One of the things we love most about the foodie scene in Sarasota, is the camaraderie between local chefs. Rather than look at each other as “the competition,” more often than not you’ll find these talented men and women meeting each other after work, visiting each other’s restaurants and greeting each other with respect and admiration.
On November 30th, 2015, you can see a perfect example of how our local chefs support each other, at the one night only “Pop-Up Restaurant” of Chef Louis Robinson, held at Baker & Wife, home to Chef Isaac Correa.
Pop-up restaurants have been popular since the 2000s in Britain and Australia but they are not a new phenomenon, having existed in the United States and Cuba for some time. Diners typically make use of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to follow the movement of these restaurants and Chefs, making online reservations when they are announced. Pop-ups allow Chefs to introduce new dishes and show their culinary flare without the concern of heavy overhead. Some of the most unique and delightful tastings I’ve ever had were at pop-ups.
A good example of a successful pop-up that became a bricks and motar restaurant is Nancy’s Barbecue. Nancy Krohngold started out as a food cart vendor, operating her barbecue cart in downtown Sarasota. Moving from one location to another, Nancy communicated with her foodie fans via Facebook, letting them know where she’d be setting up her cart each day. She created a dedicated following, and voila. . . investors! The Caragiulo brothers knew a hit when they tasted it, and helped Nancy open the popular restaurant she owns today. Famous chefs, including Thomas Keller, owner/chef of the famous The French Laundry, have operated pop up restaurants.
Before we go into the menu, here’s a little about the two Chefs and their backgrounds. Chef Correa is an internationally recognized Chef, having owned/operated a host of successful restaurants in Moscow and Manhattan. Chef Correa’s food has been featured on television, numerous publications, and blogs. Recently opening the new, and extremely popular Baker & Wife on Siesta Drive in Sarasota, Chef Correa found success in a location where numerous others owners have failed. Chef Correa will not be cooking that night. Like the rest of us, he’ll be there to enjoy the creations of Chef Louis Robinson.
Chef Louis Robinson is unique. Working as a private chef under his company name, Spice, you have to book Chef Robinson for a private event if you want to taste his delicious food. He’s also an award winning competitive Chef, having just taken First Place in the Fresh From Florida Challenge at the World Food Championships 2015. He also took 3rd place in the qualifying round of the Recipe Challenge, moving him into the finals, where he took 4th place overall. At the Junior League of Sarasota’s Art of Food Festival last month, he served a scallop dish that had edible GOLD on it! His plating is nothing less than spectacular.
So, here’s your chance to enjoy the talents of this talented chef. The menu will feature many unique ingredients you may not have tried before, and every plate will be garnished with wild, locally foraged greens, picked fresh that morning. Tickets are $85 each, and can be purchased at http://spiceflorida.com/events/.
With all the buzz growing for Chef Robinson, which in itself is pretty spectacular, seeing as you can’t taste his food unless you book him for a private event. Or. . . you could attend the “Pop Up Restaurant” he’s hosting at Baker & Wife. Your choice. . . But I know what we’re doing!