Gulfport Chefs Table in Fourth Year

Tangelo’s Grille, one of several new restaurants at this year’s Chefs Table, used Spanish-themed candelabras with lit candles along with a gold and black color scheme as part of their centerpiece. “It’s very exciting. I’m enjoying it,” said Lisa Sax Brennan, who co-owns the restaurant with her husband Mike.

The fourth-annual Chefs Table charity dinner in Gulfport on Monday, November 4 featured 11 local restaurants and a crowd of about 540 people who enjoyed white tablecloth service in the middle of Beach Boulevard, said Tom Goff, co-owner of Pia’s Trattoria.

“I’m very excited because we have several new restaurants this year and they took on a lot of seats,” said Pia Goff, co-owner of Pia’s Trattoria and the main organizer of the event. “Every year, the Gulfport community adopts this event more and more. This year, volunteers were here to help us set up the tables and chairs. It’s like their event too and that’s amazing.” 

According to a press release, this year’s Chefs Table proceeds go to the Michael J. Yakes Foundation, which is a non-profit group based in Gulfport that provides services to local underprivileged seniors and children. The Chefs Table funds are earmarked for the Guardian ad Litem (GAL) Foundation of Tampa Bay that assists foster children who are removed from their homes who need more help than the system can provide.

“Gulfport has one of the highest removal rates in our community,” said GAL Executive Director Ame E. Foster.

Published menus for each seat sold detailed that restaurants donated from $60 to $75 to the charity and ticket prices varied from $95 to $125.

For more information about GAL, visit or contact Foster at

Vintage Small Bites & Wine Lounge provided a table theme that echoed the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Owner Wendy Ohlendorf, short-order cook Todd Post, pictured, and members of the volunteer servers group entertained guests by performing their rendition of  “The Time Warp” dance.

Gini, left, and Mike Fagan, owners of the Gulfport Beach Bazaar, 3115 Beach Blvd., and More Bazaar located next door, took their seats a little early to enjoy fall weather that featured temperatures that hovered in the low 80s along with partly cloudy skies and gentle breezes.

This year, Smokin’ J’s featured a Sweet and Sassy pickle flavored vegan humus that his wife invented as part of their menu, said John Riesebeck, owner, left. Matt Sartor, right, assisted Riesebeck in preparing each of four courses.

Entertainment for the evening included a visit from the Gulfport Gecko Amalgamated Marching Band who marched up and down the sidewalks of Beach Boulevard.

Reigning Gecko Queen Jody Robinson, the honorary ambassador for Gulfport, was on scene early to greet visitors as they found their seats for fine dining in the middle of Beach Boulevard.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *