Give them good food, good wine, a good cause and beautiful venue, and they will come.
This is exactly what happened on Sunday, Jan. 29 at the Westin Resort that hosted the 18th Annual Master Chefs Classic (a culinary tasting and competition) to benefit the Monroe Association for ReMARCable Citizens (MARC, Inc.).
“The support we receive from this event is amazing,” smiled MARC Executive Director Diana Flenard. “Tickets sales for this began on Nov. 1, and they just never stopped. We actually had to stop tickets sales one week prior to the event. We always want to guarantee everyone that buys a ticket knows we will always have food and never run out. It’s a win-win situation for our MARC program and people who enjoy good food and wine.”
The event, sponsored by First State Bank, Truman & Company, the Restaurant Store, Keys Party Rental, Fausto’s Food Palace and the Westin, saw record crowds that arrived almost an hour before the doors opened. “I was a little nervous,” said organizer Gordon Ross. “Tickets sales really flew off the wall this year. I thank each and every restaurant and Chef that participated. They really worked hard to make this event the success it has become.”
1st Place was a tie between Conch Republic Seafood’s Duck Duck Goose and Casa Marina Sun Sun Restaurant’s Tuna Salmon Torch
2nd Place: A & B Lobster’s Florida Lobster Ceviche
3rd Place: Pier House Resort’s Smoked Beef Tenderloin “Cannoli”
People’s Choice: Bagatelle’s Lobster BLT
1st Place was a tie between Latitudes on Sunset Key’s Parmesan Crusted Crab and Tavern ’n Town, Marriott Beachside’s “Land & Sea” Florida Lobster Oxtail Risotto
2nd Place: Hot Tin Roof’s Scallops with Charred Escarole
3rd Place: A & B Lobster House’s Pan Seared Scallops
People’s Choice: Café Sole’s Jumbo Sea Scallops
1st Place: Casa Marina’s White Chocolate Sushi
2nd Place: Bistro 245’s Zaya Tower Sponge Cake
3rd Place: Alonzo’s Oyster Bar’s Southern Pecan Pie
People’s Choice: Croissants de France’s Strawberry Cake