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Community Social heads ‘across the pond’

By Staff | Jun 4, 2019

Residents and visitors can enjoy traditional British pub dishes at an upcoming Sanibel event.

The Community House will host a Community Social on June 12 from 6 to 8 p.m., offering items prepared by Resident Chef Jarred Harris. Created around the theme of “British Pub Night,” the menu will feature three starters, three entrees and two desserts – one British – for attendees to try out.

“British pubs are near and dear to my heart,” Harris said of the theme selection.

He explained that he and his wife owned and ran three different pubs during their time residing in England from 2005 to 2015. As an American chef, it was a learning experience in the kitchen.

Upon mastering the dishes, they became a part of his life – along with the pub culture.

“A pub means a public house. They are basically the hub of the community, the hub of the village,” Harris said. “They did socials there, weddings, christenings. Everything happened at the pub.”

“It’s not about the drinking, it’s more about the socializing,” he added.

A perfect reflection of The Community House and its role within the island community.

“That’s what our Community Socials are about – socializing,” Harris said.

For the menu, he went with traditional, British pub favorites.

“You can pretty much go into any pub and find these dishes,” Harris said, comparing them to meatloaf or fried chicken for Americans. “It is English comfort food, and you’ll see why when you have it.”

The starters are broccoli and Stilton soup, prawn cocktail, and chicken liver pate with pickles and chutney. He explained that Stilton is a famous blue cheese that comes from northern England, so think broccoli and cheddar soup but with Stilton. The prawn cocktail is like shrimp cocktail, but prawns are smaller than shrimp and it is served on lettuce with garnishes. Also, the cocktail sauce is different.

“It’s mayonnaise based versus tomato or ketchup based,” Harris said.

The ingredients for the pate entail chicken livers, shallots, garlic and other herbs.

“The accoutrements make it stand out,” he added.

For the entrees, attendees can enjoy real British pub fish and chips, roast beef Yorkshire pudding and gravy, and chicken and mushroom pie. Harris noted that fish and chips is traditionally served with “mushy peas” – slightly mashed fresh green peas with onion – and he will likely serve it with that.

The beef dish is what the British call a Sunday roast and pudding are American popovers.

“They look like biscuits with holes in them,” Harris said.

He opted for the chicken and mushroom pie for those who do not eat red meat.

“I wanted to have a chicken dish,” Harris said.

The side dishes are roasted russet potatoes and steamed vegetables.

“The vegetables will be seasonal,” he said. “There will be some pickled purple cabbage.”

The desserts will consist of an ice cream sundae bar and sticky toffee pudding.

The sundae bar – a Community Social staple – comes with Harris’ homemade topping sauces as usual. The pudding is in line with the British theme and includes a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

“It’s basically like a date cake, so it’s made out of dates,” he said. “There’s a sauce that goes over it that’s a toffee sauce. It’s served warm and it is absolutely to die for.”

Event tickets are $15 in advance or $18 at the door.

An additional $5 donation is requested to enjoy the desserts.

Alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase.

The public is encouraged to come out.

“It is a community gathering, it is a social, and that’s what it’s all about,” Harris said. “Getting the community together through food.”

For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.sanibelcommunityhouse.net.

Event tickets can also be purchased in-person at the facility.

The Community House is at 2173 Periwinkle Way.