Tickets are on sale now for this incredible, cultural celebration that will feature an assortment of curry-based dishes and family-friendly entertainment, at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg, Florida, on Saturday, September 19, 2015.
One of the highlights of the festival will be, not on Saturday, but the Friday before at a VIP party, September 18th, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., at the Bayanihan Arts and Events Center in Tampa.
This VIP event will feature the craftings of acclaimed Chef Jason Schofield, a nationally-known restaurant consultant with nearly two decades of experience in high-end restaurant management and hospitality operations.
Chef Schofield will be the head chef at Friday’s event, which includes access to an open bar, lively entertainment, and endless cuisine as part of a fundraising event that will feature an auction.
Proceeds will benefit local children’s, medical, and education-based charities.
Tickets to the VIP Party grant access to the Festival Day on Saturday and are $65 at the early bird price. To purchase tickets to this event, click here!
Chef Schofield’s Early Beginnings
As a self-taught chef, Schofield became interested in cooking at a very early age, cooking elaborate meals for family and friends.
Schofield explains that as a kid, he would go to restaurants with his father and “just try everything.”
“Those were happy times with my father,” he recollects.
“Experiencing those foods, often for the first time, it created a desire to always look for new things or new ways to make things. It created a desire to always look for new things or new ways to make things," he expresses.
At the age of 14, he created a complete Thanksgiving Dinner for his family, complete with sides and a variety of fixings.
Schofield explains that, “This kid-like ‘I am-ness’ is how I still approach my dishes today, with that newness and creativeness born of fun; playing with the textures, colors, and flavors of food to find new, fresh ways of cooking everything.”
The Journey to Success
Upon leaving home, Schofield went head on into the industry. He began working at Firenze, Rattlefish Raw Bar & Grill and Caprese Bistro before joining the Sportservice division of the Delaware North Company, where he encountered commercial foodservice on a large scale as supervisor of concession and catering at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
In 2011, Schofield returned to Florida full-time and joined the Hennessey & Coyle restaurant group as executive chef. Here, he oversaw the Orlando’s White Wold Café and established Wolfie’s PizzaMia, where he established a renowned program featuring handmade pastas, fresh-baked breads and house-made charcuterie.
Since leaving Hennessey & Coyle in 2014, Chef Schofield oversees all of the company’s consulting and talent placement services, working directly with clients to ensure their success in the restaurant business.
As owner of Schofield Restaurant Group, Chef Schofield oversees all of the company’s consulting and talent placement services, working directly with clients to ensure their success in the restaurant business.
What Makes a Great Chef?
“While not wanting to over complicate things, I believe that the best chefs are those who respect and nurture the ‘science’ of cooking,” Schofield argues. “If I wasn’t a chef, I would probably be a scientist or physicist. I really enjoy the science of it all, the ‘why’ and ‘how’ things happen. Cooking is a process that often combines very different flavors and ingredients to make a complete ‘whole’ dish.”
He continues by adding, “Sometimes I feel the term ‘chef’ is loosely used… a true chef is more than just someone who cooks or runs a kitchen. A chef has to understand the art and science of the processes involved not only in creating the dishes, but also how they are presented, marketed, served, and even how the business of running a restaurant works. It isn’t just ‘home cooking.’”
In addition to understanding “the art and science” of cooking, Schofield also contends that lifelong learning is “vital to create and maintain a successful career.”
“There is no end point, you are always ‘becoming’ a chef,” he remarks. “Always pushing the boundaries, gaining a better understanding of flavors, learning new techniques of making things in different ways.”
The Love of Curry
When asked, “What do you love about curry?” Schofield responds, “The spices and aroma, the differences between and how each culture interprets.”
“There are spicy curries; there are sweet curries, savory ones too; so many different things that you can do with curry,” he contends.
“It reflects in the countries from which it originates. There are wet curries and dry curries so many different flavors and profiles to play with. You could never run out of textures and ways to cook using curry,” he explains, “What's not to love?”
Involvement in the Tampa Bay International Curry Festival
When it comes to his participation in the Tampa Bay International Curry Festival, Schofield gets excited about “being part of something greater than [himself].”
“I am looking forward to giving back to the community and introducing people to the wonderful world of curry,” he expresses passionately.
“I am a chef, and to see someone enjoy your dish that you created and then the smile on their faces as they bite into it, is priceless. I like to entertain and try new things; this will be an amazing experience for me to be a part of,” he proclaims.
Have you bought your tickets to the Tampa Bay International Curry Festival yet? Purchase yours today by clicking on the links below!
To purchase your tickets to the VIP Party (Friday, September 18th), click here!
Purchase your tickets to the Tampa Bay International Curry Festival on Saturday, September 19th, click here!