Caption: Photography by Rusty Chinnis
On Sunday afternoon, April 22nd, START’s Earth Day Culinary Celebration attracted a full house at The Studio on Gulf and Pine on Anna Maria Island. They came to support START’s Gulf Coast Oyster Recycling and Renewal (GCORR) program that keeps used oyster shells from restaurants out of our landfills and uses them as a hard base to create new oyster reefs that help filter nutrients out of our waterways.
The event was sponsored and serviced by the Chiles Group of restaurants including The Sandbar, The Beach House and Mar Vista. The attendees were treated to a variety of sustainable seafood and land based culinary selections including oysters, wild boar and Bottarga the dry roe of our indigenous Grey Stripped Mullet. Assisting the Chiles group chefs with the food service were some helpful local volunteers. Comments from the attendees praised the food service as top notch and many asked us to hold the event again next year.
Media promotion for the Earth Day Culinary celebration was provided by the Anna Maria Island Sun newspaper with ads in several of their editions during April.
The event was an unqualified success with all available tickets sold out and START raised enough funding to continue the GCORR program for 2018 and beyond. Funding from the event included ticket sales, a cash bar and attractive silent auction selections featuring a special Chef culinary experience, a basket of Italian delicacies, weekend stays on Anna Maria Island and a photo sitting for a family portrait.