Bring on the Stone Crabs

By staff October 29, 2007

The Colony throws the seafood party of the year.


By Judi Gallagher


 The 18th annual Stone Crab Fest was all that and more this past weekend. Hats off to Doc and Katie Klauber for hosting one of the best food and wine events on the Suncoast. This year, chef Andrew Zimmern (host of the Travel channel’s Bizarre Foods) wowed the crowd with his effervescent smile and--how shall I say?—“creative” use of ingredients. Fortunately the crisp cockroaches were kept in boxes for those wanting to experiment out of the “box,” while this foodie lusciously settled on stone crab cake sliders.


Chef Andrew Zimmern with a stone crab delight.


 Anyone with a culinary interest or good taste for fresh crustaceans should at least attend the cooking demonstrations at this annual event. The recipes are simple enough for the home cook, while the cooking tips and wine pairings, moderated by culinary ambassador Heather McPherson of the Orlando Sentinal, added the educational piece. Mike Lata, chef/owner of Fig in Charleston, South Carolina, wowed us with simple scrambled eggs with stone crab salad that was magically paired with Chandon brut classic NV, a sure-to-be standard brunch item for me once my kitchen is finished. (More on that in a moment.)


But the true test of the palate lies in the talents of chef Richard Sandoval of Modern Mexican Restaurants, which boasts 14 restaurants with more on the way, including the famed Pompano in New York with partner and opera great, Placido Domingo. His tuna tostada was flavor to the x power with just a subtle hint of heat from the serrano chile, while his tamarind-coated pork tenderloin practically melted in my mouth. Look for the recipes on next week. Mark your calendars for next year—Stone  Crab Festival 2008 falls over Halloween weekend. Check it out at


Back to reality on the kitchen front. After a near-hysterical stress- related meltdown after I tripped three times on the paper covering the floors during the ceiling reconstruction, I gave up on wiping the dust off the paper plates after I threw my back out trying to wash dishes in the bathtub. But we are starting to feel a level of having made it back from the dark side. Walls are up, hardwood floors are down, recessed lighting fixtures are in, tile foyer is completed and the painting has started ( Newport Beige). So we really do see light (literally) at the end of the kitchen tunnel. David Shay and Ron Cook were measuring out the template of the kitchen appliances on the floor and Jonathan Kendal (924-3640) has jumped in as interior decorator for the living room/dining area, giving me simple decorating tips just like on HGTV . Next week the cabinets and appliances are delivered, and they say by December 8, our kitchen is open for business. Stay tuned!


Hey, guys, you're standing on my double ovens!

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