Floridians Lead the Charge

September 5, 2014

edwwineblogpicFloridians Lead the Charge

  It's the dog days of summer. By September we have all had enough of the heat. Some years the storms are threatening .......knock on wood so far. There's nothing to speak of coming off of our farms right now. Our cover crops are in at Gamble and our seedlings are coming up in the greenhouse for the start of the fall season.  This will be our first fall crop at Gamble Creek Farm. Eric Geraldson, our farmer manager, has been joined by his son Ryan and together they have put together a really exciting grow plan for all of our restaurants. Our local delicacy, Grey Striped Mullet, are starting to fatten up and Captain Anthony Manali is supplying them to all three of our restaurants. If you haven't tried mullet, which is one of the ultimate sustainable fish species that also happens to be super healthy, due in part to its high omega three fat content, then I encourage you to do so. I'm writing this from the other west coast in Napa Valley. It's been great to see so many Florida transplants out here. Craig Stoll and his wife Annie run some of the best Italian restaurants in San Fran, Locanda and Delfino's. Craig's a Bayshore High grad who stops in to see us with his family a couple of times a year when he is visiting his parents. We were privileged to have dinner at Laconda on this trip. We brought him some of our bottarga from the Anna Maria Fish Company. We were happy to see he already had it on the menu and the staff was very familiar with it. Trevor Kunk is another super talented Florida boy who grew up in Sarasota and was the chef de cuisine for seven years with Dan Barber at Blue Hill in New York.  I highly recommend Barber's recently published book titled The Third Plate. He is a leader of the farm-to-table movement and a huge fan of grey striped mullet. We had a great dinner in St Helena where Trevor is now the Chef at Press. We brought him some fresh mullet and he returned the favor by sending out five great plates highlighted by a gem lettuce with bottarga, and a seared skin on mullet with heirloom tomato and horseradish.   Further north in Napa Valley, we met up with Joe Humphries at the recently opened Farmer and the Fox. Joe was raised in Tallahassee and was the chef for a number of years at the Governors Club there before a seven year stint as head chef at Meadowood in St Helena. The new restaurant is a European style Gastro pub that is getting a lot of attention from the locals and is a part of the new Cairdean winery and food complex. Speaking of wine, it's another great harvest, the third in a row in California. Seth Cripe, our winemaker and the majority owner of Lola Wines, is picking Pinot Noir tomorrow for our 2014 Lola North Coast vintage. Seth and his family are local treasures. His brother Mic has just finished a stint chefing at Gjelina’s, one the most edgy restaurants on the west coast located in Venice California. Mic is now creating great wine dinners at the new Lola House in Calistoga for our friends and distributors who our part of the wine team that Seth has put together. We are excited to have Mic coming down to lead our bottarga production this fall as well as consulting with his mom Nancy, our team at Gamble Creek Farm and our three restaurants. It's great see Floridians leading the new trends in food and wine nationwide.  

Mullet Gets a Makeover!

August 29, 2014

IMG_2270In the world of seafood, there is no fish more in need of an image makeover than the Grey Striped Mullet. Found in abundance throughout Florida – in coastal rivers and bays, and in the Gulf waters along the west coast of Florida, this native fish, high in lipid fats and omega 3 oils, is one of the ultimate, sustainable, seafood resources in the state and (most importantly) tastes delicious. While some locals and many Europeans recognize what great table fare mullet is, the vast majority have a low opinion of this local treasure. Ed Chiles has long had a passion for celebrating and preserving the heritage of Florida and especially Manatee County. Chiles states, “From the beginning of man’s time in our area, Manatee County has been about seafood and agriculture. Today, ninety percent of all seafood consumed in the United States is imported and 50% of that is aquaculture. Chiles has been working for a number of years to change the negative perception that surrounds mullet and to educate his clientele about the great taste and healthy attributes it offers. To help him accomplish this, Chiles has partnered with Captain Anthony Manali, who, according to Chiles, ‘wears the pants of the finest mullet fisherman in Florida’. Chiles states, “This is our fourth year of serving mullet in the late summer and fall. All three restaurants will be featuring a variety of presentations of mullet for the next four months including grilled, blackened, fried and in our delicious Manali Mullet dip.” Chiles feels so strongly about the quality of his grey striped mullet that he personally guarantees customer satisfaction. Chiles finishes by saying, “I recommend it with a glass of Lola wine.” For more information on mullet and other daily features contact Chiles Group Marketing Director, Caryn Hodge at 941-778-8705 or chodge@chilesgroup.com.  

Beachhouse Happy Hour!

August 29, 2014

The Beachhouse Happy Hour is the best thing going for locals and visitors! Start your evening out with us as you gaze upon the breathtaking sunset while you listen to live tropical music by one of our house musicians. If you are a hard working local, our happy hour goes until 6:00pm so you don’t have to […]

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Discover Paradise with this Sandbar Signature Cocktail!

August 29, 2014

Anna Maria Island’s slogan is Paradise Without an Attitude! Our next Sandbar Signature could be served as the island’s official drink! Tequila in Paradise is our latest Sandbar Signature Cocktail created by bartender Kathryn Findley. It is a real tropical treat with the perfect combination of Avion Silver tequila, amaretto and pineapple juice. Ask for one the next […]

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Soft Shell Crabs, Swordfish Ribs and Middleneck Clams- Oh My!

August 29, 2014

Seafood is what we do and local is what we do best! Heritage seafood products that come from local fishermen or purveyors who take great pride in harvesting the best of class products. These are the folks we partner with to bring you delicious seafood you won’t find elsewhere. Right now its soft shell crabs […]

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Chiles Group Takes the ALS Challenge

August 29, 2014

Not that anyone had to twist our arms to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. It has been a pretty hot summer so the thought of dumping ice cold water on our heads didn’t sound like a bad idea to most of our staff. But besides that fact, we were happy to support the efforts […]

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