The Greater Pompano Beach Chamber of Commerce Fine Food & Wine Festival
Where: Sheraton Suites
Fort Lauderdale at Cypress Creek • 555 NW 62 Street, Fort Lauderdale
When: Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Main Event 6:30-9:00 VIP 5:30-6:30
VIP tickets $85 each, or four for $300 Tickets $60 each, or four for $200
Must purchase tickets online at pompanobeachchamber.com
The 2016 Pompano Beach Fine Food & Wine Festival, will gather some of the city’s finest culinary institutions and wine distributors for one day dedicated to pleasing the senses. If delectable food and fine wine isn’t enough to draw you in, then perhaps a charitable heart will. In addition to benefiting the Pompano Beach Chamber of Commerce, some of this year’s festival proceeds will benefit Woodhouse Inc., a non-profit dedicated to providing a safe and supportive residential community for individuals struggling with debilitating Cerebral Palsy. Here is your guide to this year’s festival.
A Tour of Isle Casino’s Fantastical Culinary World
By Danielle Charbonneau
Taking the behind-the-scenes tour of Isle Casino’s culinary world with Executive Chef Aaron Andryka made me feel a lot like Dorothy dropping into Oz or Charlie into the chocolate factory. My stomach grew giddy, my eyes widened and my jaw dropped in awe of the complex inner-workings of a casino that operates two enormous kitchens, four full-service restaurants (including a steakhouse called Farradday’s, an Italian restaurant called Bragozzo, a farm-to-table buffet called Farmer’s Pick and a Jewish delicatessen called Myron’s), plus a shiny, custom food truck dubbed the Lone Wolf, a quick-service Italian cafe and a coffee shop with a rainbow of homemade baked goods (guaranteed to bring out your inner fat kid).
There were no Oompa Loompas or flying monkeys, but there was a flurry of sights, smells and sounds equally mesmerizing. There were the complimentary bowls of juicy, kosher pickles at Myron’s; an aquarium with live Maine lobsters in the open-concept kitchen at Farradday’s; homemade gnocchi, a crank-wheeled rotisserie and gargantuan abstract chandeliers made of red, blown glass at Bragozzo (which looked a lot like giant fusilli pasta noodles intertwined and suspended from the ceiling). There were trays of asteroid-sized apple-cinnamon muffins fresh from the oven in the bakery. Then there was Farmer’s Pick buffet—a world in and of itself.
“There are little pockets of hidden jewels here,” said Jennifer Swope, Marketing Director of Operations at Isle Casino, “I think we have something that’s distinct and original. I think there’s something for everybody here.”
Farmer’s Pick is an à la minute style buffet with dishes inspired from around the world, each made from local ingredients (some as local as just behind the casino where Isle operates a two-and-a-half acre, seasonal farm). The buffet features a sushi station, made-to-order Asian wok, pizza window, mouth-watering dessert counter and Mexican bar replete with a lineup of about two dozen local Florida hot sauces, each with quirky names, a few with hand-drawn Iron Maiden art. (The hot sauce bar was Andyka’s idea, by the way). For the Pompano Fine Food & Wine Festival, Farmer’s Pick will be bringing single-serving Creme Brûlée with Drunken Berries: Blackberries, raspberries and blueberries are tossed in sugar, then cooked down with Grand Marnier. The sweet-n-tart drunken berries go perfectly with the creaminess of the brûlée and the crispness of caramelized sugar.
Bragozzo is an Italian eatery that takes a fresh approach to old world, Italian classics. Bragozzo boasts a wood-fired grill and serves several homemade pasta options including fettuccine and gnocchi. On the edge of the kitchen there is a long bar where guests can admire the chefs in action. Andyka recommends sitting there at least once as the chef will often pass over samples of piping-hot, homemade ravioli. For the Pompano Fine Food & Wine Festival, Bragozzo will bring pasta e fagioli, a classic Italian soup made with ditalini pasta, mirepoix pancetta, chicken stock, white kidney beans, tomato and shaved Parmesan cheese.
