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SRQ DAILY Sep 24, 2019

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"The field of competitors is fierce, with last year's top winners The Waterfront Restaurant (People's Choice) and Duval's (Judges' Choice) returning and determined to defend their coveted designation."

- SMO Executive Director Sarah Firstenberger

[Master Chef]  Master Chef Junior Winner Visits Sarasota to Inspire Kids to Cook
Wes Roberts

Beni Cwiakala, age 12, and winner of TV's Master Chef Junior Season 6, was on hand to teach aspiring young local chefs the tricks of the trade this past Saturday morning as part of a special culinary weekend hosted by Element Modern Mediterranean Grill in Downtown Sarasota. The restaurant was converted into a make-shift culinary studio for about a dozen young food connoisseurs ages 9 to 12 years who gathered to learn how to craft Chef Beni's signature recipe for crepes. 

Chef Beni told SRQ DAILY that she chose crepes to demonstrate for the youth master class because, "they are simple to learn and once you know how, you can make them forever, like riding a bicycle. And they can be both sweet and savory, so you have a lot of options with them."

As the gas burners lit up and crepe pans started to sizzle, Chef Beni walked around the room sharing enthusiastic accolades such as "gorgeous!" when she saw crepes getting perfectly browned and flipped. While the young chefs watched Beni attentively as they mastered creating perfect, warm discs of happiness slathered with whipped cream, berries and Nutella—it seemed the adults were the only ones who were star-struck.

Chef Beni's father Mark Cwiakala was on hand to support his daughter for the special culinary weekend produced by the team at Element. "We've been treated so well. Not everyone gets that Beni is a kid too. They really have taken care of her."

As the demonstration came to to close, Beni shared the custom wooden crepe tools that the students would now be taking home with them, along with a professional crepe pan, encouraging them to upgrade their rubber spatulas. "I think it's more diffcult [to use the wooden ones] and when you're learning, sometimes it's better to use more challenging tools," she said.

In addition to the cooking demonstration for kids Saturday morning, Chef Beni also worked with the Element culinary team throughout this past weekend, creating a custom dinner service and chatting with guests about her experiences on Master Chef Junior. 

Photo by Wes Roberts.

[Restaurants]  Sarasota-Manatee Originals Brings Back 'Set the Bar' Cocktail Competition
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

Representatives of the Sarasota-Manatee Originals organization recently released details on its 3rd annual signature cocktail contest Set The Bar on Friday, October 4, 2019 at the Universal Flight Training Hangar at the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. “The bar program is a highly integral part of the health and innovation of today’s dining industry,” says SMO Executive Director Sarah Firstenberger. “Like the Chefs in the kitchen, our bartenders are driving the guest experience, delighting guests with thoughtful and creative cocktails and perfect pairings. Set the Bar was created as a playful platform to showcase their enormous contributions.”   

And with the announcement of the friendly competition’s return, Sarasota-Manatee Originals will bring together the area’s best bartenders, distillers and accomplished mixologists—representing establishments from the northern tip of Anna Maria Island to the southern shores of Venice Beach. The 20 contestants set to compete is nearly double of last year’s field of competitors. Set The Bar is designed to showcase the creative beverage talents behind the area’s locally-owned and operated, independent restaurants including: Blasé Café & Martini Bar, Café Gabbiano, Element: Modern Mediterranean Grill, Fins at Sharky's, GROVE, Jack Dusty, JPAN Sushi & Grill, MADE, Mattison's, Michael's On East, Ophelia's on the Bay, Overture Restaurant & Gallery Lounge, Pacific Rim, PIER 22, Pop's Sunset Grill, State Street Eating House + Cocktails, The Sandbar Restaurant and Tsunami.

“The field of competitors is fierce,” says Firstenberger, “with last year’s top winners The Waterfront Restaurant (People’s Choice) and Duval’s (Judges’ Choice) returning and determined to defend their coveted designation.” 

