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SRQ DAILY May 7, 2019

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"Our member restaurants truly shined on Sunday, and the participating wineries showcased an amazing array of wines from around the world."

- Sarah Firstenberger, executive director of Sarasota-Manatee Originals.

[Events]  Sarasota-Manatee Originals Rally At The Ringling For Its Annual Forks & Corks
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

Popping the cork on its 12th annual Forks & Corks weekend-long festival, the Sarasota-Manatee Originals cheersed to another successful year of food and wine exploratory events, ranging from intimate gatherings to grand-scale tastings. Florida foodies came far and wide this past weekend to enjoy the top-shelf wines, celebrity winemakers and curated cuisine from the finest independently-owned local restaurants on Florida’s Suncoast.

May 2-4, guests experienced Winemaker Dinners around town, showcasing some of the medal-winning wines perfectly paired with menus at select Originals establishments. Led by some of the world’s greatest wine purveyors–some coming from as far away as South Africa to host these inspiring dinners and providing guests with a rare and educational experience. Then, a University Master Class took place at Michael’s on East Ballroom on Saturday, May 4, with seven world-renowned industry professionals and winemakers leading an exclusive seminar showcasing 14 award-winning wines from around the globe along with a stunning cheese board by Artisan Cheese Company. Guests cleansed their palettes as the panel lead them on a guided tour of “Old World” and “New World” wines from California, Oregon, Portugal, Italy, France and more. A “pop-up” Retail Tasting immediately took place following, at Michael’s Wine Cellar, hosted by some of the area’s leading local wine merchants.

The granddaddy of all its events took place Sunday, May 5 at the Grand Tasting–culminating the weekend with an instant sell-out at John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. With presenting sponsors Audi Sarasota and Suncoast Porsche, The Ringling's entire courtyard filled up with participating vendors and thousands of hungry and thirsty attendees. Guests sipped, savored and sought shelter from the rain for the extravaganza of touring and tasting, set up under tents throughout the historical grounds. Quality wines from a collection of more than 350 wines from around the world were sampled–each hand-selected and professionally tasted, judged and recognized as a medal winner. Mingled in with the imbibing, attendees explored culinary creations from 60 local restaurant members of the Sarasota-Manatee Originals. JPan, enRich Bistro, Overture of Art Ovation, Mattison’s, Michael’s On East, Duvals and Pacific Rim, were among the many, cooking up gourmet grab-and-go bites. A retail tent was also available, where patrons were able to purchase various varietals offered–making Forks & Corks one of only a few festivals in the Southeast to provide the opportunity to purchase showcased wines on-site during the event.

“I’m thrilled with the overall success of the 2019 Forks & Corks Grand Tasting. The Sarasota-Manatee Originals are an incredible team, and we are so thankful for the support of this community.” says Sarah Firstenberger, executive director of the organization. “Our member restaurants truly shined on Sunday, and the participating wineries showcased an amazing array of wines from around the world. I can’t be more proud of what we accomplished this weekend. We are already looking forward to 2020.”

The Grand Tasting also celebrated “Best in Show wines”, with 2014 Rombauer “Diamond Selection” Cabernet Sauvignon and 2016 Paul Cluver “Estate” Chardonnay coming out as the top winners this year. In terms of the fundraising portion of the festival, Sarasota-Manatee Originals expect 2019’s Forks & Corks to be the most successful in funding for its charitable partners. “This year, we are hoping to top our highest amount raised to date,” says Firstenberger. In 2018, $20,000 was raised to fight hunger for All Faiths Food Bank. The final number for 2019 is still being calculated and will be announced in the next few days. 

Photo courtesy of the Sarasota-Manatee Originals.

[GoodBite]  Breaking Bread at Bavaro's
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

The West Florida-based, Southern Italian-inspired eatery focuses on traditional Neapolitan pizza and homemade pasta for carb-loving epicureans. Having created a loyal cult following within Tampa and St. Petersburg already, now it’s Sarasota’s turn. Hand kneaded with tradition and integrity, the Bavaro family moved to the Tampa Bay area to open its doors and Italy-imported gold-domed oven in 2009, as the first traditional Neapolitan pizzeria in the state of Florida. Now determined to share their sacred family recipes as far and wide as possible, Dan Bavaro, his wife Anna-Maria and their five children make up the immediate family, but their Italian philosophy remains that anyone who works or dines there, is just as much considered part of la famiglia.

