September #EatUpJax

Chef Nedal in Extreme Food Fights with Chef Amadeus

Chef Kenny Gilbert is stepping on over to the Southside to open a second restaurant in our area, Gilbert’s Social. We’re thrilled that we don’t have to go all the way out to Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen in Fernandina Beach for a taste of what he can do! Our contributor Natedoesfood gave Gilbert’s Social a visit, read more and watch the videos.

Last month, in the old O’Brothers space in 5 Points, Five Points Tavern opened its doors. Expect lively bar-fare from their menu, with beer, wine, and signature cocktails.

The long-awaited Cowford Chophouse is still undergoing construction. Word is they will be opening in 2017.

“full-bodied, deep, and complex with notes of caramel, dark fruit, oak and dark chocolate”

Speaking of long-awaited deliciousness, there’s some great news from St. Augustine. The St. Augustine Distillery will be releasing their Florida Double Cask Bourbon this month. It’s the first bourbon to be put into barrel in Florida since Prohibition, and it has already won awards (Triple Gold Medal in the 2016 MicroLiquor Awards and Triple Gold Medal winner for package design). The St. Augustine Distillery gift shop will have extended hours on release day, from 8am-8pm on Friday, September 9th. Free tours and tastings happen every half-hour from 10:30am-5pm. For more info, call 904-825-4962 or visit staugustinedistillery.com. As to how it will taste, the distillery described the bourbon in a press release as “full-bodied, deep, and complex with notes of caramel, dark fruit, oak and dark chocolate.” We can’t wait to imbibe!

“Jacksonville is not a complex restaurant city. The cooks here are used to preparing simple and basic food. They don’t do a lot of fine dining. But it’s all about training, training, training,” he said, adding, “It’s all about attitude. I can teach a person to cook. I can teach presentation, but I can’t teach attitude.”

Jaguars Chef Sean Kinoshita
Chef Sean Kinoshita

In the Florida Times-Union Dining Notes last month, the new Executive Chef Sean Kinoshita, over at the Jags had this to say about the Jacksonville food scene: “Jacksonville is not a complex restaurant city. The cooks here are used to preparing simple and basic food. They don’t do a lot of fine dining. But it’s all about training, training, training,” he said, adding, “It’s all about attitude. I can teach a person to cook. I can teach presentation, but I can’t teach attitude.” Unfortunately, the people he is hiring on are going to be doing stadium food. There’s nothing wrong with stadium food, and such a job is a great proving ground, but I can guess that most of the people answering the want ads aren’t part of the fine dining scene, which might have led to his skewed view, even if he does want to elevate things with a 3-foot corndog. As we all do. Of course, the 3-foot corndog isn’t the whole picture–other future upgrades include, according to the article, “oysters, ceviche, conch chowder bread bowl and a wide assortment of sushi rolls…[and] Whole Fried Snapper with Citrus Chimichurri, Sriracha Fried Shrimp Po Boy, Seared Tuna Lettuce Wrap with Hoisin Sauce, and the Neptune’s Net Seafood Trio featuring shrimp, scallops and clams. A Gator Sausage Sandwich will be an interesting twist.” The stands will feature wings, flatbread pizza, Philly cheese steak, a prime rib sandwich, and fries. Jacksonville does tend to gravitate towards food trends with staying power, rather than flash-in-the pan fads. But, just like Kinoshita’s 3-foot corndog isn’t the whole picture, neither is what he has to say about our city and our chefs.

Sip & Savor Jax happens from September 11-25. More than 30 area restaurants will offer three-course prix-fixe lunch or dinner menu at a price point of $15, $25, $35 or $45 which will include an appetizer, main entrée and dessert. Restaurants include bb’s, Blue Bamboo, Black Sheep, Fionn MacCool’s, Indochine, Restaurant Medure, Ovinte, Taverna, the Wine Cellar, and many, many more! For a complete list go to: http://www.visitjacksonville.com/sipsavorjax/.

Extreme Food Fights, Chef Amadeus, nedal, darin, #eatupjax
Extreme Food Fights with Chef Amadeus

For the past few months, chefs have gone head-to-head in the Extreme Food Fights, presented by Chef Amadeus! This month, on Sept 19th, the host restaurant will be Seachasers. Chef Darin Ball and his staff have opened their doors for another exciting Hospitality night, with a happy hour menu available. The three-time winner, Chef Nedal Mardini of Hobnob, will be ready to take on new challengers. Stepping up to take this challenge will be Chef Joshua Agan, former chef of Flying Iguana, and Chef Eric Gayon of Whiskey Jax, among others. There will also be a cupcake battle. Tickets are just $20 on Eventbrite.com.

 

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