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14th annual Taste of the Beach June 21

By Staff | Jun 13, 2009

Where can you bring dad to enjoy shrimp cocktail, Maryland-style crab cakes, grilled flank steak, banana rum bread pudding and much more all in one place?
The 14th annual Taste of the Beach event — sponsored by the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce and presented by Bayfront Bistro — will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, June 21, by Salty Sam’s Marina at 2200 Main St.
Nineteen of Fort Myers Beach’s finest restaurants will be gathering to provide attendees with samples of their tastiest cuisines. Each participating restaurant will have its own booth to sell a few of its specialty dishes. To help wash down the food, there will also be plenty of beverages, beer, soda, water, teas and even a wine garden where samples of various delectable wines will be offered. The tasting cost is $10 and will include a brief presentation on six different kinds of wine. Full glasses can also be purchased from $5-7.
Admission for the event is $4 for adults; kids under age 12 enter for free. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Fort Myers Beach Chamber for $3.
Kids can ride the festival rides for $2 per ride or $10 for the whole day. Parking is available for $3 at the gate.
Keep your eyes open for the event sponsor Bayfront Bistro.
“As one of the newest on the beach, we want to give the public the opportunity to experience the culinary excellence of Bayfront Bistro,” General Manager Wilke said. “We hope to aid in the success of this year’s event and bring to the forefront the specialties of our local beaches, bay and businesses.”
Opening up this past January, Bayfront Bistro has fantastic views and delicious cuisine such as pan seared andouille, stuffed day boat scallops accompanied with fresh local micro greens and truffled goat cheese, wrapped in a carpaccio of beef — all which can be sampled at the this year’s Taste of the Beach.
Other local favorites participating this year are ABWA, Beach Doggie Dog, Bourbon Street Bar & Grill, Dixie Fish Company, The Fish House, Francesco’s Italian Deli & Pizzeria, Hooters, J Bistro, NTL Catering, Parrot Key Caribbean Grill, Pinchers Bar & Grill at Holiday Inn, Jo-Jo’s at Pink Shell, The Sandy Butler, The Sandy Parrot Tiki Bar & Grill, South West Roasters, Surf Pie, V & J Bistro and Yucatan Beach Stand.
From 11:30 a.m. to 4:20 p.m., there will be a Chefs Competition going on in the “Sunstream” International Demonstration Kitchen. Various restaurant chefs will take turns showing the crowd how to prepare their dish in this stadium-style kitchen. Dishes must utilize lime, key lime, lemon orange and/or pineapple. Not only will they be judged on their use of those ingredients, but will also be judged on originality, flavor and overall presentation.
This year’s judges are Hayden Pigott, Karen Feldman, Marguerite Burns, Kari Hendry, Drew Sternwald and Ivan Seligalman. Awards will be presented for the best appetizer, entree and dessert under the main tent at 4:30 p.m.
While the chefs are battling it out in the “Sunstream” International Demonstration Kitchen, judges will also be visiting the restaurants booths and choosing Taste of the Beach awards. Winners will be selected in categories such as best soup/chowder, appetizers, shrimp, sandwich, sea dish, land dish, dessert, best booth and best in show. There will also be chance for everyone to cast a vote in the Peoples Choice for the best restaurant. There will be an award ceremony under the main tent from 4:30 to 5 p.m.
In addition to the appetizing food and beverage, there will also be no shortage of entertainment. There will be an exciting waiter-waitress obstacle course, stadium kitchen style cooking demos and live bands throughout the event.
There will be a section devoted kid’s area, where there will be plenty of fun activities for children to participate. There will be face painting by Miss Buttons, spin art, a Young Chef event and much more. The Creative Events Kids sponsored area will have several rides and inflatables to keep the little ones entertained including an obstacle course, a blue monster slide, dino-zone, golf challenge and an octo-bounce.
The festivities will be taking place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. along Main Street near Salty Sam’s Marina. Parking will be available along Main Street and at Summerlin Square Shopping Center with transportation to the event.
For more information regarding Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce, call (239) 454-7500 or visit www.fmbchamber.org.