Bavaro’s coveted wood-fired oven came overseas, handmade by a family in Italy that owner Dan Bavaro stayed with when he studied the crucial and authentic elements to Neapolitan-style pizza-making. Seeking a (941) pizzeria to call home, he acquired the neary 100 year-old building across from Regal Hollywood Stadium in downtown. With table dining close enough to watch the open kitchen make magic in the larger-than-life oven, two inside bars, a covered patio and an outside bar with a custom fireplace, the newly-renovated building showcases an Old-World and industrial cocktail of Mediterranean architectural/design styles.

The ‘from scratch’ pizza involves live yeast culture for the dough, strained and dated back over 100 years to an old bakery in Napoli, Italy. Try the thin crust delicacy on Friday, May 17, 11:00am-11:00pm and onwards—marking Bavaro’s official opening day.  

Photo provided by Bavaro's Pizza Napoletana and Pastaria, 27 Fletcher Ave., Sarasota, 941-552-9131.

Opening Day details here.

[Education]  Sarasota County Schools Seeks Volunteers for Summer Programs

Sarasota County Schools is actively looking for volunteers interested in helping students enrolled in summer programs. Summer volunteer opportunities include:

Summer Learning Academies – Offered at all Title I elementary schools, this full-day program runs for six weeks, Monday through Thursday. During the morning, there is a focus on reading and math. In the afternoon, students participate in STEM activities as well as a variety of enrichment activities including field trips.

Summer Reading Camps – Offered to third graders who need more time and instruction before being promoted to the fourth grade, the six-week program runs Monday through Thursday at Toledo Blade Elementary School, Gocio Elementary School and Gulf Gate Elementary School. Tutors will work one-on-one with the same two students each week; a commitment of at least an hour a week is preferred.

Dive Into Reading – Offered only to rising second graders registered for Bentwood Elementary School’s SLA, each student participating in this new, experiential enrichment program will be provided with books to add to their home library. Students will also be paired with volunteer mentors to work on reading comprehension, vocabulary and emotional and behavioral education in relaxed settings.

No formal experience is necessary to volunteer. 

Sarasota County Schools Office of Community Involvement

[Arts and Culture]  Martella Honored with Business Committee for the Arts Leadership Award

Americans for the Arts, one of the nation’s leading nonprofit organizations for advancing the arts and arts education in America, has announced that Michael Martella, president of Boar’s Head and Chairman of the Van Wezel Foundation’s Board of Directors, will be honored with the Business Committee for the Arts Leadership Award. This award recognizes individuals for their extraordinary vision, leadership and commitment to supporting the arts and for encouraging other businesses to follow their lead. 
Under Martella’s leadership, the Boar's Head brand is known for its support of the arts community. In addition, Martella was appointed to the Board of Directors at the Van Wezel Foundation, Inc. in 2007 and quickly rose to the Chairman’s position, where he has led fundraising activities to support programming and long-term sustainability. Through the Boar's Head Family Series and Family Nights, family-friendly productions were added to the Van Wezel’s Main Stage program, and children can attend free of charge during Family Nights. They can also attend post-show "Talk Backs" and events, where they can interact with some of the visiting artists.

Presented annually, the Arts and Business Partnership Awards honor 10 U.S. companies, a business leader and an arts and business partnership for their exceptional commitment to the arts through grants, local partnerships, volunteer programs, matching gifts, sponsorships and board membership. 

Boar's Head

[Business]  King Elected to Board of Venice Area Audubon Society

Mary E. King, realtor with Keller Williams Realty Select, Lakewood Ranch office, which services all of Sarasota and Manatee County, has been elected to the Board of Venice Area Audubon Society (VAAS) for a three-year term and Chair of Conservation. As a member of VAAS’s Conservation Committee, King has been offering a program to Homeowner Associations based on National Audubon’s initiative, “Plants for Birds” and UF/IFAS Extension Service’s Florida Friendly Landscaping Principles. She has plans to expand the membership and scope of the VAAS Conservation Committee, including outreach programs in the community. King will also be involved with Audubon Florida’s Regional Conservation Committee, comprised of 11 Audubon Chapters from Cedar Key to Venice. 