From the outside, Farradday’s (Isle’s upscale steakhouse) looks like a chic cocktail lounge. A round exterior wall made of floor-to-ceiling glass gives voyeuristic outsiders a look into the exclusive lounge, where a classy bar boasts high ceilings, a decorative stone wall, back-lit bottles and intimate, low cocktail rounds. Once one walks through the lounge to the dining room, however, the mood shifts. The dining room is lined with cavernous, private booths. Dim lighting and an impressive wine wall bring elegance to the space. Juicy steaks are Farradday’s specialty, but the menu also features a host of chicken and seafood options. For the Pompano Fine Food & Wine Festival, Farradday’s will be serving Mussels Ravigote—green lipped mussels on the half shell topped with a Ravigote sauce made of capers, gherkins, tarragon and parsley.
Chef Oliver Saucy & Cafe Maxx
By Danielle Charbonneau
It has probably been said before, but celebrity Chef Oliver Saucy has the perfect name. His stunning culinary creations are absolutely “saucy” — they’re creative, colorful, multi-cultural and have an emphasis on local seafood and produce. Whether it’s Atlantic hogfish snapper, fruits and citruses from the tropics, Creole spices from New Orleans, zesty Cuban herbs or chilies from Mexico, Chef Saucy draws inspiration from South Florida’s surrounding cultures. By letting ingredients drive the plate, Chef Saucy keeps things fresh for both his guests as diners, and himself as a longtime chef.
His creativity, however, can never be overshadowed by proper technique.
“At the end of the day, if you can’t put it all together with the French and Mediterranean roots I grew up studying, it just doesn’t work,” said Saucy, “One culture, one plate. We don’t want to get too confusing or it takes your red wine drinker right off the table. That’s the bread and butter for us–the red wine drinker.”
This blend of classic technique and innovative ideas is what Chef Saucy and Café Maxx is known for. It has made Café Maxx a Pompano Beach culinary destination for almost three decades. Saucy has been at the helm for almost as long. In 1988, Saucy co-purchased Café Maxx with the restaurant’s general manager Darrel Broek. The dynamic duo has run the restaurant ever since. Broek’s hospitable charm welcomes guests in the front of the house, while Saucy’s creations make them salivate at the table.
To keep things balanced, Chef Saucy breaks down the menu into thirds: one third is classic, so regulars know what to expect; another third is standard proteins prepared with seasonal ingredients; and the last is where Chef Saucy gets to be creative.
“The other third is whatever exciting thing we can get our hands on — whatever we feel like doing,” said Saucy. “We try to get the best available ingredients all the time.”
Sometimes those ingredients can include fresh fish straight from the boat. Other times a vibrant produce item from a local farmer, or a fine cut of meat. Saucy is proud to carry local ingredients. He showcases his proteins in a display case on the edge of the dining room, which he dubs the “Raw Buffet.”
After almost three decades of cooking, Saucy still exudes passion. Perhaps it runs thick in his blood; He learned his first fundamental cooking techniques watching his father in action as the Executive Chef in a resort kitchen nestled in the back of a medieval German Castle in the Black Forest region of New York.
“I grew up eating all kinds of crazy stuff. It would be like, ‘oh what did you have for dinner?’ ‘Oh, we had calves brains’,” said Saucy laughing.
As a young adult, Saucy studied at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park where his father also taught for 28 years. Saucy’s son worked in the Café Maxx kitchen for two years and is now studying at CIA and working at a high-end restaurant in Manhattan called Gotham Bar & Grill.
Saucy has also passed on his skills to non-relatives. For the 20th Anniversary of Café Maxx, 26 of Saucy’s protégés, who now run kitchens all over the country, came to congratulate him and thank him for his mentorship. For over 20 years Saucy has also been teaching cooking courses at Café Maxx during the summer months when the restaurant slows.
