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SRQ DAILY Jan 18, 2022

Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

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Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

"I love creating a menu and brand, and this lets me try a bunch of stuff out while still making ends meet."

- Anthony Petralia, Chef/Owner, Tralia

[The Dish]  Anthony Petralia Makes Kitchen Surfing Classy with Tralia Concept
Andrew Fabian, andrew.fabian@srqme.com

The intersection of necessity and ingenuity is a fertile ground from which unformed ideas can take shape. If the pandemic applied enormous pressure on the restaurant industry and those who rely on it for their livelihoods, then it also provided an opportunity for some creatives in the industry to rethink the way a food concept can operate. Anthony Petralia is one such creative.

As a self-taught chef responsible for popular menus at restaurants like Seabar and Gulf Gate Food + Beer, Petralia wasted no time during early lockdowns developing Tralia, a pizza pop-up. “Tralia definitely stemmed from COVID,” he says, “but the early success really showed me there was a lot of potential there.” Tralia’s early iteration saw the chef sell his Neapolitan-inspired sourdough pizzas as take-out only meals out of a ghost kitchen. But Petralia has since leveraged the Tralia brand into a unique business model that stands to reimagine food service beyond the confines of pandemic necessities.

At 99 Bottles, Petralia now takes over the kitchen on Sundays and offers a small menu of his sourdough pizzas, fresh-made pastas and whatever other modern Italian fare he comes up with for the night. The success of his kitchen takeovers quickly bled into Mondays. Then, when Seabar closed to make room for the expansion of Gulf Gate Food + Beer, Petralia started another pop-up concept called Rokkin Ramen in which he peddles his ramen recipe from Seabar’s weekly ramen nights, also out of 99 Bottles (on Tuesdays).

Now Petralia has added Dive Wine & Spirits to his list of Tralia kitchen-surfing spots as well as a prestigious kitchen takeover tomorrow night at Indigenous. “I’ve looked up to [chef] Steve [Phelps at Indigenous] for a long time,” says Petralia, “and Indigenous has really set the bar in Sarasota.” The two struck up a friendship at one of Petralia’s pizza takeovers at 99 Bottles. Phelps, unsurprisingly, loved Petralia’s pizza pop-up and, coincidentally, had been thinking of hosting guest-chef dinners at Indigenous. “When he asked me if I was interested in doing a guest-chef dinner, it was a no brainer,” says Petralia, “it’s a great opportunity to establish my credibility.”

The five-course, invite-only dinner will see the two chefs collaborate on an Italian menu of appetizers, pastas and seafood, all made with the same laser focus on sustainability, regionality and seasonality that Phelps has become known for. It’s the next step in the evolution of the Tralia concept, a concept that began out of necessity, morphed into a steady passion project, and sits on the cusp of solidifying itself as an infinitely adaptable, viable model. “The beauty of this concept is that it’s low risk, high reward,” says Petralia, “I love creating a menu and brand, and this lets me try a bunch of stuff out while still making ends meet." 

Pictured: Anthony Petralia makes kitchen surfing classy with fresh-made pastas and pizzas. Photo by Anthony Petralia

[New Chef]  Pasta, Tom Cruise and the Key to Success with Executive Chef Michelle Wolforth
Kellianne Hoton. Kellianne@srqme.com

Last month, we had the pleasure of talking to the owner of State Street Eating House + Cocktails, Chris Voelker, and new Executive Chef, Michelle Wolforth (click here to read more from that SRQ DAILY feature). This week, we take a deeper dive into Wolforth's culinary journey with a Q&A session that hits on a few of her favorite dishes to prepare, how she got to where she is now and—yep, you read the title correctly— her unforgettable run-in with Tom Cruise.

In your bio, you mention that your culinary passion began as a little girl while helping your mother prepare meals for large family gatherings. What was your favorite dish to help prepare back then? Hands down, chicken piccata. It was the perfect go-to, especially during the week. It was easy, quick. We probably had it once a week and I make it for my husband now. It's my most favorite thing to eat at home. Capers, shallots, garlic, a little chicken stock. And scratch-made pasta—can't go wrong with that.

What is one of your favorite dishes to prepare at State Street Eating House + Cocktails? Pasta! In the past 10 years I have mastered it. When I make pasta, it’s not like the dried pasta that you hang. This is a yolk dough, so it is completely yellow all the way through and the highest quality flour—double zero caputo from Italy. Spare no expense when it comes to making the best pasta. And the pork ragu I make, it's a full-day process. I find the pork shoulder, sear it, braise it, pull it apart and pick it up with the pappardelle that we're making in house. If you're coming to eat pasta at the restaurant, that's the best way to have it—pappardelle with the pork ragu and whip ricotta--one of my favorite things to eat and make.

