Fine Dining Take-Out Dinner Headlines Community House Gala

provided to The Santiva Chronicle

Like many island events this year, the Sanibel Community House “1927 Gala” had to make changes to adjust to the Covid-19 outbreak. The Gala, on Friday, Jan. 22, will feature a tantalizing gourmet five-course dinner prepared by a team of noted Island chefs. This year’s event, however, will be available to all as a take-out dinner that can be enjoyed in the comfort and safety of home with close family or social group. And the Gala entertainment for the evening will be streamed to the computer.

Anchoring the on-line program will be long-time islander Victor Mayeron, owner and operator of the Mucky Duck on Captiva for the past 35+ years, who has deep roots on the island and the entertaining stories to match. The program will include live music by The Swingin’ Clique performing jazz, standards and danceable tunes, some personal memories and messages from island folks, a raffle for attractive restaurant, retailer and gift packages valued at $100 each, and a live auction for some very special items and experiences hosted by Tommy Williams.

The menu for the Gala is designed to please even the most demanding “foodies.” The dinner lineup includes:
A selection of popular small appetizers from the kitchens of several restaurants including: Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille, The Island Cow, and the Stillwell Restaurant Group.

A soup course featuring White Gazpacho, a signature dish from Executive Chef Mike Patnode of Traders Restaurant. Chef Mike has led Traders kitchen on an incredible run since 1998, capturing numerous culinary awards in the process.

A special appetizer prepared by Chef Loretta Paganini – Shrimp and Ricotta Strudel with Arugula Salad in Lemon Thyme Sauce. In addition to her skills as a chef, Loretta is a noted food educator, cookbook author and TV personality. She has conducted popular cooking classes on Sanibel since 1995, which now are based at the Community House.

A main entrée prepared by Community House Resident Chef Jarred Harris, featuring Petit Veal Loin Mignon with truffle butter and Poached Maine Lobster Tail, Sautéed Asparagus Tips and Dauphinoise Potatoes. There will also be a vegetarian option: Portobello Wellington. Chef Jarred heads the staff of the Sanibel Culinary Institute at the Community House. He has previously held the executive chef position at a several restaurants, five-star resorts and country clubs, including the Sanctuary Golf Club.

The desert will be a scrumptious concoction from baker-extraordinaire, Chef Malia Samson….her Mexican Chocolate Cake with Blood Orange Spoondrift. Chef Malia is one of the new generation of chefs, known locally for her work creating all desserts at Malia Island Fusion Cuisine, where she won Best Dessert of the Islands in 2019 (Coconut Tres Leches Cake), now a cult classic on the Island. Currently she manages and is co-owner of Spoondrift Island Bowls.

To accompany these amazing dishes, each order is paired with a bottle of white and a bottle red, all tucked into a reusable thermal bag you’ll want to keep as a souvenir of the occasion.

All dishes for the Gala will be packaged for take-out and delivered to your car curbside at the Community House with home delivery available by request. How often can guests have this level of dining pleasure with so little preparation work?

The “1927 Gala” is named in honor of the year the Community House was created as a communal gathering place for Island residents, having been built with private donations of land, money and materials from the citizens of Sanibel. As the major annual fundraiser, the “1927 Gala” follows the tradition created by hundreds of dinners, suppers, potlucks, luncheons and breakfasts shared by Sanibelian over the decades. And all proceeds from the Gala are used to help to keep the Community House running throughout the year.

Tickets for the Gala are $160 per person (tax deductible) and are available at the Community House office, online at , or by calling 239-472-2155. Sponsorship packages are also available that include multiple tickets plus recognition the gala program and in event public relations. The deadline for reservations/orders will be January 15, so it is best to call early.

If you need an escape from the COVID doldrums, hosting a mini-“1927 Gala” at your home could be the perfect solution. And you’ll be helping to support an important Sanibel institution, the historic Community House.

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