“The biggest class we had was 99 people. Holy moly,” said Saucy.
At the end of Saucy’s classes — which include topics like grilling meats, cooking lobster, or Mediterranean technique — Saucy serves a four to five course dinner, plus dessert with the recipes he taught.
“The classes bring a lot of energy in here. It’s a lot of fun,” said Saucy. “It’s relationship building.”
So what’s next for Chef Saucy and Café Maxx?
“You know I think it’s just to keep the focus on making quality food,” said Saucy. “That never goes out of style.”
Papa’s Raw Bar & Seafood World
Papa Hughie and his family, the Ganters, have been in the seafood business for four decades. August marks both the 40-year anniversary of Papa Hughie’s beloved restaurant Seafood World, and Papa’s 75th Birthday. Seafood World has become a Lighthouse Point institution — a must-visit for tourists, a regular destination for locals and a hot-spot for celebrity appearances through the years (including chef Gordon Ramsay, Priscilla Presley, Steve Wynn and
In 1976 Hugh (“Papa”) and his wife Joy Ganter opened Seafood World at a time when seafood was rarely celebrated as a culinary ingredient. Papa Hughie jokes that at the time, the only people who consumed seafood were Catholics on Fridays.
“People didn’t like or know enough about seafood. It was very tough for us at first,” said Papa, who had been a pilot before running Seafood World. Papa had been transporting wholesale products, including seafood, between the Bahamian islands and the mainland, and had supplied the original restaurant where Seafood World now stands. When the original owner racked up some debt with Papa, he offered Papa the restaurant as payment. Papa was reluctant at first.
“I didn’t want to do it, but we decided to stick it out. We ran it as a family with four to five tables,” recalled Papa. When his plane crashed shortly after acquiring the restaurant (which was originally called Fishtails & Seafood World), the Ganter family was left with little choice but to make the restaurant their bread and butter.
After having spent many years in the Bahamas, Papa and Joy had a clear idea of the kind of restaurant they wanted — one where guests could enjoy the freshest of seafood in a relaxed, Caribbean-esque and friendly atmosphere where recipes were simple and tasteful. They wanted the sauces and spices to enhance, not overpower, the seafood. It was this original vision that has carried the business for four decades and spawned a second family restaurant next door, Papa’s Raw Bar, which was opened by Papa and Joy’s son Troy about a year-and-a-half ago. Troy’s half-brother Christopher, a local fisherman and ocean enthusiast, works to supply both restaurants with seafood, while Troy operates the front-of-the-house at the Raw Bar.
“I’m a huge foodie and I cook,” said Troy, “but I’d rather be in the front of the house. I love entertaining.”
Troy, now 36, started busing tables at Seafood World when he was just 13. He went to college and swore he wouldn’t follow in the family footsteps. Instead, he started a wholesale operation, Best Stone Crabs, supplying fish, shellfish and signature salads to restaurants locally and throughout the Caribbean. Fate, however, had another plan. When a spot opened up in the strip next to Seafood World, Troy couldn’t resist. He bought the space and turned it in to an entertainment venue, raw bar and extension of the family business. The decor is an ode to Lighthouse Point pride — T-shirts from local businesses are pinned to the ceiling, photographs of regular customers line the walls and nautical souvenirs give the bar a welcoming, festive vibe. Local bands play live music regularly, and the menu is fun, with dishes such as Papa’s Gone Hibachi, Stonies by Billy Paradise and Fast Eddie’s Fried Rice, Papa’s Raw Bar boasts sushi and hibachi “better than Benihana,” said Papa Hughie. The bar sells more than 110 beers and 65 wines, features the Bimini Room, which is quickly becoming the go-to place for parties, and maintains a family-style theater. Troy also has his eyes on the lookout for a property to open a Latin fusion location in Pompano Beach and hopes to start an “Eat, Drink & Be Local” website.
