Taste Academy: Celebrate St Johns County culinary heritage

Teresa Andrews, Director of Development for EPIC Behavioral Healthcare, invites all Historic City News readers to participate in the upcoming “Taste Academy” Monday, April 17 – Thursday, April 20 in St Augustine. Several local restaurants and food establishments will flaunt their flavor during the culinary workshops.

The Taste Academy offers a series of workshops during the week leading up to the “Taste of St. Augustine” as part of the celebration of the rich culinary heritage of St. Johns County. Patrons of the Taste Academy will receive a free admission pass to the Taste of St. Augustine taking place at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre on Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

This year’s Academy curriculum is as follows:

“A Taste of Tuscany (with a St. Augustine Twist)”

– Monday, April 17, 6:00 pm
Terra & Acqua – 134 Sea Grove Main St.
$45/Guest, Maximum 25 Guests

The rolling hills of Tuscany – a land of beautiful scenery, celebrated wine, and internationally-praised cuisine. Join us for a special dining experience from Terra & Acqua owner (and Tuscan native) Simone Parisi. Your night will include a discussion about some of the history and highlights of Tuscan food and wine – plus a 4-Course Tasting Menu, paired with a beloved wine of the region – Sangiovese.
What’s included: Dinner and wine tastings, a take-home information sheet about the Tuscan food and wine experience, along with a pint of Ribollita (traditional Tuscan bread soup)!

“Craft on Tap”

– Tuesday, April 18, 6:00 pm
Bog Brewery – 218 W. King St.
$20.00/Guest, Maximum 25 Guests

Craft beer is exploding all over the country and Florida is one of the fastest growing markets in the nation. Join Bog Brewing Company’s co-owner and Head Brewer, Steven Mendoza, for an intimate look into their brewing process from ingredients to the glass with a guided tour of the brewery. Also, enjoy a curated beer tasting that will display the range of flavors that can be found in craft beer.
What’s included: Guided tour of the brewery with the Head Brewer, information on the brewing process, a curated beer tasting.

“Quick-Pickling The Floridian Way”

— Tuesday, April 18, 6:00 pm
The Floridian: 72 Spanish St.
$15.00/Guest, Maximum 25 Guests

Local restaurant The Floridian is renowned for their use of local products and for their pickling process and multi-use of picking brines. Come and enjoy a demonstration of their ‘quick-pickled’ veggies and fruit. Learn how leftover brines can be used in cocktails, salad dressings and more. In addition to the demonstrations, guests will enjoy samples quick pickled vegetables and will also take home recipes.
What’s Included: Demonstration and instruction on quick-pickling processes. Samples of the quick pickled vegetables that have been pickled and recipes to take home. Guests will have the option of purchasing a specialty cocktail which will feature one of the pickling/preserving brines.

“Chocolate Tastes Around the World”

– Wednesday, April 19, 3:00 pm
Crème de la Cocoa – 299 San Marco Ave.
$40.00/Guest, Maximum 16 Guests

Every region of the world looks at their chocolates and desserts differently. Why? How can they be so different when it all starts with the cocoa bean? Come and learn about chocolate/desserts in different regions including Brazil, France, Italy, India and the US while enjoying a demonstration and sampling of what is considered “oo la la” in other countries. We’ll talk too about how St. Augustine does chocolate and share Crème de la Cocoa’s philosophy about knowing the right dessert for you.
What’s included: Instruction on chocolate/desserts around the world, demonstration of chocolate/desserts from around the world plus samples. Plus, take home a box of mini-macarons (and any leftover dessert samplings!).

“Spring into Luli’s Frosting Workshop”

– Thursday, April 20, 6:00 pm
Luli’s Cupcakes – 82 San Marco Ave., St. Augustine
$25.00/Guest, Maximum 10 guests

It’s Spring in the Nation’s Oldest City and what better way to celebrate than with learning how to decorate cute but exquisite Spring cupcakes! You’ll be the star of the Easter potluck, spring brunch or upcoming baby/wedding shower! Join us as we learn how to create a lovely Spring Flower and a whimsical Bunny “stuck” in the ground frosting designs! Workshop includes two cupcake designs per guest plus a beverage of choice. Plan to have a fun, lighthearted Thursday evening with Luli’s Cupcakes!
What’s included: Instruction on how to do two Spring cupcake decorations, two cupcakes to enjoy there or take home, beverage of choice and a Luli’s apron.

“A Taste of the Tuscan Coast (with a St. Augustine Twist)”

– Thursday, April 20, 6:00 pm
Terra & Acqua – 134 Sea Grove Main St.
$48.00/Guest, Maximum 25 Guests

Most often associated with its famous hills and vineyards, Tuscany also boasts a gorgeous coastline full of busy fishing villages and a bounty of delicious seafood. From Cinque Terra to the Roman coast, and the unforgettable Tuscan Archipelago – the sea is an integral part of Tuscany – and its famous cuisine.
Join us for a special evening celebrating A Taste of the Tuscan Coast! We will indulge in a 4-Course seafood dinner with wine tastings, prepared by Tuscan native and chef-owner, Simone Parisi.
What’s Included: Dinner and wine tastings, a take-home information sheet about the cuisine of the Tuscan Coast, along with a quart of Terra & Acqua seafood stock for making your own homemade seafood dish.

To learn more about the Taste Academy, click or call (904) 829-3295. All proceeds from the Expo benefit EPIC Behavioral Healthcare which has been providing substance abuse and mental health treatment in St. Johns County since 1973.

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