Venice Area Audubon Society

[Real Estate]  Booker Joins RE/MAX Platinum Realty

Realtor Tony Booker has joined RE/MAX Platinum Realty as a Sales Associate in the Venice, FL, office. He specializes in residential properties, commercial properties and vacant land. Booker has 42 years of real estate experience, last serving with Bright Realty. His commitment to professionalism is reflected in his numerous designations, including Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), Certified Real Estate Appraiser (CREA), Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE), Certified HAFA Specialist (CHS), Military Relocation Professional (MRP) and Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR). He is still active as a real estate broker doing referral business in Phoenix, AZ, where he has held a broker’s license since 1981. His customers and peers have voted him a Five Star Real Estate Agent for best in customer service, and his consistently high sales volume has earned him Lifetime Membership in the President's Roundtable of the Phoenix and Glendale Realtor Associations. 

RE/MAX Platinum Realty

[TODAY]  THEATER: Sweeney Todd- The Demon Barber of Fleet Street , May 4 – June 1

This murder and revenge in 19th Century London has shocked audiences. Unjustly imprisoned for 15 years, barber Sweeney Todd returns to take his revenge on the judge who took him from his family. When he partners with Mrs. Lovett and opens a barber practice above her meat pie ship, Todd’s need for vengeance increases. Their notoriety soars until Todd comes face to face with the judge. This thrilling theatrical treat is Sondheim at his very best.

Asolo Repertory Theatre, 5555 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[TODAY]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Gauguin's Voyage to Paradise , February 10 – June 30

Just as Paul Gauguin left an indelible mark on the post-Impressionist art world, the deep impact of botanical imagery on his work cannot be denied. This exhibition will highlight the essential role of botanicals in achieving the artist’s vision of the savage, primitive and exotic. Together with lush displays of tropical plants in the conservatory and gardens, the show will feature dramatic woodcuts and rarely seen works in other mediums by the artist.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 900 South Palm Ave., Sarasota

[TODAY]  THEATER: Wednesday's Child , April 3 – May 24

A world premiere from Mark St Germain, when a young surrogate mother is found dead, a police investigation explodes the lives of everyone who knew her. As Detective aleece Valez and Walt Dixon begin to put the pieces together, secrets surface, alibis weaken, and lies are uncovered. This dramatic new play explores motherhood, passion, and the thin line between right and wrong.

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 North Palm Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Introduction to Nature Writing Retreat , May 8, 10am-3pm

This class is designed for new and experienced writers to learn the basic techniques of nature writers and to create a writing project. Students will be guided with techniques to observe and “see” nature in a new way, and experiment with finding the “voice” of nature.  Each session will include spending time in the Gardens for inspiration. No prior writing experience is necessary. Bring a journal and pen. Registration is $55 for members/$65 for non-members.

Selby Gardens, 900 South Palm Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  GALLERY: Chivalry & Circus , February 9 – May 13

The exhibition shows the imagery of knights in shining armor and how are they woven throughout the history of American popular culture. Founded with the democratic values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, from its beginning, the United States has idealized the traits of courage, piety, and civility that are embodied in images of knights of the Middle Ages.

Circus Museum , 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: The Wonder Years , February 6 – June 2

Take a musical ride through the Boomer Years! From the early days of Howdy Doody through the rebelliousness of The Beatles singing “She Loves You” on Ed Sullivan, television helped shape and reflect the Boomer journey. Featuring the greatest hits from Boomers’ experience.

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 North Palm Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Creative Camera Techniques , May 9, 10am-1pm

This workshop will explore creative composition techniques done in-camera that will give the “wow” factor to photos no matter the camera. Discuss techniques for DLSR cameras, point and shoot and mobile devices. Techniques include using bokeh, angles of light, reflections, pinhole photography, lens techniques including long lenses and fisheye, backgrounds, natural and artificial lighting and more. Then visit the gardens for an hour of practice. Registration is $60 for members/$75 for non-members.

Selby Gardens, 900 South Palm Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Harvey Milk Festival , May 9 – May 11

The photo exhibition, at the Art Center Sarasota from May 9-11 is intended to showcase American LGBTQ+ history from the 1890s to the times of Harvey Milk. May 10-11, located at 500 Tallevast Rd, presents the BASSment which offers the community a safe space and diverse platform to inspire the youth. May 11 starts off with a brunch at Stage Restaurant following the Harvey Milk Music Festival which celebrates the 10 year anniversary by presenting music at HD Jamal Park.

