Tampa Bay's longest-running culinary benefit is an annual tradition you don't want to miss! Partake of the Bay area's best offerings in a fun festival of food and drink on the beautiful Straz Center grounds.
More than 40 of the Bay area's finest restaurants and caterers
Five stages of live music
Full open bar - specialty wine tastings included
NEW THIS YEAR! Sample craft beer from local microbreweries
Since its inception, Best of Tampa Bay - the Straz Center's signature fundraising event and Tampa's longest running culinary fundraiser - has generated more than $2 million to benefit the Center's programs. Because of events like Best of Tampa Bay, everyone in our community has the chance to discover the life-changing impact of the performing arts.
General admission ticket prices are $65 per person until April 2 and $80 beginning April 3. A limited number of tables of 10 are available. For more information on table sales, please contact the Straz Center's Special Events department at 813.222.1037.
One of Maestro's at the Straz's dishes being served will be Asian Pork Bellies. Here's the recipe:
Asian Braised Pork Belly for Gua Bao
Ingredients 2 (2 1/2 pounds each) slabs pork belly 2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice 1 cup soy sauce 1 cup light brown sugar 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice 1/3 cup minced garlic 1/4 cup minced ginger 1/4 cup minced green onion bottoms (white part only) 4 cups chicken stock 12 ounces frisee lettuce, cleaned, rinsed and spun dry 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Gua Bao Lotus Buns, available in freezer section any Asian market
Cucumber, Cilantro, Bean Sprouts, Hoisin Sauce
Directions Place each portion of pork belly in a 1-gallon re-sealable plastic bag.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the orange juice, soy sauce, light brown sugar,
lemon juice, lime juice, garlic, ginger, green onions and use a whisk to
blend well. Divide the mixture between the 2 plastic bags and seal them.
Place in a baking dish or roasting pan and refrigerate overnight, or for 8 hours.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Remove the pork from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
Place the pork belly, skin sides down in a 9 by 13 inch glass oven proof baking dish,
or a small roasting pan and pour the marinade and 3 cups of the chicken stock over and
around the pork belly. Place in the oven and roast for 1 hour. Turn the pork belly over and
roast for another 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven and place on a counter top, or cooling
rack to cool. Use a fork and long, sharp, thin-bladed knife to remove the skin from the pork.
Allow the pork to cool in the cooking liquid and, once cooled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, cover
with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to overnight.
Remove the pork from the refrigerator and uncover. Carefully remove any congealed fat that
rests on top of the cooking liquid. Using a sharp knife, score the fat layer of the pork in a cross hatch pattern.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Add the remaining cup of chicken stock to the pan and place in the oven.
Cook the pork belly until slightly caramelized on top and warmed through, 20 to 25 minutes.
To build your Gua Bao, take one Lotus bun and cover inside with Hoisin Sauce add Braised Pork Belly,
Cucumber Slices, Cilantro and Bean Sprouts and enjoy. To add a little heat toss Cucumber slices, cilantro