Don't miss the second installation of the widely successful Conch Revival Picnic!
If you’ve been in the Keys for any length of time, chances are you’ve had your fair share of tasty key lime pie and conch chowder. But what about the ultimate chilao or the Queen of all Puddings? Now is your chance to have your taste of these things and more at the Conch Revival Picnic— a heritage dinner presented by The Key West Art & Historical Society and Isle Cook Key West featuring a cornucopia of classic Key West/Conch recipes— on Wednesday, January 11 from 6:30-9:30 pm at Fort East Martello in Key West.
With the rich and varied history of people that have flowed in and out of the Florida Keys— the Calusa and Tequesta Indians, the Spanish and English, the Caribbean and Bahamian settlers, and the émigrés from nearby Cuba— our island cuisine steams from a literal melting pot of tastes and cultures. In early days, the distance from mainland food sources also impacted the menu, forcing locals to explore ingenious ways of utilizing and preserving local fruits and fish— dietary staples which were supplemented by canned milk, rice, coffee, and other shipped-in commodities.
“This event allows Conch Cuisine to have its voice,” says Martha Hubbard, Culinary Curator of Isle Cook Key West.
Hubbard has joined forces with other acclaimed chefs to help increase awareness of Key West and Conch culture by preserving and promoting historic recipes created and consumed by Conch families for generations but that are now disappearing from memory and tables. She and Dave Furman (Executive Chef and Owner, Great Events Catering), Martin Liz (The Lost Kitchen Supper Club), Doug Shook (Executive Chef, Louie’s Backyard), and Paul Menta (Chef/distiller) will prepare a variety of these classics, including bollos (black eye pea fritters), alligator pear (avocado salad), mollette (Cuban bread stuffed with picadillo), chilao (lobster enchilada with corn meal), conch chowder and salad, whole pig and fish roast, guava duff, and Queen of all pudding. Some of the recipes are inspired by the postwar Key West Woman’s Club Cookbook edited by original Conch and first Florida Keys woman mayor Wilhelmina Harvey, as well as recipes from other books located in the Key West Public Library collection.
“The finesse and history of just one recipe varies from family to family,” continues Hubbard. “Those recipes handed down in families become a common bond that really creates a community and then a style of food specific to the region.”
Hubbard prefers conch salad for its clean simplicity.
“When it's made properly the layers of all the ingredients are pronounced and wildly delicious!”
In addition to the dinner, attendees can enjoy classic conch games like bocce and dominoes along with a series of tasting competitions, featuring family recipes as prepared by local professionals and amateurs, with participants judging.
Sponsored by in part by Great Events, proceeds for the event benefit The Society. Tickets for the event are $50 for non-members and $40 for KWAHS members. For more information call Shawn Cowles, Society Operations Manager at 305.295.6616 x 111.
Your Museums. Your Community. It takes an Island.
Share with friends