Small Bites

Summer Chef Jam Returns

By Abby Weingarten | July 01, 2015
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chef jam

Bottomless pints of Florida-made craft beer. Small plates of gourmet fare from local celebrity chefs. Live DJ–spun melodies. Serious revelry. This is the Summer Chef Jam—the off-season’s hot annual offering at the Shamrock Pub in downtown Sarasota— and it is rolling into year six.

Every June to August, Shamrock owner Derek Anderson and the staff at Edible Sarasota magazine team up to create a community- centric ritual that has a tri-fold purpose: to introduce the public to area brewers, to bring attention to the chefs and menus from independent restaurants, and to kick up an otherwise sleepy patch of the Southwest Florida calendar.

When the snowbirds depart, the service industry feels the absence, and any boost for bartenders, servers, brewers, and restaurateurs fills the void in the balmy months. The Chef Jam has helped this cause since its inception.

Hundreds of people have attended the event. Patrons have learned about what beers go with what bites. They have later found themselves buying cases of ale from companies they might never have discovered otherwise. They have ended up visiting locales they never knew had such world-class artistes in their kitchens.

This year, nine chefs will be spotlighted one by one for nine weeks from 7 to 9 p.m. each Monday at the Shamrock, starting on June 15 and ending on August 31 (with a couple of breaks in between). There will be a Chefs2U food truck onsite (also one of the event’s sponsors) and various flavors of homemade artisan popsicles from Pop Craft Pops.

The culinary lineup is as follows: Darwin’s On 4th Chef Darwin Santa Maria on June 15, Jack Dusty’s Chef Caleb Taylor on June 22, The Cottage’s Chef Evan Gastman on June 29, Mattison’s Chef Paul Mattison on July 13, Louies Modern’s chef on July 20, Michael’s On East Chef Jamil Pineda on July 27, Made’s Chef Mark Woodruff on August 3, Indigenous Chef Steve Phelps on August 10, and a chef appreciation night by Chefs2U on August 31. The nightly cost is $25 for three plates, unlimited beers and a popsicle. The pub can only hold 50 people at a time, so seats are limited and sold on a first-come, firstserve basis.

Menus in years past have included dishes like spiced corned beef carpaccio with turnip kraut, a poached egg, rye croutons, pickled mustard seeds and Gruyere cheese fondue. The meal was paired with Swamp Head Brewery’s Hydroslide (a dry-hopped Kölsch-style ale made just a few hours north in Gainesville).

Complex, elevated flavors are always washed down with meticulously picked complements at the Chef Jam. It is a bold and beery bash.

More info: Summer Chef Jam

► Shamrock Pub: 2257 Ringling Blvd, Sarasota; 941-952-1730;

Article from Edible Sarasota at
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