Restaurants are being urged to sign on for the Greater Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce's 18th annual Taste of the Beach, which will be held between First and Third streets (within the end two blocks) of Old San Carlos Boulevard on Sunday, April 28, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
It's a first come, first serve basis for those who do.
"It's important not to wait until the last minute. Restaurants first to sign up can pick their location on the event site," said Taste Chairman Steve DeAngelis, Jr. "Get your applications into the chamber as soon as possible."
Restaurants are signing on to show their signature fare and compete for six best dish awards in three categories -appetizer; entre (beef/pork, chicken, fish, shellfish, vegetarian); and dessert.
So far, nine restaurants have officially signed on with the required registration fees. They are Parrot Key Caribbean Grill, Big Game Waterfront Grill, Jo Jo's at Pink Shell, The Beach Pierside Grill, Matanzas Inn Resort, Bayfront Bistro, Nauti Turtle, Pincher's Crab Shack on the Beach and Yucatan Beach Stand. Others have given a verbal commitment and will be mentioned in future articles once they are official.
Call the Beach Chamber at 454-7500 for more information.
Smokin' Oyster Brewery has officially signed on as the sponsor for the server competition.
Celebrity chefs were also announced this week. They will be Chef/Town Councilman Dan Andre of Mango Street Inn; Recipe Publisher/Author Dean Foster; Restaurateur/Chef Michael Harpster; Stella Karras, co-owner/baker of Nick & Stella's Family Sports Pub; Town Councilman Joe Kosinski; Chef Maura Methany of Norma Love Confections; Firefighter/Chef John May; and John Menzies of Captain John's Fish & Chips.
Country music artist Craig Campbell, noted as a rising star in his music field, will be the lead act on the stage that will be located adjacent to the Town fountain and financed by co-corporate sponsors Suncoast Beverage and Island Food Group. Brett Eldridge, another rising star in country music, and local country rock band, The Grayson Rogers Band, will play prior to Campbell.
Awards will be announced at 4 p.m. in between the two opening acts (The Grayson Rogers Band will play from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Brett Eldridge from 2 to 4 p.m.) and Craig Campbell, scheduled to play from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.