fast n fresh 17 16 BFast N Fresh Lesley and Mike Harb OwnersFast N Fresh Logo 4C

Fresh, flavor-packed and intricately crafted, the Chicken Satay and Spicy Thai Kale Salad from Fast N Fresh was an instant attention getter at Forks & Corks 2016.  

“Always a crowd favorite, the dish is a delicious representation of just how tasty salad can be,” says restaurateur Lesley Harb. “A touch of sweet with a little heat—with exotic galangal and lemongrass—this one is always a hit.” 


For the Chicken Satay:
1 pound chicken breast, cut into 1-inch-wide strips
2 tablespoons Penzeys Sate Seasoning
2 tablespoons canola oil
Toss the chicken strips, seasoning and oil in a bowl, and coat. Grill and skewer.
For the Spicy Thai Kale Salad:
1 head Romaine lettuce, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 ounces kale, torn into small pieces
¼ head purple cabbage, cut into thin strips
2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
1 large red pepper, cut into thin strips
2 green onions, cut crosswise into thin rings (white and light green parts only)
4 ounces crispy wonton strips
4 ounces crushed peanuts
2 ounces toasted sesame seeds
6-8 ounces spicy Thai peanut dressing (see recipe below)
Toss the ingredients in a large bowl. Reserve some peanuts, sesame seeds and wontons to use as garnish on top of the dressing.  
For the Spicy Thai Peanut Dressing:
½ cup smooth peanut butter
4 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
6 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
4 tablespoons honey
4 garlic gloves, roughly chopped
5 tablespoons sugar
1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Place the ingredients in a blender and mix. Refrigerate the mixture until it is ready to serve with the salad and skewers.


Fast N Fresh | 32 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota, (941) 702-2900 | 8105 Cooper Creek Boulevard, University Park, (941) 315-4500 | 8138 Lakewood Main St., Bradenton, (941) 462-2650 |

Author:  Abby Weingarten

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Sandbar GTSandbar Ed Chiles Proprietor

Imbued with local and artisanal ingredients, the Hammer Sausage Sandwich from The Sandbar Restaurant was a primo dish at Forks & Corks 2016.

“The Hamery (artisan hams) is just one of the many partners we work with to provide best-of-class products to our guests,” says restaurateur Ed Chiles. “My wife, Tina, and I discovered The Hamery in Murfreesboro, Tenn. on one of our trips. They serve the best sausage I have ever tasted, so I had to have it on our menus.”

Whipped up by Sandbar chef Ian Fairweather, the sandwich is paired with Beagle Bay Organics sauerkraut (made with cabbage from Chiles’ Gamble Creek Farm in Parrish).


4 ounces Hamery sausage, cut down the middle so it lays flat
1 ounce ricotta cheese
1 ounce Spanish onion, sliced
1 ounce red pepper, sliced
4 ounces beer of choice
½ ounce olive oil
½ ounce garlic
1 Brioche bun
12 ounces more beer, for pairing
In a hot pan, sear the sausage for about 2 minutes on each side, and put it in a 350-degree oven to finish (about 5 minutes). When the sausage is cooked all the way through, take it out of the oven and let it rest. Using the same pan, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, onions and peppers, and sauté them over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the beer and let it reduce until it coats the onions and peppers. On the toasted or steamed brioche bun, spread the cheese. Add the onion, pepper mixture and sausage, and put it all on the top of the bun. Open the 12-ounce beer and enjoy it with the dish.

The Sandbar Restaurant |100 Spring Ave., Anna Maria | 941-778-0444 |

Author:  Abby Weingarten

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Bete Noir for LD storyMiles MadfishGrillMadfish

The Bete Noir—Madfish Grill’s flourless chocolate torte—is as popular at Forks & Corks each year as it is daily at the Sarasota restaurant.

According to Madfish’s general manager, Ben Gough, the eatery has been serving the gluten-free dessert for 12 years and has received continual raves.

“It’s a guest favorite and we chose to serve it again this year at Forks & Corks because of its popularity,” Gough says. “As it turns out, red wine and chocolate are soul mates.”

The only challenge every year is making enough of the chocolate torte to satisfy the massive demand. “In 2015, we ran out in three hours,” Gough says. “This year, we doubled down and almost made it to the end.”