You’ve prepared food for very prestigious individuals. What has the most star-struck moment been for you in your culinary career so far? I did a private event and I don't even think he knew it was happening, but Tom Cruise was at the Mandarin Oriental. He was doing a movie with Adam Sandler in Boston. They were staying for some length of time, but the private chef that came with him had to go away. So I took over cooking for both of them privately for a week. I ended up seeing him in the hallway as I was moving a speed rack down, and I almost took him out! So almost running Tom Cruise over with a speed rack was kind of fun.

What advice would you give to a chef aspiring to get where you are today? I would say it takes a special kind of individual. You work every holiday, every night—it's a grind. It's not just cooking great food. Taking on an executive chef role requires many years to get to where you can be confident enough to run all aspects and operations of the job. It's stressful, but it's something I absolutely love to do. I think you really need to love what you do, or it's really not worth doing it.

State Street Eating House + Cocktails, 1533 State St, Sarasota, 941-951-1533 

Pictured: Sweet potato ricotta gnocchi. Photo courtesy of State Street Eating House + Cocktails.

Click here for full menu

[In Conversation]  In Conversation with Dr. Jehanzeb "JB" Bilal

In the January 2022 edition of SRQ Magazine, we interviewed Dr. Jehanzeb “JB” Bilal of  The Renal Hypertension Center as part of our In Conversation marketing feature with top doctor honorees on trends in medicine, health and wellness. Below is an excerpt published in the magazine in which Dr. Bilal shares his insights with SRQ readers on the latest developments in medicine.

Dr. Bilal, what are some of the cutting edge treatments in your field?

We have seen some tremendous developments, especially in the last 10 years or so. We've seen a lot of new medications that have revolutionized nephrology practice recently. The biggest, SGLT2 inhibitors, are medications that were initially brought on as diabetes medication, but we noticed they have profound benefits in reducing mortality in patients with kidney disease, heart disease, as well as diabetes. Congestive heart failure is a big problem in people with kidney disease and heart disease. These ailments are the biggest drivers of Medicare money and health expenditure, so the medication has huge implications there. We are in a great position to help a patient who could decline potentially by just having the old school treatments available to them. With this medication we've seen excellent results.  

Renal Hypertension Center, Sarasota Location: 3801 Bee Ridge Rd., Ste. 1 Sarasota, FL 34233 Phone: 941-922-4498 Fax: 941-922-4571

Click here to see the full article

[Music Event]  Sarasota Concert Association Kicks Off its Great Performers Series with Pianist Emanuel Ax

The Sarasota Concert Association kicks off its Great Performers Series with pianist Emanuel Ax performing an all-Chopin program in a one-night-only recital on Tuesday, February 1 in the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Featuring works from the composer’s later period, when Chopin enjoyed one of his most productive periods, Emanuel Ax will present a varied program of nocturnes and mazurkas, as well as the composer’s Scherzo No. 4 and the Sonata No. 3. Winner of multiple Grammy Awards for his chamber music and solo recordings, Emanuel Ax regularly collaborates, performs, and records with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and he tours nationally and internationally in recital and with orchestras, including a recent Asian tour with the London Symphony, and a European Festival tour with the Vienna Philharmonic. Emanuel Ax’s solo recital appearances include performances in New York’s Carnegie Hall, as well as celebrated venues throughout the U.S. as well as in Europe and Asia. 

Pictured: Pianist Emanuel Ax. Photo by Maurice Jerry Beznos

Click here for ticket information.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Sarasota Audubon Society: Climate Change , January 19, 1:30pm-2:30pm

Karen Willey, Sarasota Audubon Climate Change Point Person will present “Let’s Talk Climate: It’s Easier Than You Think” on January 19 from 1:30pm to 2:30pm at the Nature Center, 999 Center Road. The majority of Americans know that climate change is happening, but since they are not talking about it, they don’t know they are among friends. Learn simple tools, metaphors and proven methods that will help you communicate climate change effortlessly.  

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Arts Advocates: The Bay Sarasota , January 20, 11am

Join us on January 20 at 11am for an update on The Bay Sarasota’s master plan. We’ll hear from The Bay Park Conservancy’s A.G. Lafley, founding CEO; Bill Waddill, chief implementation officer; and Veronica Brady, director of advancement. This program will be held at Bird Key Yacht Club. Reservations are due January 14. We have updated our Covid-19 health and safety policy to conform to government regulations. Masks are required at events. We strongly request that you be vaccinated if you attend an event. This is voluntary and on the honor system. Lunch Choice: Regular: California salad (mixed greens, raspberries, candied walnuts, granny smith apples, blue cheese crumbles) with salmon, chocolate lave cake for dessert, Vegetarian: Eggplant parmesan, chocolate lave cake for dessert.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: WSLR + Fogartyville: An Evening with Cooper Levey-Baker and Friends , January 20, 7pm

