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SRQ DAILY Jul 9, 2024

Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

"We like to talk to our clients and find out what their event is about and what they are looking for as far as food. Then we customize the menu and send it to them and work with them to build exactly what they want."

- Mellissa Louty, Chef, Two Chefs On Hillview.

[The Dish]  Have Food, Will Travel
Kate Wight, kate.wight@srqme.com

Three years ago, chefs Frank Imbarlina and Mellissa Louty teamed up under the moniker Two Chefs on Hillview and started dishing up delightful delicacies to a devoted following of Sarasota foodies. The pair had each spent decades in the restaurant industry before opening their own businesses. Louty was offering catering services as well as making wholesale breads and desserts for local restaurants, while Imbarlina was producing artisan charcuterie items and smoked fish products for wholesale distribution.

“That’s how Frank and I met. We were both renting the same space for our wholesaling businesses,” Louty explains. “Our businesses were growing and we wanted to have our own place. So we were really just looking for space to do our wholesale businesses and catering for me. And then we found this spot on Hillview and with the location we thought it would be fun to have a little store, too.”

Having a storefront in addition to their wholesale businesses gave Imbarlina and Louty the opportunity to flex their culinary creativity. In addition to their wholesale items, the chefs also offered an array of other items including soups, sauces, and quiches whose flavors varied from day to day. Over the next few years, they built up a loyal local following. But in February of 2024, catastrophe struck when the cost of their property insurance skyrocketed by over $30,000. Imbarlina and Louty were forced to shutter their beloved business with no warning. Thanks to the generosity of the culinary community in Sarasota, the Two Chefs on Hillview have managed to keep the business going.

“We’re moving around from kitchen to kitchen each week,” Imbarlina says. “It’s rough, but we have good friends who have rallied behind us and made it possible to keep going. We’re doing anything we can right now to keep the brand alive while we’re looking for a new spot.”

In their more limited capacity, Two Chefs on Hillview are still able to offer plenty of customer favorites. Charcuterie boards remain a top priority. Imbarlina prepares pates, rillettes, confits and spreads for the True Charcuterie Arrangements, while Mellissa makes the bread. Mixed Arrangements including charcuterie and bread, along with extras like cheese, fruit and homemade accompaniments like creole mustard, and pear and ginger marmalade. There are a wide array of other arrangements to choose from including various Dessert Arrangements featuring artisan desserts by Louty.

Two Chefs also provides full-service catering, offering everything from multi-course sitdown dinners to 200-person cocktail parties with passed hors d’oeuvres or grazing tables. They offer some unique bites, like WonTon Cones stuffed with savory and tangy orange beef.

“A lot of people are used to working with other caterers that just send over a standard menu,” Louty says. “We like to talk to our clients and find out what their event is about and what they’re looking for as far as food. Then we customize the menu and send it to them and work with them to build exactly what they want.”

Two Chefs has also resurrected Bootsy’s Pot Pies, a favorite from the old storefront. Customers can call in pre-orders for pot pies which will be delivered once a month. Flavors are posted on the Two Chefs on Hillview Facebook page. Louty also continues to offer all of her baked goods, including her signature key lime pie and visually stunning custom cakes.

One of the things both Imbarlina and Louty enjoyed most about their storefront was having a place to host public cooking classes. They have adapted to that setback as well, and are offering private classes for the time being. As they look for a new storefront, one with a space for cooking classes is high up on their priority list. But finding a space has proved daunting, and despite their resiliency, the pair could use a lucky break.

“We need to find a space,” Imbarlina says simply.

Two Chefs on Hillview, (941) 210-3535, chefs@twochefsonhillview.com, twochefsonhillview.com. 

Pictured: Level up your next event with a charcuterie spread from Two Chefs on Hillview. Photo courtesy of Two Chefs on Hillview.

[Arts & Entertainment]  Bishop After Hours Throws an 80s Night Laser Light Extravaganza

Calling all neon enthusiasts! Take a trip back to where jean jackets, big hair, and neon colors ruled the runway as The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature is hosting a double-feature laser light spectacular on Thursday, July 11th, that transports you back to the 80s. Bishop After Hours: 80s Night kicks things off at 7pm. Dust off your leg warmers and crimping iron because it’s a night of dazzling lasers synchronized to the iconic beats of the 80s. Get ready for a blast from the past with hits from Kenny Loggins, U2, Prince, B-52s, and more! Grab some refreshments and get ready for the second show at 9pm, featuring hits from the Police, Duran Duran, Cyndi Lauper, Devo, and More! If you favor the show Stranger Things, you may recognize some of the songs as this mesmerizing laser show is set to season 2’s unforgettable score. This is a double feature you won’t want to miss! Tickets are sure to sell out fast, so grab your friends and get ready for a totally tubular and mind-bending night at The Bishop. Feel free to wear your best 80s outfits and get ready to rock! 

To learn more, visit.

[Arts & Entertainment]  Celebrate Christmas in July at the Van Wezel

Christmas came early this year with new shows added to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall 2024-2025 season lineup. Shows just announced include Neil Berg’s 50 Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll Part VI (November 7), Dave Koz and Friends 2024 Christmas Tour (December 1), The Four Phantoms in Concert (December 18), and Top Of The World – A Carpenters Christmas Show (December 20). Tickets go on sale Friday, July 12, at 10 a.m. EDT. 


