|The von Liebig Art Center, Naples, FL|
The Naples Art Association was started over 60 years ago. In it's present form, it is housed in the von Liebig Art Center (von Liebig) which contains it's administrative, exhibition and educational facilities. The von Liebig is also an event space which was home that evening to the July 2017 general meeting of The ACF Naples Chefs, but more on this later.
|Watson Gallery, The von Liebig Art Center, Naples, FL|
|Steve Augulis, "Best Laid Plans"|
The Watson Gallery at The von Liebig was nicely appointed for this event, and included The von Liebig's annual national photography competition, Camera USA, which is now in it's 7th year. I was happy to see some local artists featured, such as Joseph Parisi, Karen Swift, Dennis Church and Steve Augulis, with his photograph, "Best Laid Plans".
Now for the event. The American Culinary Federation (ACF) is the largest professional chef's organization in the US, with almost 20,000 members in 150 chapters. The membership of ACF mostly consists of chefs and food purveyors, but others such as culinary enthusiasts are more than welcome. Flush with pride from the recent annual National ACF meeting in Orlando, FL, local chapter members brought home a number of national recognitions. These included one member's induction into ACF Culinary Team USA which competes internationally in events including the "Culinary Olympics" held annually in Erfurt, Germany. This was not bad considering a total membership pool of almost 20,000 nationally.
The food served at the July ACF Naples Chefs meeting was prepared gratis by Sage Events and Catering (Sage). Sage was started in 2006 by local chef Amber Phillips. Chef Phillips is self taught, and worked at locally well respected catering services before breaking out on her own. Sage is near the front of the line of catering services locally, winning best of the best accolades repeatedly for their cuisine. Sage can address almost any dietary need with their products including their award winning pre-made meals delivered directly to you.
|Gumbo, Sage Events and Catering|
A number of passed heavy hors d'oeuvres were available and some of these showcased vegan options that were as delicious as they were healthy. These included "buffalo bites" made from breaded cauliflower florets, jackfruit sliders, teriyaki balls made with Voorn veggie burgers and a gumbo made from Oumph, a soy product hard to distinguish from chicken. Oumph is made by a company called Food for Progress, which also was at the meeting. A dip buffet was also available featuring white bean dip and kalamata olive, artichoke and sun-dried tomato tapanade.
|Attendees, ACF Naples Chefs July Meeting|
|Tomato and balsamic braised short ribs with gorgonzola polenta and micro arugula, Sage Events and Catering|
As guests mingled and socialized, Sage brought in a number of other bites of deliciousness. Crab cakes with mango remoulade, mojo pulled pork with fried yucca, tomato and balsamic braised short ribs with gorgonzola polenta and micro arugula, cilantro mint shrimp and carrot flan with goat cheese and amaranth microgreens.
|Endive bites, Food for Progress|
Food for Progress also had a station at the meeting featuring their Oumph soy products. These included endive bites with slaw, tacos and soy nuggets which were quite good.
|Dessert station, Sage Events and Catering|
Sage also provided a dessert station with gluten free and in some cases gluten free/vegan versions of chocolate mousse with chantilly cream, key lime cheesecakes and tarts, banana cream pie and macarons with strawberry consomme.
Florida Microgreens donated some of their wonderful product for the event, adding distinctive colors and flavors to many of the items served at the meeting.
|Changing of the guard, Chefs Crisanti and Tatigan, ACF Naples Chefs July Meeting|
It was both a sad and hopeful evening as the chapter President, Chef Chas Tatigan, stepped down after a four year term and passed the baton to the chapter Vice President, Chef Richard Crisanti, who will lead the chapter going forward. There is no doubt that Chef Crisanti will help maintain the high standards this chapter has maintained over the years leading to many local and national accolades.
At the close of the meeting, Chef Phillips was given a commemorative plaque to recognize her efforts towards the chapter meeting that evening.
|Chefs Crisanti, Tatigan and Phillips, ACF Naples Chefs July Meeting|
Purveyors such as Phillips Crabmeat, Food for Progress (Oumph), Florida Microgreeens, Vroon and Tia Jorge among others donated product for the meeting which would not be possible without their largess. The evening's event was another exceptional chapter meeting of ACF Naples Chefs and another post on Forks.
|Attendees, ACF Naples Chefs July meeting|
Sage Events and Catering
4584 Enterprise Ave.
Naples, FL 34104
Naples Art Association at The von Liebig Art Center
585 Park St.
Naples, FL 34102
Gallery open 10 AM to 4 PM Monday through Friday June 1 to October 16; 10 AM to 4PM Monday through Saturday all other days; Admission free; Self-parking available. Camera USA runs through August 4, 2017.
ACF Caxambas Chapter of Naples and Marco Island (ACF Naples Chefs)
PO Box 855
Naples, FL 34106
Naples, FL 34106
|Rob Epple and Rachel Shemenski of Florida Microgreens garnishing carrot flan with goat cheese|
|Food preparation, ACF Naples Chefs July meeting|
|Dip buffet, ACF Naples Chefs July meeting|
|Carrot flan with goat cheese and amaranth microgreens, ACF Naples Chefs July meeting|
|Crab cakes with mango remoulade, ACF Naples Chefs July meeting|
Sage Signature Martini, Tito’s, Organic Lemonade, Cucumber Puree, Fresh Sage, ACF Naples Chefs July meeting
|Jackfruit sliders, ACF Naples Chefs July meeting|
|Soy nuggets, ACF Naples Chefs July meeting|
|Mojo pulled pork with yuca fry, ACF Naples Chefs July meeting|
|Mint and cilantro shrimp, ACF Naples Chefs July meeting|