Jacksonville FOODFIGHT 2011!
The 21st annual Jacksonville FOODFIGHT was held on Thursday, June 9, 2011 at the Touchdown Club in Everbank Field. The event featured 50+ restaurants, bakeries, caterers and purveyors of tasty adult beverages and benefited Second Harvest. If you couldn’t make it this year, join me for a few highlights and mark your calendar for next year.
For the most part, everyone brought their A-game. If you’ve ever been to Caring Chefs, this is event is very much like that. Lots of food, lots of drink and a huge variety of each. The coordinators even helpfully assist you in minding your diet by parading size 00 cheerleaders and Hooters girls through the crowd just as you’re circling back for that fourth baby cupcake.
I’m sure I’ll sound like a broken record here, but the restaurants that are consistently chosen as the best in Jacksonville by every magazine, paper and website have that distinction for a reason. Even on a folding table, serving crowds of hundreds at a time, Bistro Aix and Orsay execute on a level unmatched in the city.
Restaurant Orsay was one of the first tables I visited and Chef Brian Siebenschuh never disappoints.
A savory little pork slider topped with a precious gherkin, sweet corn bisque with a dash of lobster oil and a tiny lavender shortcake topped with apricot goodness launched me into fangirl land. That splash of sweet corn and lobster essence has been the culinary highlight of my June.
There’s a joke to be had here about throwing underpants at rock stars, but I’d like to be able to eat at Orsay in the future.
EatJax Review of Orsay
My other favorite was the offering by Bistro Aix. It’s no secret that I love this place dearly, but they never fail to surprise me with their bravery and innovation at these large scale events.
The presentation was gorgeous, but the taste was beyond amazing.
Seared Yellowfin Tuna on a wonton crisp with Napa cabbage and spicy aioli.
I hear you out there. Seared tuna. Aioli. We’ve been here. We’ve heard this. You have not. This crisp was so light, crunchy and TASTY. The crisp was not simply a delivery device – it was a main flavor player in the dish. The combination of perfectly seared tuna, crunchy refreshing cabbage and a shot of unflinchingly bold spicy aioli was so good that I had three of these little suckers. Three. I seriously considered putting on a disguise and starting over. Dear Aixers – put this on the appetizer menu like, YESTERDAY.
Finally, my girl Cari over at Intuition Ale Works hooked me up with JonBoat Kolsch – my favorite beverage of the evening. Light and refreshing with a big, bold beer flavor, it’s the perfect summer drink. Super NOM.
It’s definitely an event I’d like to attend again. It’s for a great cause and there’s nothing better than being able to sample from dozens of restaurants in one place. You’re guaranteed to find something new and rediscover old favorites. Highly recommended!
Statement of Fact: I squinged tickets to this event from my good buddy Nancy over at Nourish the Beast. Yes. Squinged. You can use that.
Thanks to Ms. Nancy and Tia Ford at Second Harvest for entrance and information!
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Cari Sanchez-Potter of Intuition Ale Works waving like a madwoman – Courtesy Nancy White
all other images copyright © 2011 by jodi a. kasten • all rights reserved