Cooper Levey-Baker is a writer and journalist. His fiction has appeared in the Sierra Nevada Review and Burrow Press’s Fantastic Floridas series, and his journalism has won multiple awards from the Florida Magazine Association and the Florida Society of Professional Journalists. Dead Fish Wind, his first novel, is a bizarre coming-of-age story told in prose that is lyrical, gross, tragic, goofy, and tender. An Evening with Cooper Levey-Baker and Friends will take place on Thursday, January 20, at 7pm.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: The Ringling: Homeschool Third Thursday: Human Movement: Exploring Human Migrations through Art , January 20, 10am-12pm

Human Movement: Exploring Human Migrations through Art will take place on Thursday, January 20 at the Museum of Art. Humans have always engaged in exchanges. Goods and ideas have travelled the world through trade, human immigration and migration, and the written word. Humanity is constantly on the move. Travel through The Ringling’s galleries to learn more about human movement through migration, trade, immigration, refugee-seeking and forced migration through art. Join us on the third Thursday of each month, for a special day designed just for homeschool families. Tickets are timed in order to avoid over-crowding; please check in at the Visitors Pavilion at the time noted on your ticket. Please note that this is a self-guiding program. Wristbands, a map, and a program packet with activities and information will be provided at check-in and families are invited to explore the museum at their own pace. 

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Orchestra: Pops: Revolution: Music of The Beatles , January 21 – January 22, 7:30pm and 2:30pm

Experience this new, authorized symphonic tribute to the Fab Four featuring Grammy winner Jeff Tyzik's electrifying arrangements, based on the Beatles' original master recordings at Abbey Road on Friday, January 21 at 7:30pm at the Van Wezel and Saturday, January 22 at 2:30pm and 7:30pm at the Van Wezel. Revolution takes audiences on a magical musical journey through the hits that transformed popular music forever.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Venice Theatre: Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill , January 21 – February 20, Varies.

The time is 1959. The place is a seedy bar in Philadelphia. The audience is about to witness one of Billie Holiday’s final performances. Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill by Lanie Robertson will show from January 21 to February 20, 2022 at the Venice Theatre.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Asolo Repertory Theatre: Our Town , January 12 – January 22, Varies.

Perhaps no other play rings truer today. Thornton Wilder’s magnificent Our Town is, at its heart, about us. All of us who are swept up by time and subject to inescapable change. As another ordinary day begins, the inhabitants of a small American town go about their business: newspapers are delivered; people go to work; gardens are tended. And a boy and girl fall in love. But as life’s events unfold, one question remains: “Do any human beings ever realize life as they live it?” Long after it won the 1938 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Our Town remains one of the most enduring American plays of all time, reminding us to celebrate love, family, community, and the beauty in the ordinary. Recommended for general audiences. Our Town will show January 12–March 26, 2022.

[SOON]  GALLERY: SPAACES Gallery: The Language of Ephemera , January 7 – January 22, Gallery hours.

The Language of Ephemera, A Two Person Exhibit with Sally Pettibon and Eszter Sziksz, DLA will have its Opening Night Reception on Friday, January 7th, 2022 from 6pm to 8pm. Open Exhibition Dates are January 8th through 22nd By Appointment Only. Ephemera is generally defined as collectible memorabilia that was intended for a short term purpose. It is almost always paper-based and is often written or printed items that were expected to have short term popularity or usefulness. But oftentimes, we do keep and cherish ephemera items – especially vintage ones. Pettibon and Sziksz, explore the transitory through thoughtful, quiet, and powerful reflections on what ephemera is in relation to the passing moments of time. 

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: WSLR + Fogartyville: Adam Ezra Group , January 22, 8pm

Reminiscent of Springsteen for their muscle and passion, U2 for their do-right attitude, and Dave Matthews for their well-earned reputation for energetic live-shows, the Adam Ezra Group’s grassroots approach to alternative folk rock has won them a dedicated fanbase. Sonically, their music ranges from blues rock stompers laced with searing electric fiddle and frantic percussion, to lush folk ballads that spotlight frontman Adam Ezra’s gritty, soulful voice. They’ve won three New England Music Awards: best song in 2016, album of the year in 2012, and band of the year in 2013. Their latest record, Hurricane Wind is entirely fan-produced and includes three collaborations with John Oates, of Hall and Oates. Fusing folk intimacy and rock energy with soul power and pop charm, the Adam Ezra Group first emerged from Boston in the early 2000s and quickly garnered widespread acclaim for their bold, insightful songwriting and interactive, euphoric performances. From hole in the wall bars and house concerts to sold-out headline shows and dates with the likes of Little Big Town, The Wallflowers, Gavin DeGraw, Train, and The Wailers, Ezra and his bandmates treated every single gig like their last, attracting a die-hard following that believed not just in the music, but in their commitment to activism and social change, as well. Adam Ezra Group will perform on Saturday, January 22 at 8pm.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: LWR CERT: Celebrate Lakewood Ranch , January 22, 11am-1pm
This family fun event in honor of 15 years of service to the Lakewood Ranch community will take place on January 22 from 11am to 1pm at Greenbrook Adventure Park. This event is free and open to the public and will feature food trucks, entertainment, Touch-A-Truck emergency vehicles, pet a baby alligator, rescue dog demonstration, hands-only CPR instruction, family safety tips, mounted patrol, and much more. Special tribute honoring LWR CERT members begins at 12:15pm.
[SOON]  GALLERY: The Ringling: Hard Bodies: Contemporary Japanese Lacquer Sculpture , October 31 – January 23, Museum hours.

