This was until a beautiful night in April, 2013. I was invited to attend a French Country Dinner by the amazing Amy Moran and her super talented husband, Chef Gary Moran of Wimauma. The Moran's recently purchased a piece of property that I would have never believed existed until I saw it with my very own eyes - The Winthrop Barn.
|Photo from www.winthropeventcentre.com|
To say I was shocked upon walking in is a slight understatement. I fell in love twice that night, with impeccably perfect food, and a love story over shrimp and grits which I will get into later.
It's hard to believe that a Chef who started making pizza at the age of 14 years old and wearing the rat suit at Chuckie Cheese is making food, worthy of my southern Grandmother's approval if she was still with us. The Chef who once wore a rat suit has had a culinary career which would make most Chef's jealous. Moving to NYC at the age of 20, then to Massachusetts as a Sous Chef while obtaining his BA in Philosophy, onto London to attend Culinary school, ending up back in the States working for Wolfgang Puck in San Francisco. Tampa is fortunate to have a talented Chef like Gary Moran.
We were introduced to our first course, a traditional French Salade Lyonnaise. I knew this was a multi course meal and I couldn't put my fork down. Frisee greens, bacon lardon and bacon fat fried croutons dressed in a Tarragon mustard vinaigrette. topped with a poached egg. Yes - you heard me correctly, bacon fried croutons. I will never look at a simple crouton the same. I have a weakness for poached eggs and bacon so to me, this salad was perfection on a fork.
|French Salade Lyonnaise|
|Ciallette De Nice|
|Braised Duck Leg with Lentils and Brussels|
|Pickled Peach Clafoutis|
The Winthrop Barn is perfect for venues. I never imagined saying I would consider a place in Riverview as a Tampa wedding venue but it is in my lineup now once the question is asked. Don't judge - I am a marketer and event planner in real life so I plan every aspect of my life, well in advance :)
Loves Artifacts and ordered Shrimp and Grits, to which she made a point to meet the Chef because it was the best she ever had. Out came her childhood sweetheart, Gary Moran. Six months later, they were married and Shrimp and Grits will always be part of their menu at Wimauma. This fun loving couple will be featured on The Steve Harvey Show this Wednesday Night so be sure to tune in! Visit their facebook event page fore more information!
|Chef Gary and Amy Moran|