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Society News

Chef Stephen Asprinio, Forte di Asprinio, Chef Chris Paul, Wild Orchids Catering,

Chef Stephen Asprinio from Forte di Asprinio, Chef Chris Paul from Wild Orchids Catering, and Chef Frank Eucalitto from Cafe Chardonnay. 
Photo by:  David Cortez 


American Lung Association Stirs up Epicurean Event of the Season!

12th Annual Food Wine and Art Experience delights near capacity crowd at Lake Worth Cultural Plaza



West Palm Beach, FL (October 15, 2008) It was a gorgeous South Florida night – the evening was electrifying as Lake Worth’s Cultural Plaza shimmered - and all ingredients came together for the American Lung Association of Florida who, in a calculated risk, moved its successful culinary event to the City of Lake Worth.  “We were honored by the city’s invitation, extended by Tom Ramiccio and Heri Santiago of the Lake Worth Chamber.  It has been part of a multi-year plan to evolve the Food Wine and Art Experience to a street event.  Lake Worth’s reputation as the area’s “artsy community,” along with a growing demographic of business professionals, led to the change in venue.  “We are gratified by the support shown by Mayor Clemmons and the Town Commission, as well as that offered by the Greater Lake Worth Chamber. This community, with its vibrant downtown and vital restaurants, is ready for this type of upscale culinary event – we are delighted with the outcome!” remarked Carol Ruggeri, the American Lung Association of Florida -Southeast Area Executive Director. 

Adding to the successful mix: three executive chefs, over forty area restaurants, thirteen tables of fine wines, two unique vodka bars, one mojito bar, a sprinkling of colorful artists and artisans, and some zesty live music, provided by the Gregory Carr Band. The organization produced a truly winning recipe for the 12th Annual Food Wine and Art Experience, an annual benefit for the American Lung Association of Florida. The event took place on October 2, from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the Lake Worth Cultural Plaza in downtown Lake Worth.  Despite three days of inclement weather, the event was graced by cloudless skies and cooler temperatures – perfect for the almost 600 attendees strolling amid taste-tempting vendors offering delicious foods and wines. 

Mayor Jeff Clemmons was delighted by the Experience, as it seemed to engage Lake Worth’s growing demographic of professionals and business leaders, and declared it the best event that Lake Worth ever presented.  The American Lung Association of Florida was happy to partner with the Greater Lake Worth Chamber of Commerce to showcase what is one of their best-kept secrets – a cultural gem in Lake Worth’s historic downtown area. Tom Ramiccio, President of the Chamber said, “This year’s Food Wine and Art Experience, organized by the American Lung Association, was a huge success! It highlighted awesome culinary offerings from around Lake Worth and Palm Beach County! We are excited about the possibilities for this event in Lake Worth in the future.”

Sheriff Ric Bradshaw was on hand and skillfully utilized the occasion to demonstrate the law-enforcement capabilities of his department, which was recently contracted by the City of Lake Worth.  Members of the Sheriff’s office exhibited a strong presence as they patrolled the venue in a variety of Sheriff vehicles that included patrol cars, 3-wheeled Segways, and mounted members of the equestrian division.

Greg Rice of Hulett Environmental Services presided over the event as Grand Wine Meister – charming the crowd as he used the opportunity to extol the beauty of his native Lake Worth. One of the event’s highlights was a keen competition among food presenters. Anticipation grew during the evening and restaurant participants eagerly awaited the announcement of winners. Serving as celebrity judges, Chef Stephen Asprinio (contestant on Bravo’s Top Chef and owner of Forte di Asprinio), Chef Frank Eucalitto (Café Chardonnay) and Chef Chris Paul (Wild Orchids Café and Catering) sampled the offerings and pronounced the evening’s award winners. Best Taste was awarded to Lake Worth’s John G’s which showcased their Seafood Bisque, Best of Experience and Most Unique Flavor was awarded to Boca Raton’s MoQuila Restaurant & Tequila Bar with its Tequila Marinated Shrimp and Key Lime Pie, and the Best Presentation was awarded to Lake Worth’s Blue Kabana Café and Grill for its presentation of Scallops in a Mango Seafood Sauce. 

Restaurant presenters came from all corners of Palm Beach County and included Bizaare Ave Café, Blue Kabana Café and Grill, Blue Martini, Brewzzi’s, Brogues on the Avenue, Café Chardonnay, Caffé Luna Rosa, Callaro's Prime Steak and Seafood, City Oyster, Crème de la Crème Gourmet Cakes and Pastries, Couco Pazzo, Dada, EucaVani's Gourmet Sauces, Field of Greens, Acqua Filette Mineral Water, Forté diAsprinio, GOL! A Taste of Brazil, Havana Hideout, Havana Restaurant, Hoffman’s Chocolates, Ingo Chocolatier, John Bull English Pub, John G’s, Joven Italiano Restaurant, Kilwin’s Chocolates, Lake Worth Rum Shack, Legal Seafoods, Max’s Grille, MoQuila Restaurant & Tequila Bar, Palm Beach Prime, Prime 707 Steakhouse & Bar, Rotelli Pizza & Pasta, Saito’s Japanese Steakhouse, South Shores Tavern & Patio Bar, Snappers Seafood & Pasta, The Cottage, The Melting Pot, The Soma Center, Truluck’s, Whole Foods Market and Wild Orchids Café & Catering.

Committee Chairs Tammy Clarke and John Majer skillfully directed a dedicated volunteer committee and expressed gratitude to each committee member for pulling together this crowd-pleasing event. Members are Kelly Fason, Keith Girten, Robert Gottlieb, Sharon Greene, Julia Jennisen, Leigh Keaton, Tanya Meade, Brianne Molyneux, Tom Ramiccio, Heri Santiago, Eric Severson, Dina St. Andrew, and Chet Tart. American Lung Association of Florida is privileged to salute its Honorary Chairs for the Experience: Sheriff Ric & Dorothy Bradshaw, Dr. Jonathan & Debra Gavras, Dr. Joseph & Shannon Giaimo, and Tenchy Salas.

Adding distinction and interest to the event were participating artists: Tony Baker, Gary Carpentier, Carol Cohen, Jorge Flores, Norm Gitzen, Jewelry by Creative Ay, Richard Bello Landaeta, Alvia Rahman, Joan Sellman, Silpada Jewelry Designs, Aileen Siracusa, Karla Smith, Nancy Tart, and Janet Villasmil.

The organization is thankful for the support of Food Wine and Art Experience sponsors: 129 Fine Wine and Liquor, AT&T The Real Yellow Pages, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, Business and Professional Women/Lake Worth, Finaven USA, Ketel One Vodka, Kindred Hospital the Palm Beaches, Kool 105.5, Palm Beach Post, Portada Magazine, Regency Party Rentals and Productions, Rendina Family Foundation, RSM McGladrey, Seaview 960AM, Show-off Graphics,, Sheriff Ric and Dorothy Bradshaw, Louise and Michael Stein, Glaceau Vitamin Water, Linda and Skip Waldman, Washington Mutual Bank, and WineStyles of South Florida.

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