For the Pompano Beach Fine Food & Wine Festival, Papa’s Raw Bar will be bringing their famous sushi boat, hibachi fried rice and some sweet chili shrimp.
The Pompano Beach Fine Food & Wine Festival Guide
There are few exceptions in life. You can’t appreciate a good day without having a bad one. For all the people who know the difference between working hard and hardly working; our beers are hand-crafted and full-flavored, with the everyday person in mind. No matter the occasion, our beer is here for you to enjoy. We don’t make exceptions either, we’d rather set the example.
Shrimp tails twirling through the air and landing skillfully into the tall chef hat of a teppanyaki master. Knives, dangerously tossed behind the back and juggled over the head. The delicious smell of fried rice and soy sauce sizzling and wafting into the air. The sounds of metal spatulas flipping grilled onions and frying zucchini spears. The smell of grilled chicken, steak and seafood. All the senses are tickled at Benihana, the leading Asian-themed restaurant chain in the world. Benihana pioneered the communal dining concept in the early 1960s: eight people share the entertaining experience, dining around a steel hibachi grill. Guests can have their own private parties, or interact with other diners watching the show. Currently, Benihana holds the record for the longest running dinner show in the world.
Bobby Rubino’s Place for Ribs
Full racks of glazed and smoky baby back ribs, with just the right amount of chewiness and fall-off-the-bone, finger-licking goodness. Juicy chicken cordon bleu with homemade mushroom gravy. Slow-roasted, tender prime rib with au jus and horseradish sauce with a bite. Fresh fried trout. These are just a few of the savory and delectable options to try at Bobby Rubinos Place for Ribs, South Florida’s premier place for ribs, BBQ and homestyle cooking since 1978. Bobby Rubino’s Place for Ribs plans to bring BBQ ribs and onion rings.
Breakthru Beverage Florida
Breakthru Beverage Florida is one of the largest distributors of wine, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages in the state. Formerly known as Premier Beverage Company, the company serves customers throughout Florida from distribution facilities in Pensacola, Jacksonville, Orlando, Miramar and a state-of-the-art facility in Tampa.
Local Florida smoked fish dip; Bahamian-style conch fritters with citrus jalapeño aioli; mussels with garlic-herb butter; clam “Chowda;” shrimp po boy’s with “sassy creole remodulate;” beer-battered shrimp with cilantro-basil aioli and sweet vinegar slaw; swordfish and good old-fashioned fish n’ chips: it’s no wonder BrewFish is such a hot-spot for seafood enthusiasts. A myriad of craft beers—including a Boulder Chocolate Porter, Dogfish Head IPA and Magic Hat Pale Ale—make BrewFish a great place to drink. Live music can be heard on Friday & Saturday nights, while sunsets light up the sky on the outdoor patio. BrewFish is an intimate, fun and exciting environment to hang with local friends or bring out-of-town visitors. Happy Hour is from 12 to 7 during the week and 4 to 7 on the weekend.
Broward Health North
A healthcare center might not be your first thought when thinking about fine food and wine, but Broward Health North could be the sleeper hit with their Hawaiian Swedish meatballs. In addition, you can learn more about Broward Health North whose mission is to provide quality healthcare to the Pompano Beach community.
Since 1919, Brown Distributing Company has grown into a beverage distribution business with combined sales of over 11 million cases annually. They serve more than 6,000 retailers and employ over 500 people. Brown plans to bring some finely brewed beers, so get your taste buds ready for some suds.