18 ounces bittersweet chocolate
¾ cup water
2 cups sugar
8 egg yolks
1½ cups butter (3 sticks)
Place the chocolate and butter in a large bowl. Bring 1½ cups sugar and water to a boil for 1 minute. Pour the resulting simple syrup over the chocolate and butter, and stir it until it is smooth. Ribbon the egg yolks with the remaining ½ cup sugar and fold it into the chocolate mixture with a whip. Bake the dessert in a parchment-lined pan set in a water bath at 375 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes, until it is set. Chill before cutting.

Madfish Grill  | 4059 Cattlemen Road, Sarasota | 377-3474 |

Author:  Abby Weingarten

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 tsunami 14 60 SMTsunami Samuel Ray OwnerTsunami Logo SM

It was a three-for-one showing at Forks & Corks for Tsunami this year, with a trio of dishes that made a collective splash.
One was the Ahi Tuna Tower with avocado, rice, spicy mayonnaise and eel sauce. “All the fresh, raw ingredients are skillfully stacked into one savory bite,” Tsunami chef/owner Samuel Ray says about the dish. Then, there were the Emerald Squares with asparagus, cucumber and avocado. And finally, patrons adored the tempura-battered Stuffed Shrimp with crabmeat, cream cheese and sweet chili sauce. “We love taking the Stuffed Shrimp to events because it is such a seamless fusion of Asian and American cuisines,” Ray says. 
12 frozen jumbo shrimp
1 cup shredded crab 
½ cup cream cheese
1/8 cup sesame oil 
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup flour
1½ cups water
Oil for frying
Start by preparing the shrimp stuffing. In a shallow bowl, combine the shredded crab, cream cheese and sesame oil. Portion the crab mixture into 1/8-cup pieces, top the mixture with shrimp, and press. Cover the dish and let it cool for at least 4 hours. Add the oil to a large frying pan and set the burner to medium-high heat. Whisk the flour and water in a separate small bowl. Roll the shrimp in the batter and carefully place each shrimp in hot oil. Cook the shrimp in the hot oil for about 4 minutes, let each one cool, and serve with sweet chili sauce.

Tsunami Sushi & Hibachi Grill |100 Central Ave. #1022 | Sarasota | 941-366-1033 |

Author:  Abby Weingarten

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LDS2 Amob OystersAMOB John Horne PresidentAnn Maria Oyster Bar Color

Grandma Georgie’s Grilled Chipotle Oysters—the Anna Maria Oyster Bar (AMOB) chosen dish for Forks & Corks 2016—has a 30-year history.

According to John Horne, the restaurateur/chef behind the four AMOB locations:

“The recipe goes back to my grandmother Georgie, who was my adopted grandmother from Memphis, Tenn. About 30 years ago, the sweetest little old lady came into the restaurant I was working in and we met. She kind of adopted me and I adopted her.”

The two corresponded for decades. They sent birthday and Christmas cards. Georgie took Horne to Graceland. One night, they went out to dinner together in Memphis.

“We walked into this oyster bar and they were cooking these incredible oysters,” Horne recalls. “We ordered six and we asked what was in them. They gave us the ingredients. We brought the recipe home and tried it out. That’s how it all started.”


2 pounds salted butter, softened
1/3 cup fresh garlic, minced
1/3 cup fresh curly parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3½ ounces chipotle pepper/sauce puree
12 freshly shucked oysters
6 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
Mix the first four ingredients in an electric mixer. In a blender, puree a 7-ounce can of chipotle peppers with the sauce, and then strain the mixture thoroughly. Use 3½ ounces of the pepper mixture, blend it with the butter mixture and set it aside. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Shuck the oysters carefully and leave them in the deep sides of the shells. Arrange the oysters with 1 teaspoon of the chipotle butter and a heavy dusting of grated Parmesan cheese. Place the oysters in the oven and bake (or grill) them until the cheese and butter start to bubble (about 5 to 7 minutes). Remove and serve immediately.

Anna Maria Oyster Bar Landside |6906 14th St. W. | Bradenton | (941) 758-7880 |

Author:  Abby Weingarten


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