Today we are featuring an event so big, it took over part of Downtown Tampa! The Special Event Gala Awards have been held every year since 1986 to honor the biggest stars in the special events industry. This year, a team led by Mark Wells of Hello Florida took The Special Event to the next level with “Restaurant 20.12.” The event team, including Puff ‘n Stuff Catering, worked together to concept and design an evening centered around unique and fresh cuisine served in a fully-functioning “pop-up” restaurant. Preparation for the event included setting up development plans with the City of Tampa, and working with some great vendors to construct Restaurant 20.12 in Cotanchobee Fort Brook Park adjacent to the Tampa Convention Center. This completely unique and temporary venue was a two-story enclosed tent that housed two kitchens, a stage for the band, as well as accommodations for 580 guests. The interior of Restaurant 20.12 showcased chic decor, beautiful floral arrangements, cool lighting, very modern tables and chairs, and amazing talents that entertained the guests from the center stage.
Catering to the special events industry is no small order, and Puff ‘n Stuff Catering provided five courses with multiple table-side selections for guests to indulge in! Superb plates on the restaurant menu included Classic Cioppino Fresh Seafood Stew, Sweet Pumpkin Ravioli, and Wild Mushroom Rissotto with a Roasted Marrow Bone, just to name a few. After the entrees, upscale cheese plates were served to tables followed by a delicious Maker’s Mark cake for dessert!
The Special Event Gala Awards was an exciting and successful event, and it took seven full days to build the restaurant and bring everything together! Throughout the night, guests were treated to live music performances, exotic dancing, and some truly uncommon spectacles…this night would have made the Rat Pack glad to attend! Scroll below to see some pictures from the night, the full menu, and an exciting video chronicling the steps that made Restaurant 20.12 come to life!
Mediterranean Sampler Hummus, Cucumber Raita and Greek olives, with crisp pita chips and flat bread crackers
Savory Marcona Almonds
Course I: Butler Passed Hors D’oevres
Cognac and Brown Butter Seared Foie Gras Served atop a Foccacia Crsip, Brandied Apricot butter, and a candied nut garnish
Pepper Berry Crusted Baby Lamb Chops with crimson reduction and seasonal micro greens
Leek Cheesecake on a Cracker Spoon Savory Leek Cheesecake with arugula pesto, carmelized onions, sweet grape tomato and served on a pesto cracker spoon
Seared Ahi on green papaya salad
Course II: Small Plates
A Study in Heirlooms Chef’s garden wedge heirloom tomato, sun gold, snow white and sugar snack baby heirlooms, Australian Murray River flake salt, micro basil, Piccardo & Savore unfiltered EVOO and B. R. Cohn 12 year white balsamic with basil foam.
Seafood Marriage a scallop and salmon stack, eloquently combined and served with a white balsamic glaze, epic mache greens salad, and citrus supremes
Noodle Bowl Miso sarachi broth, Thai Chicken, bean thread noodles, snow peas, scallions, enoki, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, napa, bok choy and bean sprouts
Wild Mushroom Rissotto with a roasted marrow bone
Course III: Entree
Lamb Three Ways – Osso bucco with fried arugula; ragu over polenta; seared loin with cherry demi and mustard greens
Sweet Pumpkin Ravioli in sage brown butter with candied brussel sprouts, oyster mushrooms, and crushed candied nuts
Classic Cioppino Fresh Seafood Stew with Scallop, Clams, Mussels, and white fish in a saffron seafood brodo with herbed orzo served with a grilled crostini
Coffee and Chili Rubbed Sliced Black Angus Cowboy Steak served with shallot butter and accompanied by creamed spinach and Yukon gold smashed potatoes
Cheese Presentation France: Billat Savarin & Morbier, Italy: Telaggio accompanied by
wild strawberry and balsamic jam, green tomato relish, natural honeycomb, fresh mission figs, medjool dates, cheese sticks, crackers and flat breads
The Cake Makers Mark Chocolate, walnut, and brown sugar crust topped with bourbon soaked genoise cake and Kentucky bourbon caramel sauce
Caterer: Puff ‘n Stuff Catering