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Manatee Festival to spotlight culinary arts
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Mar 4, 2010 - 9:43:12 PM

 By Julie Ball


The culinary arts will be emphasized this year at the Apollo Beach Manatee Festival of the Arts with several cooking and food prep demonstrations, an “Iron Chef” culinary competition and a variety of local restaurants serving up food from all over the world.


The Progress Village middle afterschool “Latch Key” program will teach a basic cooking skills class for children on Sunday March 14. “The class will allow older children who come home before their parents, to cook easy meals and snacks without using the stove,” said Crystal Russell, head of the culinary section of the festival this year.

“These snacks are easy and healthy. Parents shouldn’t have to worry about their kids being home alone. Students enjoy this class as well because it allows them a certain independence.”

Three area high schools will participate in the culinary competition which will bring out some of the best student cooks to showcase their talents. Teams of three to five students will have one hour to prepare a meal of fresh caught fish while also having to incorporate a mystery ingredient.

In past years, the students’ main ingredient was chicken or pork. This year, the teams will have to use freshly caught fish from Honorary Mayor of Apollo Beach Joel Brandenburg. This will test the students on their knife skills because of the techniques necessary to skin, prepare and cook fish.

“Local Chefs who are professionals in the field will act as judges. They write comments and feedback on the score sheets which allows the teams to improve and learn from their experience,” said Russell.

“There is also a people’s choice award. Random guests at the festival will be chosen to try the teams’ creations and select their favorite.”

Mosaic will sponsor the winners with cash prizes that go to the schools culinary program.

“The competition adds value to our culinary program because it gives the student incentive to do better not only in culinary classes but at the core classes as well. Rules are if you are doing poorly academically you cannot be chosen to compete,” said Chef Rick Ceglio, Culinary Instructor at Sickles High School.

Don’t miss this tense one hour event which takes place on Saturday March 13 from noon to 1pm at the Apollo Beach Manatee Festival of the Arts.


The culinary arts will be emphasized this year at the Apollo Beach Manatee Festival of the Arts with several cooking and food prep demonstrations, an “Iron Chef” culinary competition and a variety of local restaurants serving up food from all over the world

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