An annual treat for at least four of the senses   (though we might count the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ of wowed viewers and ‘mmms’ and ‘wows’ of contented diners to make it a solid five), this yearly feature encapsulates part of what makes Sarasota living so enviable and enjoyable—a combined dedication to the aesthetic and culinary arts. Pairing some of the area’s most celebrated local chefs with art from some of the city’s most celebrated galleries, the result is a slew of new culinary creations that will have readers making reservations and diners secretly hoping their eyes are bigger than their stomachs.


Photo 1

Respite, Katie Cassidy

530 Burns Gallery 

“I paint where the quiet spirit lives.” Whether working in oils or acrylics, a rich palette reflects a fascination with the natural world, while a penchant for abstraction reveals a meditative soul.”


Chef Gerard Jesse, Seafood shack


“Having the opportunity to mimic this painting with food was truly my privilege. This painting was unique in the sense that it required a little more thought. For one, blue is probably one of the rarest colors in the animal kingdom. Being that this painting was all about water, the protein had to be seafood. Although all the oceans are visually blue, most of the animals in that water are not. Except of course one. The Scottish blue lobster. This lobster was gifted with a genetic mutation that produces two excessive amounts of protein called red carotenoid and astaxanthin. Together they form a blue complex known as crustacyanin. Taking this into consideration, I had turned the blue lobster meat into a seafood stuffing. This was slowly roasted off until deliciously golden brown. In order to retain the deep blue color, the shell of the lobster was scrubbed, cleaned and sanitized. Once the stuffing was baked, it was transferred back into the shell for presentation. Next, in order to create “clouds,” I made a fluffy white lobster risotto to mimic the sky. This was followed by using fresh pea tendrils and green onion curls to represent the seagrass and seaweed along the painting. Just as the painting, it was created using simple ingredients but ultimately making a powerful impact upon the eyes of the beholder. My message through this dish was simple, “The way you choose to see the world, creates the world you see.” 


Photo 2


Chef Steve Phelps, INDIGENOUS


“Michel’s image instantly made me think of the intense yet rare food color that comes from the Congaree and Penn rice middlins from Jacksonville, FL. Purples and blues are not common in cuisine, but Michel used them beautifully in the image and I felt compelled to create something unusual and complementary.” 




“I like to find the extraordinary in the ordinary, and then make other people see it.” A celebrated conceptual photographer with international clients ranging from AT&T to Avon, avant-garde highlights include crafting a couture dress from toothbrushes for Johnson & Johnson and transforming a salad spinner into a miniature roller coaster for Bed Bath and Beyond.

Photo 3


530 Burns Gallery

“Painting is a pilgrimage.” From portraiture to plein air, oil to pastel, intuition and a sense of harmony unite in the artist’s hand to celebrate moments large and small and instill a feeling of peace.


Executive Chef Jamil Pineda, MICHAEl’s on east

earthy connection to nature

“When I first saw this gorgeous painting, the water, trees, and sunset really stood out. Together, the colors seem to evoke a sense of balance and a connection to nature. When creating this dish, I wanted to give our guests a new vegetarian option with earthy ingredients. The grilled scallions, spring vegetables and red tomato nage accomplished this goal perfectly, topped off with micro greens. The baby kale, sun-dried tomatoes and ricotta folded inside the agnolotti are a special treat, similar to treasures which may be hidden beneath the water’s surface in this painting. 

Photo 4

Chefs Adam Ruth & Noriko Tamaru STATE STREET EATING HOUSE


“Aside from being taken aback by the uniqueness and emotional message of the piece, I was challenged by the notion of translating the subtle combination of pastels and earthy colors into food. After discarding several ideas for traditional entrees, I settled on representing the collage’s delightful mixture of ethereal calm and uplifting joy—dessert was the answer! The traditional roll cake was prepared in various stages. After sketching out the design—complete with cocoa-flavored flying bird silhouettes—portions of the sponge cake batter were colored, flashed, baked and then incorporated into the whole. After baking, the cake was filled with whipped strawberry cream cheese and rolled. In some ways, the process mirrored that of creating a collage. “




A mixed-media artist steeped in the California arts scene before heading east, the composite nature of the work speaks to an interest in the power of memory, and how disparate recollections form personal mythologies greater than the sums of their parts. 

Photo 5

Pastry Chef Lauren Bland MORTON’S GOURMET MARKET


“I love this particular piece of art; it sings springtime in Sarasota to me—the cool blues like the Gulf, and the hints of spring with a touch of yellow and green, like the first blooms of the season. As I studied this work of art, it inspired me to create something with sweet spring flavors, a hint of tart and colorful deco. Below the clean white shell lies a raspberry mousse filled with lemon curd and blueberry jam and a base of simple, fluffy vanilla genoise. The white chocolate mosaic has been playfully colored with hues of bright blue, deep green, vibrant yellow and a touch of sparkle. While simple by design, the many complex flavors come together like a symphony at springtime. The plate is garnished with lemon curd, a hint of blueberry, colorful white chocolate mosaic pieces and petite basil leaves. This dish, as with this piece of artwork, brings thoughts of a spring day, gazing out on the cool waves of the Gulf with the beginning bloom of spring in the background.”


Transcending Surface, Gillian St. George


“My challenge is to apply balance between the opposing but complementary aspects of nature.” The ever-present tug of war between order and chaos plays out in full color, as design battles intuition and geometry gives way to abstract exploration through layers of pigment.


Photo 6


Chef Chris Covelli, SAGE RESTAURANT


“After meeting with Mr. Creaturo, and seeing his piece “Good Earth”, I immediately thought of pairing this incredible work of art with my very own vegetable terrine. I chose this dish due to the complexity of flavors, layers, and technical process by which we build it. Inside of the layered terrine we add thinly sliced roasted eggplant, yellow squash, red peppers and top with micro greens. This brings the earth tones from the painting to life with splashes of yellow and red. You can also see that I am trying to capture the colors in which he used and turn them into flavors.“




Jumping from medium to medium with relative ease, this Brooklyn-born artist operates out of his eponymous gallery off 1st street in sarasota. Abstract painting, sculpture and even collage combine to celebrate everything from Golden Age Hollywood to the simple joy of pure color.