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James Beard Foundation’s Celebrity Chef Tour hits Sanibel

By Staff | Nov 8, 2017

The highly acclaimed James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour is making its first ever stop in Sanibel this month. The tour brings a sampling of what goes on at the James Beard House in New York City to over 20 cities across the country every year.

The event will take place at Il Cielo, 1244 Periwinkle Way, Nov. 30, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $200 per person and they’re selling fast.

“We’re probably about 50 percent sold out,” said Marcus Preece, general manager of Il Cielo. “We anticipate to sell out for the event.”

The tour will be hosted by Chef Allen Casey and Pastry Chef Melissa Akin of Il Cielo. The night will begin with a cocktail reception from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., featuring Tampa-based Afrohead Rum and hors d’oeuvres.

“The opportunity to be able to do something like this is a privilege,” Preece said. “It’s going to be a fun little event, I’m looking forward to it.”

The six-course meal will feature special ingredients sourced from around the country and will be prepared by four James Beard Foundation winners and Chef Allen Casey. The plates will consist of pork, salmon, shrimp and beef. The dessert will be prepared by Akin.

“Each meal will be paired with wine and the chef will come out and discuss the courses,” Preece said.

A glimpse at the menu:

Chef Andrew Zimmerman:

* Canap: Wild betel leaf, toasted coconut, peanuts, shrimp, lemongrass, galangal, lime, tamarind, palm sugar, chilies.

* Course 1: Malaysian style tuna ceviche, coconut milk and lemongrass with crispy black rice.

Chef Pat Sheerin:

* Canap: Porcini stuffed mushroom, charred beef, Afrohead Rum teriyaki.

* Course 2: Artichoke and hearts of palm barigoule, hozon chickpea and truffle fondue, local citrus.

Chef Allen Casey:

* Canap: Pork shoulder, crispy plantain, corija, Afrohead rum soaked orange.

* Course 3: Key West pink shrimp, lardo, beluga lentils, pink peppercorns and rosemary banyuls gele.

Chef Ed Sura

* Canap: Afrohead dark n’ stormy salami, ginger, yuzu crema, marinated cucumber.

* Course 4: Skuna Bay salmon, black bean puree, pickled tomatillo salsa verde, Jar Sessions chowchow, cilantro, radish.

Chef Paul Virant

* Canap: Chestnut and honey madelines, smoked apple butter.

* Course 5: Snake River pork combo, duchess potatoes, roasted cabbage, sauce chasseur.

Pastry Chef Melissa Akin:

* Course 6: Hard crack sugar apple, McIntosh foam, pisco marinated seckle pear, fruit kernel, chevre, cocoa lavsch, pomegranate paint.

The two main sponsors for the tour are U.S. Bank and Windstar Cruises.

Tickets can be purchased at jamesbeard.org/events/sanibel-island-fl or by calling 239-472-5555.