Chives Innovative Catering is an off-premise catering business serving St. Pete, Tampa, & the surrounding gulf coast of Florida. We provide gourmet food for casual to elaborate weddings, rehearsal dinners, corporate events, mitzvahs, hors d'oeuvre parties, bridal/baby showers or any other social event. We pride ourselves on our expertise in creative menus, delectable cuisine, stylish presentation & gracious service. A Chives event will meet & surpass all your expectations.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Food Writer

New York Times writer, Mark Bittman, is one of my favorite food writers.  He has a great cookbook titled "How to Cook Everything" which I would suggest having on hand or give as a gift.  Check it out!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tampa Bay food, wine and beer events: Memorial Day 2010 edition

May 25, 2010 at 10:30 am by Franki Weddington

Flobots play at 97x's Backyard Barbecue on Saturday
Wednesday, May 26: The NoHo Bistro
Wine Wednesdays. The wine and tapas change weekly, so come back regularly and bring your BFFs, blind dates, co-workers, boy/girlfriends or, hell, someone else’s boyfriend. $15 for two glasses of wine paired with two tapas. 1714 N. Armenia Ave., Tampa (813-514-0691)
Thursday, May 27: SideBern’s
Grill & Chill BBQ. Messy, sticky, down-home cooking probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of SideBern’s, the hot younger sister of world-renowned steakhouse, Bern’s. But SideBern’s chef Chad Johnson isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty: he’s serving up Florida-raised pork, paired with ales, stouts and lagers from Coopers Beer, Australia’s only naturally-brewed, family-owned operation. $45. 7-9 p.m., 2208 W. Morrison Ave., Tampa (813-258-2233)
Thursday, May 27: The Florida Aquarium
Mistology: The Science Behind the Cocktail. Canadian Mist Whisky “Chief Entertaining Officer” Tim Laird and “Spirits Scientist” Steve Hughes answer the how and why of all of your bartending questions. Try your hand as a mixologist after the presentation, or sit back and let the expert bartenders do the work while you nosh on the array of whiskey-friendly appetizers. RSVP to Phyllis Kelly at 1-800-268-7266 or e-mail $15, $10 Florida Aquarium members. 6-8 p.m., 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa.
Many more events after the break:
Friday, May 28: World of Wines
Memorial Day Kick-Off Wine Tasting. Remember when you were a kid, and school got canceled on snow days (or for us native Floridians, hurricane days)? Well, now that we’re of drinking age, a three-day weekend brings the same level of excitement. Start your 72 hours of freedom off right at  tonight’s tasting of Argentinian and South African wines, paired with light hors d’oeuvres. $10. 6-8 p.m., 3431 S. West Shore Blvd., Tampa (813-835-9463)
Friday, May 28: Bern’s Fine Wines and Spirits
Over 90 Points, Under $20 Crush Hour. One of the most practical tastings we’ve ever seen — learn what you like in a wine, what qualities earn 90+ points, what to serve when you want to impress a date/boss/in-laws, and how to do it all affordably. You’ll sample wines from diverse regions including Italy, Argentina, Australia, and Napa Valley; you’ll try white, sparkling and red wines; and you’ll learn about old-world style production versus  modern production. After tonight’s Crush Hour, you’ll be like the Renaissance (wo)man of wine. $25. 6:30-8:30 p.m., 1002 S. Howard Ave., Tampa (813-250-9463)
Saturday, May 29: Vinoy Park
Backyard Barbecue. If you think the weather has been on the border of sweltering for the past few weeks, prepare yourself for four more months of thermometer-busting heat. What better to combat the dog days of summer than a beer garden tapping into dozens of selections from St. Pete’s World of Beer? Work up a sweat playing volleyball and corntoss before cooling down with a brew (or six); see daredevil motocross demos; and hear the sounds of Paper Tongues, Crash Kings, Flobots, Need To Breathe, American Bang and Rich Nix. $10. 501 5th Ave. NE, St. Petersburg.
Monday, May 31: Lions Club Beach House
