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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Cooking Class with Chef Kristina at the Good Life

The Good Life (The Good Life) is a local business that deals with almost all things related to cooking and preparing food.


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I love places like this. No pejorative meaning intended, but "mom and pop" places such as this are rapidly disappearing from the retail scene. This shop is unique in the area. Not only do they carry or can order any kitchen-related product available, 


southwest florida forks

southwest florida forks


but The Good Life is the "one and only". It is not a chain or franchise. It has been around for about 40 years in some shape or fashion and the present owners have been at the helm since 1985.

Besides merchandise, one thing they offer is cooking classes (The Good Life Cooking Classes). The focus this particular evening was local Florida seafood.
The class was taught by Kristina San Filippo. 
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She has been an industry professional for close to 20 years. Having worked in many food and beverage-related scenarios, she has found a niche locally in teaching and catering.

The way our class worked, our meal was prepared by Chef Kristina with step by step instructions, 


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and then we were served each course. We were initially served a tasting plate with produce from Rabbit Run Farm (Rabbit Run Farm).
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Rabbit Run is a hydroponic farming operation. They are predominantly a commercial supplier but are open to the public on Saturdays from 11-3. Can't wait to check it out. Fodder for another post.



The first course was shrimp with summer vegetable slaw in passion fruit dressing.
This was probably my favorite dish of the evening. Again produce from Rabbit Run Farm. The finished product.

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The second course was spiced snapper baked with golden delicious apples, roasted tomatoes and chives.

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Plated out, there you have it. The goat cheese was a nice touch and a flavor combination I would not have thought of.

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The third course was hogfish (hogfish) with sun-dried tomatoes and water chestnut sauce over millet.

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Very nice presentation.

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What I really thought was good about this class were the tidbits passed on by Chef Kristina about the culinary world. 

All kinds of information was given out about mandolines (mandoline), zesters (zester),
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everything you ever wanted to know about leeks,

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and the proper way to cut using a chef's knife.

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All in all a very entertaining evening.

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The Good Life
2355 Vanderbilt Beach Road STE 176
Naples, FL 34109
(239)514-4663

Monday, August 26, 2013

Summer Jazz on the Gulf at the Naples Beach Hotel

Summertime is in my book one of the best times to be in Southwest Florida. Lighter traffic, no lines or reservations needed in restaurants and great bargains on eating out.

Another good thing about summer here is the Summer Jazz Concert Series at the Naples Beach Hotel (Summer Jazz Concert Series). These events are very well attended and free.
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southwest florida forks

southwest florida forks

They are also very family friendly and enjoyed by people of all ages.

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Of course, food is served at these events. It ranges from very simple fare
southwest florida forks

southwest florida forks
to the menu at The Sunset Beach Bar and Grill (Sunset Beach Bar Grill Menu). I was recently treated to lunch there and it was not bad. I will have to dine there again but next time bring my camera along. Incidentally, HB's on the Gulf, their more formal dining area, is my second favorite beach dining establishment in Naples and is located in the Naples Beach Hotel (HB's on the Gulf). At present it is being renovated but the skinny is that it should be open again by the end of September. I look forward to dining in the renovated restaurant.

Listening to all of this music seems to get people really thirsty as the bar area was packed.
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southwest florida forks

 The band that evening was The Vodkanauts (The Vodkanauts). 


southwest florida forks

southwest florida forks

southwest florida forks



In all honesty, they were not the best entertainment I have seen at these events, but I think you could have fun no matter who was playing. There you have it, another lovely summer jazz event at the Naples Beach Club. The last one of the year will be September 21 (The Betty Fox Band ), and I'm looking forward to it.

Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club
851 Gulfshore Blvd. North
Naples, FL 34102
(239)261-2222
Sunset Beach Bar on Urbanspoon HB's On The Gulf on Urbanspoon