Local and longtime residents take their food seriously. About 20 ladies who live in Marathon, Stirrup Key, and Duck Key have formed a fun and enjoyable foodies club called “Conch Foodies.”

They recently had one of their best events ever at a local favorite — Herbie’s Bar & Chowder House, right in the heart of Marathon. It was billed as an extravagant tasting party. The menu consisted of arugula salad with butternut squash and spiced pecans, crab cakes, tuna sliders, New York strip over smashed potato, and chocolate mousse cake for dessert. With each course, diners sipped on a specially selected wine or beer handpicked for the pairing flavors by the owners, Peter and Shirley DeMaras. The ladies said enjoyed all the food, wine, beer and hospitality shown by the proprietors; a treat they will not soon forget.

The Conch Foodies usually try to have one event a month and also entertain local chefs for cooking demonstrations. Last month they traveled to Schnebly Redlands Winery. The group will skip November and December due to the holidays and resume in January.

The Conch Foodies are — front row, from left: Betty Chaplin, Mary Guerin, Nancy Heise, Darlene D’Ascanio, Rita Rose, Frankie DeMaras, Carolyn Belcaster, Brenda Torrella, Herbie’s owners Shirley and Peter DeMaras, Mary Moccia, Pat Key, Lynn D’Ascanio, and Gail Schindler back row, from left Stacy McKie, Mary D’Ascanio, Paula Leftwich, Sylvia Hernandez, Sande Neiditz, and Linde Mapes.

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