 Special" is a steal of a deal, offering two 3 course dinners with wine for a total of only $41!

Chairman Chris Cassel and President Craig Panneton greeted everyone and encouraged all to join the ACF.
CMC Peter Timmins, Chef Panneton, CEC  Queisser
Certified Master Chef Peter Timmins, Executive Chef  at The Gasparilla Inn and Club, raised the bar for culinarians in SW Florida, offering to take up to 3 culinary apprentices a year at the Gasparilla Inn, the legendary Florida 5 star destination for ~100 years. This clearly raises the SW Florida ACF Chapter from any thought of being more of a social club to a clear leader in culinary education. With the cost of some formal culinary educations well over $50, 000, this helps aspiring culinarians attain a superb education without breaking the bank. It also raises the bar for diners in experiencing and supporting top quality cuisine. I look forward to seeing who else will assist in the win-win apprenticeship program. I have had several superb meals at The Gasparilla Inn, where Chef Timmins has created a magnet of a Michelin one to two star quality destination.  There are only some 65 US chefs who have earned the Certified Master Chef designation. 
The 6th Annual Gasparilla Inn Food and Wine Weekend is scheduled for January 13-15, 2012-don't miss this! The Inn sells out for the stellar Thanksgiving and Christmas weeks, so book now.

Chefs and culinary vendors offered a taste of their wares.
 Chef Josh Huff served superbly seared scallops, made on an inch sheet of hot steel set on bricks, heated by two butane stoves. Clever and highly effective!

Todd Johnson of Artisan Bread Bakery brought a wide variety of his hand made breads. These taste better and last longer because of natural ingredients, using the old fashioned wild yeasts, incorporating more water for moistness, and letting the dough leisurely double in size before punching down.
Many commercial bakeries use chemical additives to cheat, and you can taste the difference! 931-3939,  113 Lindbergh Blvd, #115, Ft. Myers

Angie Koher, district manager of Opici Wines did a great demonstration of how food and wine interact with each other, matching a great pair of Opici wines with carefully prepared tasting plates.
 The C. H Beres Riesling was a home run with just the 3 different tasting treats, one could drink it with so many different foods, and have it never taste the same-that is a fun way to really see if a wine is best paired with a dish.
The Lorinon Rioja was no sleeper either, and both were well highlighted with the tasting plate. Opici imports a wide variety of wines from Spain, South Africa, Chile, Italy, France, Argentina and the USA.

Tasting Plate

Happy Campers!
Chocolatier Justin Schaffer wowed people with the superb quality of his Irresistible Confections chocolates, letting all savor a half dozen delights. He has perhaps fifty different flavors to choose from, with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cherry, Creme Brulee, Guiness beer, Key Lime, and a host of different fruits.
He's offering one day to 5 day long Chocolate Summer Camp, 9:30 am to 3 pm, for kids, roughly 7-14 years old, to actually  make many  chocolate creations from scratch-wish I could sign up!  No prior cooking skills are needed! Best part-kids take superb chocolates home to the parents!8890 Salrose Lane,Fort Myers, 425-2606

Jerome Sanchez of Sandy Butler Market and Restaurant brought delicious sea salts from around the world and Italian dried pastas.

Stop in at this gourmet's shopping delight  and buy some of these, add fresh produce, meats and cook up a quick healthy meal.  17650 San Carlos Blvd,  Ft Myers, 482-6765

Chef Leone, of Cape Coral's well known Leone's Authentic Italian and Leone Italian Foods, cooked delicious natural casing Italian sausages, and passed them around. Delicious!
Chef Leone Exposes  Steaming Sausages
He makes a dozen different sausages, meatballs, and has a full deli and restaurant offerings. He's located at 916 SE 14th Ave, Cape Coral, 458-0013.

Other solid contributors included Lisa Leoni of Sysco Foods, Max K of Chenney Brothers,
Cheney Foods
 Grand Western's premium steaks and chops, and James W of Chef's Warehouse.
Chef's Warehouse
Swiss Chalet Fine Foods

Sponsor Tony Pica and New ACF Member Chef Marbin Avilez
Certified Executive Chef Quentin Queisser is the Chapter's webmaster, and welcomes sponsors to support the new website.


axiomaticimages said...

Dr. Seligman,

It would be nice if you could make the public aware of these events you write about so that perhaps, if appropriate, we could attend them. Blogography is secondary to being there.


Ivan Seligman said...

Contact the ACF chefs mentioned on the blog, and see what works on an indidual basis. Who knows, you might even join as a non-chef member!

I get 200-450 "hits" a day on my blog as readers check out postings.

Problem is, People these days rarely RSVP, so putting it out there for the public could easily bring more people to a meeting than the food and seating could handle.