Rapoport's Restaurant Group has had a lot on its plate lately. (Literally).
In addition to being the first restaurant group to feature the Florida Department of Agriculture's Fresh From Florida program on its menus (a designation indicating the restaurant makes a concerted effort to source products from within the state), the group is making its way around the national culinary scene in the next fews months.
In May, Burt Rapoport and his team of chefs are packing their bags and flying up to New York City to host a dinner at the legendary James Beard House.
The James Beard Foundation invited the group to host a multi-course Fresh From Florida themed dinner at the House on May 22.
Inspired by the Florida Department of Agriculture's program the menu for the evening will highlight ingredient grown and produced in the Sunshine State.
"This is a tie in to the Florida Dept of Agriculture's marketing campaign," says president Burt Rapoport. "Our company was selected as the first in the state to roll it out. All menu ingredients are either grown or caught in Florida."
The planned menu includes Florida-inspired fare, such as tuna sashimi taco, compressed Florida watermelon, snapper ceviche, black grouper paella, roasted Jackman Florida wagyu beef tenderloin, Florida citrus mousse trio, and a mango mojito to drink.
"Our chefs met the James Beard House Director Izabela Wojcik while they were in New Orleans representing the state of Florida in the National Seafood Cookoff," says president Burt Rapoport. "She was impressed enough to invite them up to cook."
While this is not the first time Rapoport has been invited to the James Beard House (he attended with Unique Restaurant Concepts in 1997), he's incredibly excited for his team participating chefs Jon Greening, executive chef of Deck 84 in Delray Beach; Jay Prisco, executive chef of Bogart's Bar & Grille in Boca Raton; Ben Burger, executive chef of Henry's in Delray Beach; and David Innes, Rapoport's Restaurant Group pastry chef.
"I am very proud of them!" exclaims Rapoprt. "This will be a great experience for them. We are planning a week long New York experience. We are especially excited to bring authentic Florida flavor to this legendary New York venue."
Located in the West Village, the James Beard House brings in guest chefs from around the country to highlight their signature cuisine and themes with wine pairings. Attendees are invited to mix and mingle with the chefs while watching them work. After each dinner, guests get the opportunity to engage in a question-and-answer session with the chefs.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.
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