This year, the contest will feature craft concoctions blended with one of the four spirits: Plymouth Gin, Absolut Elyx Vodka, Smooth Ambler Contradiction Bourbon or Olmeca Altos Plata Tequila. “The Best” libations will then be decided by an expert panel, as well as event attendees, who will be tasked with sampling and savoring each creation before judging the competitors on “flavor, appearance, bartender presentation and imagination.” In addition to the exclusive showing given by the group of skilled beverage innovators, guests of Set The Bar will also enjoy live entertainment and prizes, as well as dishes presented by three of SMO's members: Jpan Sarasota, Icon Eatery & Bar at Legacy Hotel and Eliza Ann's Coastal Kitchen. 

The event takes placed on Friday, October 4, 2019 from 6:30 to 9:00pm at the Universal Flight Training Hangar in Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, 8140 15th St. East, Sarasota. To host the special annual event, SMO is partnering with Child Protection Center Sarasota to whom event proceeds will benefit. Space is limited. Must be 21 years of age or older to attend this event.  

Photo courtesy of Cocktails by Spence Consulting.

Tickets for Set The Bar Cocktail Competition available for purchase here:

[GoodBite]  A Salute to Grappa
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

If you didn't think your hump day plans included rooftop drinks downtown with the Italian heiress of a world-renowned distillery, think again. "For one night only," Sage SRQ is hosting an intimate evening on its rooftop lounge as its first day back open from a month-long hiatus gearing up for the incoming season. Special guest, Francesca Nonino, happens to be 6th generation of Grappa Nonino De, a distillery founded well before your time—1897 to be exact—in the Friuli region of northeastern Italy.

After producing inumerable bottles of the Italian-exclusive, grape-based pomace brandy for over a century, both the Nonino brand, and the family, have garnered a cult-like following, with recognition airing on the realm of royalty in the world of spirits. Its exquisite offerings innovated the field of grappa production, won several achievements and been made famous by celebrities of Italy, as well as boozy grape-lovers worldwide.

An Evening With Nonino will feature three award-winning Nonino Grappas, the Amaro Nonino Quintessentia digestif and its newest addition to the collection L’Aperitivo Botanical Drink. And in true European style, eat late and indulgently, with paired bites collaborated with the Nonino family and Chef Covelli of Sage. Bon appétit. 

An Evening With Nonino- Wednesday, September 25 at 6pm. Admission is free and is first come, first served.  

Photo courtesy of Nonino Grappa.

Sage SRQ, 1216 1st St., Sarasota, 941-445-5660, @sagesrq.

[Board and Staff Announcements]  Sarasota Cuban Ballet School Announces New Board Members and Staff

The Sarasota Cuban Ballet School announces four new board members: Michael J. Shelton, Chairman, a retired Real Estate and Bankruptcy Attorney who has over 20 years of experience serving the Sarasota non-profit community in positions such as Co-Founder and Executive Director of Embracing Our Differences as well as Managing Director of the Sarasota Ballet; John Simon, Vice-Chairman, a Business Consultant with over 40 years in real estate development who has held various Senior Vice-President and Director positions for publicly traded companies and currently sits on the board of Corporex Companies LLC and also served on multiple non-profit boards including the Sarasota Ballet; Mary Anne Servian, Treasurer, the CEO of Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida who brings over 20 years of non-profit experience serving on several boards and in management having been the Managing Director of the Sarasota Ballet also serving as a Sarasota City Commissioner, Vice-Mayor, and Mayor; Terry Romine, Secretary, a retired attorney, lobbyist, business owner, consultant, publisher, editor, writer and educator who has extensive experience serving as an officer on non-profit boards such as the Sarasota Ballet, the Arts and Cultural Alliance, and the Westcoast Black Theater among others; and Peter Kretzmer, Board Member, a Senior Economist at Bank of America who relocated to Sarasota a year and a half ago after visiting for thirty years bringing with him a strong family tradition of interest and philanthropy in cultural fields, especially music, opera and dance. Ian Tanzer also joins the staff as the new Administrative Director. He retired from a career as a professional ballet dancer, performing with Boston Ballet, Ballet West and the Sarasota Ballet. After his work in ballet he transitioned into academics, accounting and non-profit financing.  


