Pensacola Celebrity Chefs Royal Menu

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Celebrate Pensacola called Pensacola’s Celebrity Chefs, Irv Miller, Jim Shirley, Gus Silvos, Frank Taylor and Dan Dunn, some of most talented chefs in the Southeast, to prepare the 500-seat luncheon with its impressive head table of a king, queen, ambassador, governor and senators. The meal incorporated Pensacola’s Southern influences, Spanish heritage and fresh Gulf seafood and local produce. The results? Definitely a feast fit for a king! Try these recipes at home


Baby iceberg lettuce with grilled, pickled shrimp, Sweet Home Farm parmesan crisp, heirloom tomatoes and peppered bacon with a roasted Roma and garlic smoked vinaigrette.

Smoked tomato vinaigrette

  1. 2 pounds Roma tomatoes
  2. ½ cup roasted garlic
  3. 1 bunch cilantro
  4. 2 tablespoons sugar
  5. ½ cup white wine vinegar
  6. 2 cups canola oil
  7. Salt and pepper, to taste

Smoke tomatoes until tender. Place in a food processor and add garlic and cilantro. Puree. Place mixture in a bowl then add sugar and vinegar. Slowly whisk in the oil until blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Parmesan crisps

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grate Parmesan cheese and form in small circles on baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Cheese will melt together. Let cheese cool until warm to touch, then you can shape. Remove from baking sheet carefully and serve.

Ladle dressing over baby iceburg lettuce with yellow and red heirloom tomatoes. Top with some crunchy black pepper bacon and parmesan crisp. Top with a pickled shrimp, if desired.


Grilled Gulf Coast grouper with tasso, charred sweet corn and Pasilla chili pepper maque choux sauce, and lump crab over cheese grits.

Charred sweet corn, Pasilla pepper and tasso maque choux

  1. 2 ears sweet white of yellow corn on the cob, husks and silk removed
  2. 2 tablespoons canola oil
  3. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  4. ½ cup Vidalia or Texas sweet onions, diced small
  5. 1/3 cup celery, diced fine
  6. ½ teaspoon fresh garlic, diced fine
  7. 1/3 Pasilla or green bell peppers, diced small
  8. 1/3 cup red sweet pepper, diced fine
  9. ½ cup Nodine’s Smokehouse Tasso or Cajun-spiced ham
  10. 6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream (optional)
  11. ½ cup vine ripe tomatoes seeded and diced small (optional)
  12. Pinch granulated sugar (optional)
  13. Pinch Kosher salt, if desired
  14. Several turns cracked black pepper, from peppermill

Preheat grill to medium high. Lightly oil corn on the cob and grill for 8-10 minutes to lightly char corn kernels on all sides. Remove from grill and cool. Shave corn off cobs into small mixing bowl and set aside. In a medium skillet, heat butter over medium heat then add the onion, celery, garlic, peppers and tasso, stirring frequently until onions become translucent. Add cream and corn, then continue to stir for 3 minutes over medium high heat until slightly thickened. Add diced tomatoes and seasonings. Spoon hot maque choux over grilled grouper and serve. Serves 4.


Chocolate fudge cheesecake with praline-Renfroe Pecan crust and Pedro Ximenez macerated fresh berries.

Praline pecans

  1. 2 ears sweet white of yellow corn on the cob, husks and silk removed
  2. 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  3. 2 quarter-size pieces crystallized ginger, coarsely chopped
  4. 1 ½ cup Renfroe pecan halves, about 6 ounces
  5. 3 tablespoons heavy cream

Praline crumb crust

  1. 6 whole graham crackers
  2. 3 tablespoons sugar
  3. 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake filling

  1. 3/4 cup heavy cream
  2. ¼ cup dark corn syrup
  3. 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  4. 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder
  5. 19 ounces cream cheese
  6. 3 large eggs
  7. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Praline pecans

Position rack in the center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Lightly oil small rimmed baking sheet or oven proof skillet. Put sugar and ginger in food processor. Pulse until finely minced. Transfer ginger-sugar to small bowl and set aside. Put pecans and cream in medium bowl and toss until nuts are moistened. Add ginger-sugar and toss until nuts are coated. Spread pecans on baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring once, until sugar is absorbed and nuts begin to dry and crisp. Remove from oven and transfer on parchment-lined tray. Use 2 forks to separate nuts into single layer. Cool completely before using; nuts will continue to crisp. Set aside ¾ cup for crust and use remaining for garnish.

Praline crust

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter bottom and sides of 9-inch spring form pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper and butter paper. Cut two 18-inch squares of heavy duty aluminum foil and wrap outside of pan. Break up graham crackers into smaller pieces and put in bowl of food processor fitted with metal chopping blade. Add ¾ cups praline pecans and pulse until crumb mixture is finely ground. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add sugar and melted butter and stir with fork until mixture is moistened. Pat crumbs evenly onto bottom of pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Set up on wire rack and cool completely. Maintain oven temperature.

Cheesecake filling

In a medium saucepan, combine cream and corn syrup. Bring to boil over medium heat. Remove pan from heat and add chocolate, swirling pan to completely cover chocolate with hot cream mixture. Let stand for 3 minutes to melt chocolate. Gently whisk until mixture is smooth and well blended. Sift together brown sugar, salt and cocoa powder into bowl of electric mixer. Stir with wire whisk to blend. Attach bowl to mixer stand and add cream cheese. Using paddle attachment, beat mixture on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just absorbed. Scrape down sides of bowl. Beat in vanilla. On low speed, add chocolate mixture and mix until just combined. There should be no visible streaks of dark chocolate. Pour batter over cooled crust. Place spring form pan in a large baking pan. Pour enough hot water into baking pan to depth of about 1 inch. Bake cheesecake for about 55 minutes, or until top of cake is set, except for center; cheesecake will completely set upon cooling. Remove spring from pan form water bath and peel off foil. Immediately run tip of thin bladed knife between edge of cake and spring form pan. (this step will help prevent top of cheesecake from cracking as it cools.) Refrigerate cheesecake for at least 6 hours before serving. Remove cheesecake from refrigerator. Cover cardboard round or flat platter with plastic wrap; place on top of cheesecake and invert. Remove bottom of spring form pan and parchment from bottom of cheesecake. Invert cake onto serving platter. (Cheesecake is best when allowed to sit at room temperature for about 1 hour before serving.)

Serve with Pedro Ximenez macerated fresh berries.

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