When Gerald Bennett began work as head chef at the InterContinental Hotel in Cleveland, he was accustomed to whipping up dishes for celebrity clientele. But when the royal family of Dubai came to visit and he served them in their opulent suite, he never thought they'd ask him to leave with them as their personal chef. Since returning to the states and stepping into his role as the president of the Private Chef Association, Gerald has worked to bring his gastronomic prowess to the masses through Food Fun Adventure’s classes and tours. He passes along a visible passion for culinary fusion, which shines through in dishes blending French and Thai or American and German influences.
Culinary tours take participants to local sushi houses, steak houses, and bistros, each highlighting specialty dishes. When head chefs come out to greet their visitors, they often divulge culinary secrets and answer questions about curfew hours for free-range ingredients while doling out tapas and other small plates.
In a more hands-on culinary experience, customers gather in classes and learn to refine dishes based on a chosen theme. Using mostly local and organic ingredients in two kitchen classrooms, chefs show students how to craft delicacies such as scallion waffles with orange-zest chicken and tagine-roasted rack of lamb. In one kitchen, which doubles as an art gallery, knives flick through ingredients, and pots clatter at island stations and small burners. The company’s event center, Heaven, fills with chatter as up to 40 pairs of students filter in. Beneath projectors for screening chef demonstrations and documentaries about the life of a paring knife, separate kitchens equipped with ovens and burners fill with the bustle of creation, which gives way to reverent exhalations as patrons finally sample the fruits of their labor.
The state of Florida was once entirely underwater—and Florida Eco-Adventures’ tours explore the parts that still are. Founders Mac and Suzanne McCormick lead adventurers through waters such as Kings Bay that, thanks to its 72-degree waters, is a wintertime refuge for West Indian Manatees. The Silver River, meanwhile, hosts a more eclectic array of wildlife, ranging from gators—although they’re too shy and skittish for regular sightings—to sunfish and rhesus monkeys.
In a monthly, newsletter-style magazine, Insight Tampa keeps Bay-area residents updated on the people, places, and happenings within their community. Articles serve a broad readership, appealing to culture connoisseurs with art listings, athletes with features on marathons, and night owls with reviews of the most fruitful vole-hunting grounds. Besides reporting on local events, Insight Tampa also gets in on the fun by throwing parties that range from culinary celebrations to pirate pub crawls.
Set out for a day at sea with today's salty deal: $150 gets you a four-hour boat rental from Channelside Watersports in downtown Tampa, a $250 value. Rally your crew and set out on the briny deep for a day of seafaring adventure, where the sun kisses your blissful face and a breeze ruffles your companions' hair.Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.
Produced by the Davis Islands Chamber of Commerce, the second annual Bluz & BBQ event sates senses with live music and barbecue from local vendors, contributing to the fundraising effort for the revitalization of the historic Roy Jenkins Pool, a Davis Islands landmark. Like any good roast-beef market, the currency at Bluz & BBQ comes in the form of Little Piggie Bucks, which are valid for a number of menu items including Yuengling drafts ($3), Cigar City Brewery drafts ($4), and barbecue plates ($6–$12). Event attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and a picnic blanket that doubles as a giant handkerchief to the event, ensuring comfort and cleanliness during six live blues performances from musicians such as Damon Fowler, a roots-rock virtuoso and Florida native.