STOCK ISLAND, Florida Keys — A unique “table-to-sea” feast is to entice food fans to the Florida Keys on Tuesday, Jan. 23, to salute the island chain’s indigenous seafood and commercial fishing tradition.
The open-air gourmet adventure features an “endless table” with seating for around 150 people on a waterfront pier overlooking the colorful fishing boats of Stock Island. Located adjacent to Key West and alive with seafaring atmosphere, Stock Island is the hub of the Keys’ commercial fishing industry.
The culinary experience is presented by Outstanding in the Field, a nationally known “traveling restaurant without walls” that celebrates local farmers and regional cuisines via “pop-up” outdoor dinners. It is co-hosted by Lower Keys restaurateurs Bobby and Michelle Mongelli, guiding spirits behind Stock Island’s popular Hogfish Bar & Grill, Roostica and Lost Kitchen Supper Club.
The multicourse menu, designed around fresh-caught local seafood, is to be prepared by chefs Martin Liz and Layla Barr of Lost Kitchen Supper Club, Jose Izquierdo of Hogfish, Jose “Angel” Castro of Roostica and Rick Zapka of Stock Rock BBQ. Guests can anticipate passed appetizers and libations followed by a family-style four-course meal paired with select wines.
Attendees are to gather at 2 p.m. for a predinner reception at Stock Island Lobster Co., acclaimed as the oldest fish house in the Florida Keys. Before the meal, seventh-generation lobsterman Peter Bacle of Stock Island Lobster will tell tales of the sea and talk about sustainable fisheries and the life of a Keys fisherman.
At the table, guests may find themselves sitting next to the shrimper, fisherman or local farmer who provided ingredients for the feast. Among them is to be farmer Patrick Garvey of Grimal Grove, who tends rare tropical fruit trees in the Lower Keys, and Key West hydroponic growers Marjorie and Justin Townsend of Townsend Family Organic Farms.
Since its founding in 1999 by chef/artist Jim Denevan, Outstanding in the Field has collaborated with hundreds of talented regional chefs to stage table-to-farm events in all 50 U.S. states and 15 countries around the world.
Tickets for the Stock Island dinner are priced at an all-inclusive $225 per person and reservations are mandatory. Proceeds are to benefit Hurricane Irma relief.
Event information and ticketing: outstandinginthefield.com
Lower Keys visitor information: fla-keys.com/lowerkeys or 1-800-872-3722
Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY