seafood shack 4 24smallSeafoodShack Gerard Jesse chefSEAFOOD SHACK LOGO FINAL KO

Shucking oysters was the activity du jour at Forks & Corks 2016 for the Seafood Shack staff.

The restaurant’s executive chef Gerard Jesse and sous chef Cat Rodeheaver joined forces with Justin Stang from Washington’s Hama Hama Company for the event.

“We shucked more than 2,500 freshly harvested Hama Hama oysters for the guests,” Jesse says. “So I wanted to share three of my favorite sauces for fresh-shucked oysters.”  


3 dozen oysters, opened and on the half shell
For the Mignonette:
½ cup minced shallots 
¼ cup white vinegar
¼ cup rice vinegar
1¼ teaspoons finely crushed peppercorns
Pinch brown sugar
Mix the ingredients and allow the mixture to sit for at least 1 hour (so the shallots can marinate) before serving.
For the Kicked-Up Cocktail Sauce:
¼ cup ketchup
½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce
2 tablespoons grated fresh horseradish
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Stir the ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill.
For the Asian Dipping Sauce:
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon finely minced scallions
1½ teaspoons light soy sauce
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
Combine the ingredients and allow them to marinate for 1 hour.
The Seafood Shack Marina, Bar & Grill | 4110 127th St. W., Cortez | 941-794-1235 |
Author: Abby Weingarten
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euphemia haye 1 20 smallEuphemia Haye Ray Chef DArcy Arpke OwnersEuphemia Haye

Serving a savory cheesecake at Forks & Corks 2016 was a bit of a gamble for Euphemia Haye, admits executive chef/restaurateur Ray Arpke.

“I love my savory cheesecake but it is a hard sell,” he says. “People don’t usually think of cheesecake as savory. It’s almost like Parmesan, Gorgonzola and cheesecake shouldn’t be in the same sentence.”

But the risk taking worked out in Arpke’s favor when the crowd at the January event adored the unorthodox dish.

“Everyone who is adventurous enough to try the cheesecake loves it,” Arpke says.


For the breadcrumb mix crust:
1½ cups Ritz cracker crumbs
⅓ cup clarified butter
Mix the breadcrumbs and butter together. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch spring form pan.
For the filling:
1 pound cream cheese (at room temperature)
1 pound ricotta cheese (at room temperature)
¼ teaspoon white pepper
4 whole eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ cup Gorgonzola crumbles
In a food processor, blend the cream cheese, ricotta, salt, and cayenne and white pepper, for 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape the bowl down a minimum of 3 times. With the processor still running, add the eggs one at a time, allowing 30 to 40 seconds between additions. When all eggs are added, process for another 2 to 3 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally. Add the Parmesan and pulse until it is distributed into the batter evenly. Pour the batter into a cracker-crumb-lined pan. Top evenly with Gorgonzola crumbles. Bake the cheesecake in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Let the dish cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
For the topping:
⅔ cup sour cream
½ cup sliced green onion tops
8 ounces diced bacon
Fry the bacon until it is crisp. Drain the bacon thoroughly, place it on a paper towel, and cool it to room temperature.
For full cheesecake assembly:
After the cheesecake cools, spread the sour cream evenly over the top. Sprinkle the green onion tops and bacon evenly over the sour cream, and gently press the sprinkled ingredients down. Run a sharp knife around the outside edge of the cheesecake. Carefully remove the spring form pan. Cut the cheesecake into 8 to 12 slices and serve warm.

Euphemia Haye | 5540 Gulf of Mexico Dr., Longboat Key | 941-383-3633 |

Author: Abby Weingarten

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Local Dish Season 2 AHarrys Continental Kitchens Lynn Harry Christensen Chef OwnerHarrys 1

Harry’s Cheese Torta—a blend of layered chèvre cheese, pesto, sundried tomatoes and pine nuts—was a savory smash at Forks & Corks 2016.

The dish continues to intrigue guests daily at Harry’s Continental Kitchens on Longboat Key.

“This is one of our most popular catering items. We also sell it in our deli to go,” says restaurateur Harry Christensen. “Our customers always rave about it.


Ingredients for the cheese:
3 ounces goat cheese
3 ounces cream cheese
1 ounce pesto (see recipe below)
1 ounce half and half
¼ ounce sundried tomato, diced
¼ ounce toasted pine nuts
Ingredients for the pesto:
1 ounce parsley
2 ounces basil
1/3 ounce garlic
1/3 ounce pine nuts
½ ounce Parmesan cheese
3 ounces olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Blend the goat and cream cheeses with the half and half in a mixer. Put the cheese mixture into a pastry bag and pipe it into a 4-inch-diameter circle on a platter. Spread the pesto evenly on top of the cheese. Sprinkle the sundried tomato and pine nuts on top of the pesto. Pipe another layer of cheese on top of that. Spread the pesto evenly on top again. Garnish with more tomatoes and pine nuts. Serve with melba toast or crackers.

Harry’s Continental Kitchens | 525 Saint Judes Dr., Longboat Key | 941-383-0777 |

Author: Abby Weingarten

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michaels on east 18 29 smallMichaels On East Phil Mancini Michael Klauber Co Proprietorsmoe vert large

For years, the flank steak at Michael’s On East has made the rounds at area culinary events and generated glowing feedback. At Forks & Corks 2016, the dish proved its potential for longevity once again.

“We’ve served new recipes from time to time at festivals, which are also well-received, but the area’s food scene continues to request our sesame and garlic marinated flank steak,” says Michael's On East co-proprietor Phil Mancini. “It is an aromatic palate- and crowd-pleaser. It's probably one of the simplest recipes we've ever shared but certainly a favorite.”


For the marinade:
2 cups teriyaki sauce
2 ounces sesame oil
2 ounces brown sugar 
2 ounces honey
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon ground black pepper 
Marinate the flank steak at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours and grill to desired temperature (Michael's On East Catering Chef Sean Berryman recommends medium rare).
For the horseradish cream sauce:
2 cups mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
¾ cup ground horseradish 
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons Cholula Hot Sauce 
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Whisk together all of the ingredients and serve the dish immediately. 

Michael’s On East | 1212 East Ave. S., Sarasota | 941-366-0007 | 

Author: Abby Weingarten

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white horse pub 6 11 smallWhite Horse Bob Kirscher owner hostWhite Horse Pub        

Bread pudding can be a hit-or-miss dessert, depending on the baker. But at The White Horse Pub in Sarasota, the confection is so irresistible it often converts skeptics. This universal appeal inspired restaurateur Bob Kirscher to serve the pudding at Forks & Corks 2016.

“Our signature dessert is our British bread pudding, which has a unique, creamy cinnamon flavor. It is not too sweet and the brandy and caramel glaze adds a touch of richness to it,” Kirscher says. “Many guests at Forks & Corks that were not usually enthused by bread pudding loved our product, and they returned for seconds and thirds.”


2 loaves white bread
2 loaves wheat or multigrain bread
1 gallon whole milk
1 pound brown sugar
4 cups sour cream
2 ounces cinnamon
Mix the ingredients thoroughly, add the mixture to a long greased pan and cover with foil. Bake the dish for 45 to 60 minutes at 325 degrees until the last 15 minutes. Serve with a caramel and brandy sauce.

The White Horse Pub | 6240 N. Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota | 941-358-1353 |

Author: Abby Weingarten

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