Creating a Stir - 27th Annual Caring Chefs

Wow. Last weekend was one for the books. The 27th Annual Caring Chefs event at The Avenues Mall in Jax - featuring scores of tastings from local restaurants - raised $104,220 for the children and families served by the Children's Home Society of Florida's Buckner Division.  Want an idea of how many people it takes to get a project like this event off the ground? If you were there - congrats for a job well done. If you missed it, get it on your calendar for 2011. Seriously! Check out their list of sponsors and participating restaurants!

I love this event - I always find new places (and old favorites) to visit based on who we met and what we tasted there. Because they cared enough to take time out of their busy weekends to really embrace the spirit of this event, I am looking forward to my next visits to culinary standouts Bistro Aix, Blue Bamboo, bb's, Cafe Nola, The Grape, Galangal Thai, The Reef, Soul Food Bistro, Tacolu - and more! 

Chef Tom Gray and the Crew from Bistro Aix served a luscious lamb risotto  with butternut squash puree - a pure taste of autumn.

Roy's Hawaiian Fusion delighted me by bringing along my new fave appetizer - Golden Lobster Potstickers! According to a fellow taster - it's like a little lobster doused itself in butter and exploded in your mouth.

The folks from The Grape brought these amazing lamb chops and their killer Lobster Mac & Cheese. I almost had to wrestle someone to make sure my friend Jodi from Eat Jax got a taste of this. If you haven't tried it, run, do not walk to The Grape, at the St Johns Town Center.
Shellfish stew from The Reef was salty-sweet and generous. LOVED the brothy, briny goodness.

Taco Lu was out in full force with a fabulous beef taco - such great, fresh flavors. GREAT to see the BEACHES rep'd so nicely there!
Tacolu gets into the spirit with their Dia de los Muertos display. Looking for a place to honor and celebrate lost loved ones this weekend? Taco LU!
bb's proffered this elegant bite of braised meat with pearl barley and pomegranate "risotto" - another harbinger of fall.

Galangal Thai offered tastes of their Chicken Yum Salad and lovely Steamed Sea Bass.

Blue Bamboo's Dennis Chan was serving his Hip Asian Comfort Food - I loved the sweet heat in this cold noodle salad.
Jacksonville Golf and Country Club chefs brought their molecular gastronomy exhibit, and among the standouts in the dessert category was this little semifreddo cone - flash frozen on demand. Yum!

See you next year, beasties!

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