[Opening]  Four Vacancies on the Manatee County Construction Trades Board

Manatee County is now accepting applications for four vacancies on the Construction Trades Board which regulates state and local contractors and licensed local contractors within unincorporated Manatee County. The Construction Trades Board has the authority to discipline anyone who violates applicable local code, State Statutes or Florida Building Code provisions pertaining to the activities of licensed contractors, including the authority to suspend and or revoke their licenses and impose monetary fines. Vacancies include a Certified General Contractor, Licensed Electrical/ Mechanical/Air Conditioning Class A or B Contractor and two Consumer Representatives. Applications are due Oct. 21 and may be found online at www.mymanatee.org/advisoryboards

Apply Here

[Recognition]  Clickbooth CEO Named TBBJ 40 Under 40 Honoree

CEO Erin Cigich of Clickbooth, LLC has been named an honoree of the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Award. Cigich oversees Clickbooth’s four divisions offering a comprehensive suite of performance marketing solutions. Clickbooth, ranked the #1 Performance Marketing Network worldwide (mThink), is headquartered in Sarasota, FL and has offices in Denver, CO, as well as Banja Luka, Bosnia. Cigich has been integral in establishing Clickbooth as the premier source for performance marketing needs, and has successfully led two acquisitions in recent years. Cigich started at the company in 2007 and has previously held the titles of President (2011-2015), Vice President of Marketing (2010-2011) and Director of Sales (2007-2010). Clickbooth’s “Think Bigger” vision - led by Cigich - is a future in which all digital advertising has shifted to a performance-based model. 


[Recreation]  City of Sarasota Announces New Park Opening

Join the City of Sarasota Parks and Recreation District on Tuesday, October 1 for the official opening of the brand-new playground equipment at 9 am in Pioneer Park. The past playground was destroyed back in February 2019 by a suspicious fire. The new playground by Playcraft Systems encompasses a treehouse theme and will include multpiple slides, tree climbers, Spider Net Climber, SpinMAX Spherical Spinner (first of its kind according to the manufacturer), age-desginated play ares, freestanding musical components of drums and flower-shaped harmony bells, numerous moving activity panels for sensory play and plenty of ground-level components for accessibility. For more information please contact the Project Manager at 941-329-6149.  

Pioneer Park, 1260 12th St. Sarasota, 34236.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Forty Carrots Free Community Speaker Event , September 26, 7pm-830pm

Register now for the Forty Carrots 17th annual Free Educational Community Speaker Event, “Raising Human Beings: Creating a Collaborative Partnership with Your Child,” featuring renowned child psychologist and best-selling author Ross W. Greene, Ph.D. Greene will share how to cultivate a better parent-child relationship using his empirically supported model of collaborative problem solving. Discover how to nurture empathy, resilience and independence, improve communication and avoid power struggles. RSVP is required. Register at www.fortycarrots.org.

Riverview High School Performing Arts Center, 1 Ram Way, Sarasota, FL

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Hotel Indigo Oktoberfest , October 5, 3pm-7pm

Joining the recent “boom” of the Rosemary District, Hotel Indigo is hosting their first annual Oktoberfest event on the premises of their hotel with a cultural, community event supporting Mayors’ Feed the Hungry Charity, over a three-day celebration of food, music, games and neighborhood connections. Taking place in the parking lot, the main event will be the Oktoberfest on October 5 from 3-7pm, including Bavarian beer and food, Derby games, Stein Holding competition, Das Boot Chugging Competition and much more. There will also be an Oktoberfest Happy Hour from 5-8pm on Friday October 4, and an Oktoberfest Brunch from 11am-2pm on October 6.

