Organizers of the first Gulfport Chefs Table charity fine dining event recently presented CASA with a check representing part of their total donation amount, which was $8,569.75. This will be matched by the Sonia Raymund Foundation and the more than $17,000 will be used for the charity’s new 100-bed domestic violence shelter that services southern Pinellas County.
The dining event took place on Monday, October 10 in the middle of Beach Boulevard with eight local restaurants participating.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Pia Goff, owner of Pia’s Trattoria and a key organizer. “We actually witnessed [a similar] event in downtown St. Petersburg about six months ago and I told this story to Daniel [Hodge, Gulfport Merchants Association vice president] and he said he would support us and that’s how it happened.”
For 2017, Gulfport restaurant owners are planning a second Chefs Table in November, to avoid weather problems. The 2016 event was delayed one week due to the remnants of Hurricane Matthew.
Pictured from left: Jonathan Summers, chef Pia’s Trattoria; Veronica Champion, Isabelle’s restaurant owner; Pia Goff; Daniel Hodge; Jill Johnson, chef/owner Mangia Gourmet; Suzanne Horn, CASA interim executive director; John Riesebeck, Smokin’ J’s BBQ; Mo Venouziou, CASA marketing and events facilitator; Justin Shea, Gulfport cultural facilities events supervisor; and, Gail Biron, Gulfport technical events specialist.