By Peter Covino
Something weird and wacky is cooking this weekend at Bok Tower Gardens.
Celebrity Chef Emily Ellyn, who doesn’t exactly tiptoe around the kitchen, comes to the gardens for three days, March 24-26, with a special dinner, seminars and even something for the junior chefs in your household. Known as the mother of “Retro Rad” cooking, Chef Emily has appeared on the Food Network’s “Food Network Star,” “Cupcake Wars,” and “Cutthroat Kitchen” She even has made a cameo cartoon appearance on The Simpsons. On Friday night, she will host a special VIP event at the gardens, where she will demonastrate her remake of a favorite family-style dish using fresh ingredients from the Edible Garden at Bok Tower. Tickets include dinner, unlimited beer (3 Daughters Brewing) and wine, live music and a special take home gift. Tickets are $150 per person.
The menu includes an heirloom tomato salsa with chips; Beer Buzzed Shrimp with Scallp Ceviche and Florida Blueberries; Braised pork tacos with fennel citrus slaw and chipotle cream; Stout Mexican Hote Chocolate Cupcakes.
Each course features a different alcoholic beverage as well. For tickets, information, go to Boktowersgarden.org.
On Saturday, food enthuisasts can join Chef Emily at three different sessions where she will share her secrets on making chocolate covered strawberry jam (11:30 a.m.); green tomato chutney (1:30 p.m.). The cost is $15 per session.
The celebrity chef will also lead a tour for kids of the gardens, Edible Garden, with an overview on how to grow tomatoes. That event also includes a live cooking demonstration and lunchtime reading of Tomato Wisdom with Chef Emily. Unfortunately, according to the website, that $25 ticket event is already sold out.
Upcoming events at Bok Tower Gardens include the Carillon Classic 5K Run/Walk on April 29. It will be held from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. and the always very popular Easter Sunrise Service. This year’s service will be held at 7 a.m. Early morning worshipers will be offered complmentary admission to the gardens. The sunrise service will feature a full choir performed by the Lake Wales Choral under the direction of Charles and Tammy Little along with a carillon performance by Geert D’Hollander and inspirational Easter mesaage. A buffet breakfast also will be served in