Hotel Indigo's Back Parking Lot , 1223 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  FOOD: Caregivers Comfort Socializing Lunch , October 7, 1215pm

Julie Cook Downing, President of Caregivers' Comfort Creations, LLC and Doctors Hospital Caregiver Support Group Facilitator, hosts a monthly lunch at The Rosemary restaurant. This event provides caregivers some time to relax, enjoy themselves and eat super delicious food with others sharing similar situations. The lunch takes place from 12:15pm-1:45pm. For lunch details, contact Julie at caregivercomfort@aol.com.

The Rosemary, 411 North Orange Avenue

[SOON]  SEMINAR: 24th Annual "Share The Light" Luncheon , October 17, 1130am-130pm

Join Second Chance Last Opportunity, the crisis intervention and life-skills training organization, as they honor Arlene Sweeting, the co-founder of WSLR 96.5 Community Radio and the Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, and Duhane Lindo, a reporter for the WWSB ABC7 News Team in Sarasota. The 24th Annual “Share The Light” Luncheon event will recognize the many contributions of these individuals. “We want all our clients to cultivate and reach their full potential,” says CEO and founder of Second Chance, April Glasco. “Sweeting and Lindo are outstanding examples of commitment and achievement.” Tickets for the luncheon are $65 and can be purchased online or by calling 941-360-8660. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

Michael's on East, 1212 S East Avenue, Sarasota, FL

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Fish, Fun & Fright , October 18, 5:30pm-8pm

Buoys and ghouls of all ages are invited to dress up in costume for a Night of Fish, Fun & Fright to enjoy spooky activities throughout Mote Aquarium. Unearth shark teeth in “Coffin Creek" and feast on deep sea delights in the “Diner of the Dead." Don’t miss Mote’s signature underwater pumpkin carving in spooktacular shark habitats. Pricing, additional information, and a link to purchase your tickets will be posted closer to the event on Mote's Fish, Fun & Fright website page.

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, 1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: 22nd Annual Cortez Nautical Flea Market , October 26, 8am to 1pm

The Florida Maritime Museum (FMM) is hosting its 22nd Annual Cortez Nautical Flea Market on Saturday, October 26, 2019 from 8am to 1pm. If you love boats, swoon at the sight of an anchor, taste the salt of the sea in your dreams then this event is for you. Searching for deals amongst the piles of new, used and eclectic maritime treasures has never been so much fun. Examples of vendors are used and new fishing supplies, power boat equipment, diving gear and sailing gear. Items will be available for sale and trade so bring your whole family and enjoy some live music by Treble Hook while mingling with other “salty dogs”. Live music will take place from 10am to 1pm. If you’re interested in being a vendor, there is a $25 fee (until October 12)* and space is very limited. Dig out or dust off all that old boat stuff and bring it on down, but make sure to reserve early.

The Florida Maritime Museum (FMM), 4415 119th Street West, Cortez, FL 34215

[SOON]  SPORTS: NEW! Race Moved to Sunday, October 20—First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon, Relay, 10K & 5K , October 20, 6:30 a.m.

UPDATE: The 14th Annual First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon, Relay, 10K & 5K, a signature event produced by Life Time, the premier healthy lifestyle brand, will be moving to Sunday, October 20, 2019 due to inclement weather. The Half Marathon, Relay and 10K showcase the beautiful Sarasota area. All participants will start and finish at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and embark along a captivating waterfront route, including the John Ringling Bridge and around St. Armand's Circle before heading to downtown Sarasota.

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  SPORTS: Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk , October 19, 7-9am

The 2019 Making Strides of Sarasota-Manatee is presented by CORE Construction and will take place at Nathan Benderson Park. Check-in is at 7am, the walk begins at 9am and there is no charge to participate. You can participate in the walk, lead a team in the walk, or donate to the cause. By raising awareness and funds, ACS can continue to educate about reducing cancer risk and early detection, fund even more groundbreaking research, and deliver more crucial services that patients and caregivers rely on every day. For more information, visit MakingStridesWalk.org/SarasotaManatee.

Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota, FL

[SOON]  FOOD: 20th Annual Morton's Firehouse Chili Cook-Off , October 27, 2-5pm

Join us in front of Morton’s Gourmet Market on Sunday, October 27 from 2-5 pm for the chili event of the year. Aspiring chefs from more than 15 local firehouses as well as Sarasota Police and County Sheriff Deputies will compete for the title of “Best Firehouse Chili.” Attendees may sample all entries and vote for their favorite for only $10. Celebrity judges and live entertainment will help make this event one of Sarasota’s best. All proceeds go to The Sarasota Firefighters’ Benevolent Fund. Find more information at mortonsmarket.com or sffbf.org. Tickets may be purchased the day of the event or in advance at Morton’s Gourmet Market.

Morton's Gourmet Market, 1924 South Osprey Avenue, between Arlington and Hyde Park Streets

[SOON]  SPORTS: Real Men Wear Pink Crawl for a Cure , September 28, 11am-7pm

Join the American Cancer Society on September 28 for the inaugural Real Men Wear Pink Sarasota Manatee Crawl for a Cure. ACS’s football themed pub crawl will transport guests from one sports bar to another, so as not to miss any part of College Game Day! Ticket includes trolley ride to 5 stops, food and drink specials along the way, Real Men Wear Pink swag and goody bag and dinner at the final stop. The day will include raffle prizes, contest for the “Best in Pink” and more. All funds raised through this event support lifesaving research and essential patient programs and services for those affected by breast cancer. Ticket are $75. Contact Bethany Lynch at bethanyk.lynch@cancer.org to purchase tickets.

Evie's Tavern on Main Street, 1560 Main Street, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Grey Matters A Symposium on Alzheimer's Research , September 27, 11am

Join us at the Grey Matters luncheon symposium at 11am on September 27th at The Ritz-Carlton. The luncheon will be hosted by The Roskamp Institute, and will involve presentations and interactive Q&As from their leadership team in addition to featuring New York Times bestselling author Kimberley Williams-Paisley as the Keynote Speaker. Attendees will hear updates on various areas of brain health, potential treatments and information for caregivers, preventative measures, early symptom warnings and clinical research updates regarding the potential for new treatment. Proceeds raised go towards research and development at The Roskamp Institute. 

The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, 1111 Ritz Carlton Drive, Sarasota, FL

[SOON]  HEALTH: Doctors Hospital Caregiver Support Group , October 21, 10am-11:30am

On every third Monday of the month, Julie Cook Downing, President of Caregivers Comfort Creations, LLC, facilitates a Doctors Hospital Caregiver Support Group. This group focuses on the caregiver and offers a retreat from the never ending mental and physical responsibilities of caregiving. This free, open group provides compassionate support and an opportunity to explore new solutions together to caregiver challenges. The group meets in the classroom outside of the cafeteria.

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, 5731 Bee Ridge Rd., Sarasota, FL 34233

[SOON]  FOOD: Wine, Women & Shoes , November 14 – November 16, 530pm

Forty Carrots Family Center presents the 15th anniversary of Wine, Women & Shoes. The award-winning series kicks off with a private reception featuring a dozen partner wineries on Thursday, Nov. 14 at Michael’s Wine Cellar. The Signature Luncheon on Friday, November 15 is an all day affair with sipping and shopping, a professionally produced fashion show and an afternoon of dancing in the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Lounge. The public is invited to sample and purchase the wines at an open house on Saturday, Nov. 15 at Michael’s Wine Cellar. The weekend wraps up that evening at winemaker dinners hosted by Forty Carrots supporters in their homes. An exciting online auction and chance drawings are also open to the public participation starting Nov. 10 at winewomenandshoes.com/fortycarrots.

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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