Restaurant News: Celebrity Chef Dinner, Origin Expands, Sofia’s In LWR

SARASOTA-BRADENTON, FL – Here’s the latest restaurant and bar news in Sarasota and Manatee counties:

Celebrity Chef Dinner At Pop’s Features James Beard Award Winners

The six-course Celebrity Chef Dinner Thursday night at Pop’s Sunset Grill features three James Beard Award winners and nominees and six chefs from the Sarasota area.

Guest chefs include:

  • Justin Aprahamian, owner of Sanford Restaurant in Milwaukee and winner of the James Beard Award for Best Chef Midwest in 2014
  • Martín Rios, owner of Restaurant Martín in Santa Fe and five-time nominee for the James Beard Award for Best Chef Southwest
  • Rabii Saber, executive pastry chef at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort and a James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chef semifinalist in 2019 and 2022
  • Marcos Vasquez, executive chef at Pop’s Sunset Grill in Casey Key
  • Gino Calleja, owner and executive chef of Reyna’s Taqueria in Sarasota
  • Michelle Wolforth, executive chef at State Street Eating House + Cocktails in Sarasota

Each course will be paired with a distinctive wine or cocktail.

Tickets are $ 150 per seat for the wine-paired dinner. Individual seats and complete tables are available.

The event benefits All Faiths Food Bank. Purchase tickets here.

Origin Craft Beer & Pizza Café To Open In The Landing

Origin Craft Beer & Pizza Café will open another new location later this summer in The Landings at 4944 S. Tamiami Trail.

The original location at 1837 Hillview Street in Sarasota’s Southside Village opened in 2016. In September 2020, Origin’s second restaurant opened in the city’s Palmer Ranch area at 5070 Palmer Plaza Blvd. and a third location opened in the University Town Center area in February 2021.

Owner Rami Nehme told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, “We’re trying to create more like a laidback, neighborhood atmosphere where people can come in, watch the games – like the feel that we provide at Hillview and at our other locations where people will know your name, when you walk in, we know your order. “

Artisan Cheese Company Owners Opens in Micro Bakery

The owner of Artisan Cheese Company is launching Artisan Bread: A Micro-Bakery out of her Rosemary District cheese shop.

Louise Kennedy Converse told Sarasota Magazine, “One of the things I have a passion for is bread.”

As she launches her new endeavor, which includes a naturally fermented sourdough, she’s experimented with grains from across the United States.

Eventually, she plans to sell the bread through local retailers in addition to offering it at the shop.

Mediterranean Restaurant Opens On Main Street At Lakewood Ranch

Sofia’s, a Mediterranean restaurant, will open on Main Street at Lakewood Ranch in August.

Owner Angelo DiFiore, who previously owned Angelo’s in Sarasota and managed other area restaurants, told the Observer Media Group that he dreamed up his new restaurant’s concept while recovering from COVID-19 in 2021.

The 58-year-old restaurateur was bedridden for three-and-a-half months and began thinking about his future.

“When something like that happens, you appreciate your life more,” he said.

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