In todays frenetic news driven media world there’s a rush to be first. First out with the big scoop, first to hit the web with a breaking news flash, first in a race to be first. I guess the timing of this post doesn’t fit with any of that.
Since January 29th, I think every food related news outlet in Sarasota has posted a piece on one of Sarasotas biggest and best food events. Not being one to ever follow the pack, I took the unorthodox route of reporting on the news a full month after its occurred. I figured I would wait until all the noise died down so I wouldnt get lost in the crowd AND I would have your full attention. I think I’ve got it now.
Back ALL THE WAY at the end of January, the Sarasota-Manatee Originals held their annual all out food and wine orgy. They timidly call it Fork & Corks. I would suggest a better and more descriptive name might be the Sarasota Super Delicious Feeding Festival of Food (and wine). On second thought that might be a tad cumbersome. OK, Forks & Corks it is.
Why dont we have a look back at what went down at the Ringling on that beautiful sunny Sarasota day.
There was wine.
And, of course there was food. Lots of it.
The Beachhouse located on Anna Maria Island served some great Tuna Nachos. An imaginative twist on an old party favorite.
Siesta Keys Blue Que Island Grill dished out a seemingly endless supply of their delicious Pulled Pork.
Not quite ready for lunch yet? The Broken Egg has a Bagel Bite that helps bridge the gap between breakfast and lunch. Light and refreshing.
To me fried food is one of the hardest things to get right. Weve all had to endure dishes that were heavy and grease soaked (think state fair). It takes some expertise and experience to master the fryer. The Tempura Shrimp that Cosimos featured were as light and tasty as it gets.
Did someone say Oyster Shooter? I thought I heard that, OK maybe not. Anyway, just have a look at the spread from the Crows Nest. Its pretty hard to resist.
Check out the one bite Taylor Bay Scallop Crudo. Fresh, light and packed with flavor. What would you expect from one of Sarasotas most creative chefs? Im talking about Derek Barnes from Dereks Culinary Casual, of course.
Weve all been to a salad bar, right? But, have you ever seen one that looks this amazing? And, outdoors to boot. Fast n Fresh really pulled out all the stops to make this colorful and delicious display. It turns the traditional salad bar on its head.
When you first walk into the Ringling courtyard, you can see the smoke rising. Walk a little further and you can smell the unmistakable scent of grilling meat. Who can resist that? Michaels on East had everybody drooling for a taste of a perfectly grilled Flank Steak Sandwich. They werent disappointed.
The Polo Grill & Bar out in Lakewood Ranch created a dish that tasted even better than it looked, if that was possible. Their Spicy Korean Pork Belly Happy Bun had tasters smiling from ear to ear.
A colorful platter of fresh Bruchetta Pomodoro by Salute!. Big Italian taste delivered in a small package.
And, finally, one of most unique items of the day. The Siesta Key Oyster Bar rolled out the smoker to make their Mesquite Smoked Oysters with Caper Dill Compound. This flavor packed dish had them standing in line all day long.
WOW! What a day. Im stuffed just going back over it. I think I said this last year. If you love food and wine this is an event that cannot be missed. You owe it to yourself to be there next year. The tickets for this event sell out quickly. And, there are none available on the big day. You can relax. You dont have to worry for a while. Well let you know when.
NEWS (This actually is time sensitive): If you want to experience some of the dishes from these great Sarasota restaurants but cant wait until next year, we can help. The Sarasota-Manatee Originals are having a 30% discount sale this Thursday, March 8th. CLICK HERE and get yourself some amazing food at an even more amazing price.