[Arts & Entertainment]  Hermitage Announces New Trustees for 2024-2025

The Hermitage Artist Retreat (Sarasota County, Florida) announced today that Alice Court (Boca Grande / Toronto), Tim Flood (Manasota Key), and Peter Offringa (Sarasota) have been elected to the Hermitage Board of Trustees. In addition, longtime Hermitage supporters and Sarasota arts philanthropists Charlie Huisking (Sarasota) and Flora Major (New York / Sarasota) have been unanimously elected as the Hermitage’s first Honorary Trustees. All five commenced their term on July 1, 2024. Earlier this season, past Hermitage trustees Larry Bold (Manasota Key), Tom Dignam (Englewood), and Andy Maass (Longboat Key) were recognized by the Hermitage as Emeritus Trustees.These additions to the Hermitage Board follow a remarkable season that has included more than 55 live programs and events, dozens of new and expanded arts and education partnerships in the community, and another record-breaking fiscal year. 

[SOON]  FOOD: Siesta Key Rum Distillery Tours , September 2 – September 30, Various times

Siesta Key Rum runs free year-round tours for guests to learn the story of the craft distillery, the awards they have won and the secret to how they make their rums taste so good. During our 30-45 minute tour we will discuss the following topics: history of Siesta Key Rum, an overview of the awards our small company has won, what makes our rums taste so good, the rum-making process from mashing and fermentation to distillation, barrel aging and bottling of our rums. After the tour, we welcome you to sample a freshly made Siesta Key Rum cocktail, stock up on your favorite rums and browse our gift shop. 2212 Industrial Blvd., Sarasota.

[SOON]  FOOD: Geckos Grill and Pubs New Summer Menu , May 13 – July 31, 11am

NEW!! Gecko’s Grill & Pub’s have launched a special Summer Lunch Menu at all of our six locations.  With specials from our menu sure to delight you, including our award-winning ½ lb. USDA Choice Angus Gecko’s Burger, Sandwiches, our Signature 1992 Salad and more…for $8 you can enjoy our favorite time of the year with some of your fav Gecko’s dishes when you dine in with us for Lunch.  Always fresh, always made-to-order, join us to kickstart your Summer with our Summer Lunch specials from 11-3 Monday-Friday.  Dine In only. 

Gecko's, 1900 Hillview St, Sarasota, F

[SOON]  MUSIC: Friday Fest , May 24 – October 4, 5-9pm
Friday Fest, the free, outdoor summertime concert series at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall returns with an exciting lineup of bands who will bring the audience to their feet. This year the festivities kick off in May. Each event runs from 5-9 p.m. on the lawn of the Van Wezel overlooking beautiful Sarasota Bay. Bring blankets or lawn chairs, take in the music and the sunset, and enjoy food and beverages from local vendors. Bringing in food, beverages and coolers from outside Friday Fest is prohibited. For additional information, visit VanWezel.org.
[SOON]  FOOD: Catch all of the Soccer Action at Hooters , June 20 – July 14

Make sure to visit your neighborhood Hooters during the Copa America tournament from June 20 to July 14.  Catch the soccer action while enjoying world famous Hooters wings and other favorite menu items. This summer your neighborhood Hooters restaurant is offering several Surfside Summer specials including crab legs ($20), Blue Point Oysters (6 for $6) and 10 Buffalo Shrimp and Fries ($10).  Add an ice-cold draft beer for only $3 with the purchase of the Surfside Summer Specials. Choices include Kona Big Wave, Michelob Ultra and Samuel Adams Summer Ale.

Hooters, 6507 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Lets Connect at Oscura in Old Manatee , August 31 – December 26, 8:30-10am

Connect with local business owners at every Thursday at Oscura. Lets Connect is a community of collaborative business professionals from the Manatee and Sarasota County areas. RSVP on Eventbrite to attend, admission is free.

[SOON]  FOOD: Sushi Lovers are Invited to Sushi Thursdays at Jack Dusty , June 19 – August 15, 4:30

We are thrilled to announce an exciting new addition to our culinary offerings at Jack Dusty, The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota’s signature restaurant. Starting this Thursday, May 30, join us for Sushi Thursdays from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Dive into an exquisite selection of sushi and specialty rolls, crafted with the freshest ingredients and inspired by the rich maritime traditions of Sarasota. This weekly event promises a delectable experience while supplies last, so be sure to arrive early and indulge in these flavorful creations. We look forward to welcoming our guests and local residents to Sushi Thursdays at Jack Dusty for an unforgettable dining experience. Reservations can be made on OpenTable or by calling (941) 309-2266.


Jack Dusty, 1111 Ritz Carlton Dr, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Salvation Army of Sarasota Food Pantry , May 30 – September 1, 12pm

The Salvation Army of Sarasota has a new Food Pantry that is now open Mondays and Thursdays from 12:00om to 2:00pm at 1701 South Tuttle Avenue. Food is being supplies by All Faiths Food Bank. 

Salvation Army of Sarasota , 1701 South Tuttle Avenue

[SOON]  FOOD: A Taste of Art , February 1 – January 31, 5:30-8pm
Longtime friends Chef Charles Amherst of Chaz 51 Steakhouse in Venice and Barbara Gerdeman, co-founder of Creative Liberties Artist Studios in Sarasota, have joined forces to create a series of interactive live art dinner showcases called A Taste of Art. The first of these events takes place Thursday, February 1, 5:30-8 p.m., at Chaz 51 Steakhouse, 549 US 41 Bypass N, Venice. The events will continue on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evenings. Guests who visit Chaz 51 on these evenings will be able to witness the creation of captivating works of art in real-time. To make a reservation, call Chaz 51 Steakhouse at 941-484-6200. To find out which artists are scheduled for February, check out the calendar at CreativeLiberties.net.

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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