Bluegrass Barbecue. The St. Petersburg Lions Club throws a Bluegrass Barbecue on Sunset Beach in Treasure Island. Admission is $15, but proceeds go to the visually impaired, and admission includes all kinds of good-for-the-soul sounds, from Gypsy Wind to the Bluegrass Parlor Band and Gator Grass. Nosh on spicy ‘cue and hot brats, and put the heat out with a cold brew or glass of wine. 12 p.m.,  9300 W. Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island,
Monday, May 31 – Saturday, June 6
Italian Lifestyle Wine Dinners. Most Memorial Day food fests are full-on Americana, but if you’re looking to branch out, check out the Italian Lifestyle Wine Dinners, a six-night series of prix fixe dinner-and-wine pairings from May 31 to June 5. Proceeds from the dinners, the Abilities Foundation’s latest project, benefit job placement services for disabled veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Choose from an international array of cuisine at Paddy Burke’s Irish Pub, Middle Grounds Grill, Savannah’s CafĂ©, Madfish, Roy’s and The Venue. Visit for full schedule and list of locations.
Saturday, June 5: Dunedin Brewery
Hoppy Endings IPA Festival. A celebration of the flower clusters that brewmasters use to bitter their beer. The cheekily-named event features a variety of India Pale Ales (including those of the double and triple variety) that will highlight the importance of hops — particularly during the opening blind tasting. Your 25 bucks gets you a raffle ticket and souvenir tasting glass; plus you can sample foods expressly prepared to complement the 20-25 beers that are expected on tap. $25. 7 p.m.-midnight, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin, (727-736-0606). –Anthony Salveggi
Saturday, June 5 – Sunday, June 6: England Brothers Bandshell Park
Pinellas Pepper Fest. The flavor adventure starts Saturday afternoon with the fourth annual Pinellas Pepper Fest. Local vendors will bring the heat, letting you sample and purchase the spicy foods and sauces that hurt so good, while also offering BBQ and a variety of pepper plants for sale. $2 general admission, kids 12 and under free. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun., 5010 81st  Ave. N., Pinellas Park (727-423-8433). –Anthony Salveggi
May – June: Willow Herbal Delights Garden
Going Organic with Willow. Upcoming classes with herbalist Willow LaMonte include: “Gathering Wisdom From a Flower: Herbs for Women’s Health” An eight-week class that covers herbal care for adolescent girls; pregnancy preparation, nursing, and weaning; peri- and menopausal women; Plants to ease stress, strengthen immune systems, encourage breast health, support nutritional needs, and benefit skin; Using fresh and dried herbs for teas, tinctures, vinegars, and bath soaks. (May 25, June 8 and 22, July 6 and 20, and August 3, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., $100-$150); “Wild Edibles Walk” Meet wild edibles high in nutrition that many of us have growing in our own yards, plus medicinals, wildlife habitat plants, and providers of garden and basket-making supplies. (10 a.m.-noon Fri., June 4 and 10-11:30 a.m. or 1:30-3 p.m. Sat., June 20, $10-$15). Preregistration required for all classes. 2211 Ray Rd., Valrico (813-643-7285)
Tampa Bay Fresh Markets It’s always the perfect season to get fresh, organic local produce at these markets across the Bay:
Corey Sunday Market. The now-annual market returns with more fresh produce, plants and flowers, crafts, foods and live music (9 a.m.-2 p.m., Sundays, Corey Avenue, St. Pete Beach,
Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market. This year-round market offers fresh produce and seafood, artwork and live entertainment. (9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Tuesday on Beach Blvd., in Gulfport’s Florida Waterfront district)
Safety Harbor Farmer’s Market. Florida weather is perfect for getting out of the house and finding fresh, organic produce, plants, flowers, baked and gourmet goodies, along with hand-crafted art and jewelry. Visit for more info. (Thursdays, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Continues through May 27, John Wilson Park, 401 Main St., Safety Harbor)
Sweetwater Market. The organic farm offers straight-from-the-garden produce, fair trade coffee, chocolate and tea, organic clothes and eco-friendly products, all to the tune of live music and often accompanied by yoga or movement classes. (Runs noon to 4 p.m. most Sundays through May 30. Visit for more info)