Carrabba’s Italian Grill
Grilling over an open fire has been a part of authentic Italian cooking for centuries. Carrabba’s uses a 550-degree, wood-fired grill fueled by natural logs such as oak and pecan trees. Subtle smoke from the grill combines with “Mr. C’s” secret grill seasoning and basting techniques to produce tender meats and seafood with unmatched flavor. Made-from-scratch sauces like marsala mushroom, picatta and Alfredo make the mouth water. Carrabba’s was started by two Sicilian boys from Texas. “We love the Sicilian food our parents and grandparents cooked,” they write. “We love the Creole and Southern food our family members picked up passing through Louisiana and stepping off the boat right on the dock in Galveston. And we love the Western food that’s just part of being in Texas.” It’s this heritage that has informed Carrabba’s menu and continues to carry the national chain to success. Carrabba’s will be bringing peach sangria, Parmesan-crusted chicken with arugula, and mezzaluna chicken spinach ravioli.
The Foundry offers a variety of experiences for all guests. From lounge areas, sit at the raw bar dining, casual dining and a full service bar.
Global Beverage Enterprises Inc.
Global Beverage Enterprises Inc. is a beverage producer dedicated to producing one-of-a-kind, healthy and delicious beverages that have “never been seen on the market before.” Global works with large distributors and business partners to deliver their delicious beverages to the public. With a portfolio that spans nearly every flavor you can think of, Global Beverage is sure to make a splash. Global Beverage Enterprises Inc. will be bringing their “Mr. Q. Cumber” sparkling beverage.
As a premium caterer and food creator for some of the largest events in South Florida, Hugh’s Culinary will be right at home at the Fine Food and Wine Festival. With plenty of experience both preparing exquisite cuisine and catering, Hugh’s Culinary might just be the most event-savvy participants at this year’s festival. Hugh’s Culinary will be bringing tuna poke on cucumber slices garnished with fresh scallions and sesame seeds.
Jodi’s Cupcakes and More
Jodi’s Cupcakes & More was born with a promise to always produce a quality delicious cupcake the owner’s have baked for their family and friends for years. All of their cupcakes are baked daily from scratch. Our customers are our top priority whether you buy a dozen or order hundreds for an affair. They will be bringing cupcakes to the event.
Step back in time to Florida the way you remember it as a child: great beaches, cozy hotels, great restaurants and, of course, Kilwins. Kilwin’s is undeniably a boardwalk classic. Just west of the Anglin Fishing pier, it’s a hop, skip and a jump from the beach, which makes it the perfect place to enjoy a cold treat. Their Original Recipe ice cream is homemade and creamy. The display counter rivals Willy Wonka’s, filled with the dipped, decadent and chocolate-covered. A cheerful staff will welcome you with a smile and offer you free samples of fudge and ice cream. Kilwin’s will be bringing berries, pretzels and marshmallows all dipped in chocolate.
La Cucina Café, Market & Ristorante
La Cucina is an authentic Italian Restaurant and market with dish names that roll off the tongue in native Italian—dishes such as “Fiocchi di ricotta e pera con burro e salvia” (purse stuffed ricotta and pear pasta in a sage butter sauce), and “Pappardelle con funghi” (homemade pappardelle with mushrooms). The menu changes every few days and features a wide selection of items, including fresh pasta, seafood, meats, cheeses, salads, soups and pizza. Everything is made fresh daily.
McCoy’s is an oceanfront secret gem, located in the Pompano Beach Marriott. The fine dining restaurant is known for its contemporary preparations of seasonal, local ingredients and Florida Seafood. The setting is casual, with both indoor, outdoor and poolside seating. McCoy’s will be bringing festival goers some seasonal seafood.
The Melting Pot
If creamy cheeses and melted chocolate sound like your kind of meal, grab a few friends and meet for cocktails and fondue. Meats, breads and seafood dipped in creamy sauces and artisan cheeses are savory options; while fruits, angel food cake and marshmallows dipped in melted chocolate satisfy the sweet tooth. For the festival, the Melting Pot will be bringing chocolate fondue.
