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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 enRich Rich Knowles chef ownerLD enRich Bistro S2EnRich

Rich Knowles, the chef/owner of enRich Bistro in Bradenton, is fast becoming known for one grab-and-go dish that is a surefire hit at festivals like Forks & Corks: his savory Thai pork tacos.

“It combines the Asian flavors I love and the best braised pork, in my opinion,” Knowles says. “People remember it. They ask for it. So, now, it’s kind of becoming our thing. You want your dish to stand out at big events, and this one definitely does.”

Handheld, vibrantly colored, and imbued with a mix of crunchy and creamy textures, the tacos cover every flavor base and always incur stellar feedback.


For the slow-braised pork:
1 3-4 pound pork butt
1/3 cup salt
2 tablespoons ground cumin
½ gallon mojo sauce
5 bay leaves
3 tablespoons garlic powder
For the Thai slaw dressing:
2/3 cup teriyaki sauce
1 cup Mae Ploy sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon fish sauce
¼ cup Mirin
1 lime, juiced
1 lemon, juiced
½ bunch cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons Yuzu extract
½ cup mayonnaise
Romaine lettuce
Napa red cabbage
Red onion
Bell pepper


For the pork, add water if needed and braise, covered, for 4 to 6 hours at 275 degrees. For the slaw, chiffonade the vegetables and toss with the combined liquid ingredients. Place the pork and slaw in a warm flour tortilla, and drizzle with the slaw sauce.

enRich Bistro: 5629 Manatee Ave. W | Bradenton | 941-792-0990 |

Author:  Abby Weingarten

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The Lobster Pot Medeiros Family OwnersIt’s not difficult to find a seafood restaurant in the Gulf Coast area: you could toss out a fishing line and hit a dozen places that serve up delicious fresh Florida catch. But in order to find the best of our local seafood showcased alongside authentic New England seafood, you must visit The Lobster Pot restaurant in Siesta Key.

The Lobster Pot celebrated its fifteenth anniversary this month, but its story begins long before then. Glen Medeiros’ parents owned and operated a restaurant also called The Lobster Pot in Provincetown, Massachusetts. They started their business in 1939 and ran it until they retired in 1979. Medeiros, who graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in New Haven, Connecticut in 1968, was determined to keep the family tradition alive.

“My passion was to open a restaurant like my parents, and now my two sons and I manage the restaurant with my wife up front as a hostess,” Medeiros says. “I also have my two daughters-in-law working for us now. We are a proud third-generation family owning and operating our business.”

Medeiros’ vision was always to own a seafood restaurant, but to give the genre its own distinct twist by serving well-loved family recipes as well as more modern takes on seafood using the freshest local product available. They purchase fresh fish daily from local fisherman, and their lobsters are delivered live straight from Bar Harbor and Boothbay in Maine.

Doing fresh takes on classic dishes has served them well: the signature baked stuffed Lobster Duchess, The Seafood Portugal, and the Salmon Rockefeller have all been award-winning dishes at “The Taste of Sarasota” competition.

However, the real secret ingredient behind the success and longevity at The Lobster Pot is clearly family.

“I collaborate with the chefs and family to work as a team. They all have had culinary experience to create fresh wholesome daily specials.”

This collaborative effort is on display in the front of the house too, as the whole family dedicates themselves to their goal of providing excellent customer service.

“The best compliment we have ever received is we are extraordinary in food quality and service,” Medeiros says. “When we hear compliments from our guests we know we're doing something right.”

The Lobster Pot: 5157 Ocean Boulevard | Siesta Key Village | 941-349-2323 |

Author: Kate Wight

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