Various locations , Various locations

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: An Afternoon of Operetta , May 12

Two centuries after the beginnings of operetta - a form of opera with light music and subject matter - it continues to delight audiences worldwide. Our production showcases the work of favorite composers Gilbert & Sullivan, Franz von Suppe' and Jacques Offenbach. Revel in the glorious melodies featurning soloists, chorus and instrumentalists.

Sarasota Opera HOuse , 61 NOrth Pineapple Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Hydrosols - The Next Aromatherapy , May 15, 10am-1:30pm

Discover the multilayer use of the distillates of aromatic plants, including the aromatic waters of Rose Damascena, Greek Sage, Frankincense, Rose Geranium and Lavender Angustifolia. These aromatic waters can also be found as a delicious flavoring in deserts, complementing their simultaneous therapeutic value. Taste, smell, and experience food and drinks from these waters and blend some to take home. Registration is $50 for members/$65 for non-members.

Selby Gardens, 900 South Palm Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Spritzing, Spattering, Sponging, French Rule and More Advanced Watercolor Techniques , May 16, 10am-4:30pm

At this special workshop with Academy of Botanical Art Founder, Olivia Braida, learn various advanced watercolor skills. Bring all paints and brushes. Instructor will supply several special tools and paper to help accomplish our goals. Registration is $135 for members/$160 for non-members.

Selby Gardens, 900 South Palm Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Introduction to Ikebana , May 17, 10am-2pm

Discover the pleasures of this ancient Zen art and learn to create spontaneous, understated and decorative flower arrangements using branches, flowers and leaves easily found around the home and garden. No experience necessary. Instructor will furnish materials. Bring garden scissors, paper towels and a creative spirit. Registration is $50 for members/$65 for non-members.

Selby Gardens, 900 South Palm Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  HEALTH: Relay for Life Sarasota , May 18

The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life is the world’s largest movement to end cancer. Money raised from Relay For Life helps the American Cancer Society save lives by funding ground breaking research to discover cancer’s causes and cures and help people facing cancer today with free programs and services. People form teams and raise money together leading up to the event. Then, everyone comes together for a night of fun that celebrates cancer survivors, remembers loved ones lost to cancer, and unites us in our commitment to fight back against the disease.

Van Wezel , 777 N Tamiami Trl, Sarasota, FL

[SOON]  FOOD: Morton's Market 50th Anniversary Party , May 19

Join Morton's Market to celebrate their 50 Year Anniversary. Food & Fun! Live music & raffle prizes! All proceeds to benefits the Morton Culinary Education Fund.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Fur, Feather, Flora & Fauna , May 21 – June 21

An all media, open exhibition throughout all galleries. Includes Art & Animals on June 1—a fun family day with animals and art, nonprofit organizations, information, activities and photo opportunities. Guests are invited to bring their leashed, well behaved pets.

ArtCenter Manatee, 209 9th St W., Bradenton

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Kokedama - A Different Bonsai , May 22, 10am-12pm

Kokedama is a style of bonsai in Japanese culture. In this class you will take a fresh plant (epiphyte) and wrap it in a peat-based soil recipe that is designed to hold its spherical shape; then you will fasten moss around it to make a gorgeous little green orb. You will make two of these plants to take home and display. Registration is $35 for members/$50 for non-members.

Selby Gardens, 900 South Palm Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  HEALTH: Warrior Pose For Warriors: A Yoga Fundraiser Supporting Veterans at the Sarasota Opera House , May 23

An evening with Operation Warrior Resolution (OWR) supporting military servicemembers with yoga, breath and body work and sound immersions on the stage of the legendary Sarasota Opera House. The event will be led by popular yogi master and Lululemon ambassador, Ms. Ashley Stewart. All proceeds will support OWR’s mission of providing immediate and effective mental health care at no cost for all U.S. military veterans and family members. Operation Warrior Resolution is a locally-based military nonprofit celebrating its first year as an officially recognized 501 c3 with a warrior pose for warriors – doing a downward dog on the same very stage a young Elvis Presley once shook his hips and sang “Hound Dog” at the Sarasota Opera House.


A variety of small eats and juices will be provided by local vendors in the courtyard immediately afterwards. Spots are limited, so get your ticket today and support our country’s warriors with a warrior pose yourself at the Sarasota Opera House!

Sarasota Opera House

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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