Recently renovated, Oceans 234 is even more stunning with its open-air patio steps from the sand and location on the Deerfield Beach Pier boardwalk. While the views are tough to beat, so is the food. Contemporary American cuisine with an emphasis on creative seafood (dishes such as lobster Benedict, a blackened-snapper Rueben and diver scallops with truffled wild mushroom risotto), give guests a unique South Floridian dining experience. Each dish is artistically presented with pops of color and interesting plating. Restaurateur and entrepreneur Danielle Rosse runs a tight and exquisite ship at Oceans 234, so the service is consistently above-par and hospitable. Oceans 234 is a local favorite and tourist’s dream. Oceans 234 will be bringing a chicken quinoa salad.
Pompano Discount Liquors
Wines, beers, spirits, you name it and Pompano Discount Liquors has it. Adding to an already vast selection of drinks, Pompano Discount Liquors will help round out the wine menu at this year’s event. [Selection TBD]
RainSoft of Florida
They offer the best drinking water and the largest variety of water treatment products and services available for your home or business including water softeners, water filtration systems, reverse osmosis drinking water systems, installation, and repair service. RainSoft products are built to last and are backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee as well as the best trained and experienced service technicians in the industry.
SeaWatch remains a magical, almost surreal experience. Come visit the present, come visit the past. Come visit three acres of unspoiled Atlantic beach and confirm to yourself why the SeaWatch remains one of Fort Lauderdale’s most popular seafood restaurants. SeaWatch will be bringing lobster bisque and pecan squares.
Born in Palermo, Sicily, and raised in an Italian New York family, Sette Bello’s executive chef Franco, is most certainly an authentic Italian chef. “Eating for us was always a way of life,” said chef Franco. Sette Bello Ristorante has earned numerous awards including the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences’ Five-Star Diamond Award, Zagat guide award and a Wine Spectator award of excellence. Sette Bello is known for its gourmet Italian food, made from scratch and finished with culinary precision and artistry.
Sheraton Suites Ft Lauderdale at Cypress Creek (Terrace 555)
Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, guests can enjoy dining at the Terrace 555 Restaurant & Bar which is a casual, comfortable restaurant overlooking a sunlit atrium and waterfall.
Sicilian Oven Pizza
Ralph DiSalvo and his Business partner Andrew Garavuso created the Sicilian Oven menu to include recipes passed down from generations of both their Italian families. Both DiSalvo and Garavuso are deeply passionate about food. “We do this because we love it,” said DiSalvo. “You will not only love the taste, you will taste the love.” Garavuso echoed DiSalvo’s sentiment: “One of the most gratifying things In life is eating a great meal. For my partner Ralph and I, we feel like there is nothing better than creating that meal for one of our guests.” The Sicilian Oven prides itself on using the freshest, most handmade ingredients possible. They will be bringing their famous salad—with romaine lettuce, roasted peppers, candied walnuts, olives, tomatoes, red onions, garbanzo beans, celery and shaved Parmesan cheese— and rice balls, stuffed with ground beef, peas and fresh mozzarella, served with Bolognese Sauce.
Tito’s Handmade Vodka
Produced in Austin at Texas’ oldest legal distillery, each batch of vodka is made the old-fashioned way—in pot stills. When owner Tito Beveridge entered the business, he focused on flavored vodkas. When store owners shot the flavors down, Tito set out to make the smoothest, straight vodka he could. He researched distillery techniques using old photographs of moonshiners. “From looking at all those photos I kind of just built a still that looked kind of like those stills,” Beveridge writes. “And then just kind of started cooking in that and just trial and error’d. I just kept messing with it until I got to where people liked my vodka better than the other stuff you could buy at the time. I basically kept working at it and working at it.” Tito’s will be bringing their signature vodka both straight over ice, and as a mixed drink.
Tuscany Wines produces fine wines from all over the world, but, as their name suggests, specializes in wines from Italy. With a broad selection of wines, you can expect to find one that’s just right for you. Tuscany Wines will be bringing Italian craft beer, California wines, and Italian wines.
Whole Foods is known for selling fresh, organic, and genuinely healthy food, Whole Foods will be bringing Lionfish samples.