Gourmet Chefs Cook up Benefit for Children’s Charities

Nine professional chefs and a score of assistants helped make the Second Annual Chefs’ Showcase at the Church of Scientology Fort Harrison Hotel a tour do force.

A team of nine of Tampa Bay’s most accomplished chefs delighted guests at Clearwater’s Fort Harrison in June at the second annual Chefs Showcase, co-hosted by Tampa Bay Magazine.

The event raised nearly $9,000 for the Clearwater Community Volunteers (CCV), which produces the annual Clearwater Winter Wonderland and raises funds for family and children’s charities such as the Boys & Girls Club, Everybody’s Tabernacle’s Homeless Emergency Project, the Red Cross, Victims of Katrina and Winter Wonderland.

The centerpiece of the event was a seven course dinner on the theme “Colonial America – Modernized” for which each chef created a culinary masterpiece.

First was the bread course, courtesy of Fort Harrison Chefs Ben and Zoltan: six different breads, four unique butters and the appetizer—smoked salmon roll with corn pancakes topped with caviar.

Next was Pheasant Consommé by Chef Sean Ragan of Four-Diamond rated Carretta’s on the Gulf at the Sandpearl Beach Resort on Clearwater Beach.

This was followed by venison tenderloin served with a rosemary potato croquette, a re-vamped succotash and a molasses-glazed trumpet mushroom by Chef Andrew Coniglio, Executive Chef of the Innisbrook Golf Resort and Chef Brian Vroman, Executive Chef of Craft Street Food and Spirits.

A roasted asparagus terrine in a truffle vinaigrette was created by Chef Viet Vo of the Art Institute of Tampa.

Dessert consisted of a Colonial Tasting: apple tarte tatin, chocolate pecan pie and pumpkin-molasses gelato, created by William Dean Chocolates Chef Bill Brown and Chef Tim Brown.

The finale was a Cheese Course created by Chef Asbel Reyes, Territory Manager for Gourmet Foods International, Tampa.

Other sponsors included Gourmet Foods International and Sysco.

Since 1996, CCV has raised more than $150,000 for charities including Nourish to Flourish, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Boys and Girls Club of the Suncoast, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and the Children’s Home. CCV also produces the annual Clearwater Winter Wonderland in December and the Coachman Park Easter Egg Hunt every spring.

For more information about the Clearwater Community Volunteers, visit