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is pleased to welcome Hard Bodies: Contemporary Japanese Lacquer Sculpture. The exhibition will run Oct. 31, 2021 – Jan. 23, 2022, in the museum’s Searing Wing. Since Neolithic times, craftspeople across East Asia have used the sap of the lacquer tree (Toxicodendron vernicifluum) to coat and bond together wood, bamboo, textiles, and ceramics to make articles for daily and ritual use. The natural polymer refined from the sap forms a durable, waterproof surface that protects and beautifies. Lacquerware was — and continues to be — prized for its luster, which artists learned to accentuate over the centuries with inlaid gold, silver, mother-of-pearl and other precious materials. However, lacquer is not an easy material to work with. Years of technical training are necessary to master the medium. Nonetheless, lacquer continues to attract young artists who are undeterred by these rigors and continue to expand its’ possibilities. Hard Bodies: Contemporary Japanese Lacquer Sculpture will present over 30 works by 16 artists. Hard Bodies is the first — and to date, only — survey exhibition of contemporary Japanese lacquer sculpture in the United States. 

[SOON]  THEATER: FSU/Asolo Conservatory: Belleville , January 4 – January 23, Varies.

Young Americans Zack and Abby have the perfect ex-pat life in Paris: a funky bohemian apartment in up -and-coming Belleville; a stable marriage; and Zack's noble mission to fight pediatric AIDS. But when Abby finds Zack at home one afternoon when he's supposed to be at work, the questions and answers that follow shake the foundation fo their seemingly beautiful life. Belleville will take place from January 4, 2022 at 7:30pm to January 23, 2022 at 2pm.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Crosley Theater Company: A Literary Feast: Ernest Hemingway & F. Scott Fitzgerald , January 13 – January 23, Varies.

A Literary Feast: Ernest Hemingway & F. Scott Fitzgerald will run from Thursday January 13 2022 to Sunday January 23 2022 at Bradenton Kiwanis Theater, 502 Third Avenue West, Bradenton. Approximate running time: 2 hours. For their last production of the season, the Crosley Theater Company will focus on the two of the most famous American authors of the 20th century, Ernest Hemingway & F. Scott Fitzgerald. One never knows, The Old Man of the Sea may meet up with the Great Gatsby. Please join us for a feast of literary delights presented from a bygone era.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Orchestra: Chamber Soirees: Mendelssohn Octet , January 23, 4pm

Schubert's bewitching "night music" leads to the joyous sunshine of Mendelssohn's most beloved work on Sunday, January 23 at 4pm at Holley Hall. Inspired by Goethe's The Beautiful Night. This program consists of Schubert Nocturne (for trio) and Mendelssohn Octet.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Van Wezel: Bernadette Peters , January 23, 7pm

BERNADETTE PETERS, Broadway's brightest star, in an evening of song from the Broadway shows she's received accolades for, as well as from all her Grammy Award®-winning and nominated albums including standards, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Jerry Herman, among others. A glamorous evening as only Bernadette Peters can do. This show will take place on Sunday, January 23 at 7pm.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Venice Theatre: An Evening with Norm Lewis , January 23 – January 24, Varies.

Broadway and TV star NORM LEWIS can currently be seen starring in the SAG, Critics Choice, and NAACP Image Award-nominated Netflix film “Da 5 Bloods” by Spike Lee and in the groundbreaking FX series, “Pose.” He was previously seen in the NBC television special, “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert!,” alongside John Legend, Sara Bareilles, and Alice Cooper. He recently appeared in the Broadway revival of “Once on This Island” and as Sweeney Todd in the Off-Broadway production of “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” at the Barrow Street Theatre, receiving the AUDELCO Award for his performance. In May of 2014, he made history as “The Phantom of the Opera’s” first African American Phantom on Broadway. An Evening with Norm Lewis will show on January 23 and 24, 2022 at the Venice Theatre.

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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