MANATEE -- Eight of the most beautiful homes in the Manatee-Sarasota area will be open to the public for the Symphony of Kitchens next month.
The new Sarasota Orchestra Association event replaces the designer showcase and tour of homes, which it sponsored for 38 years.
"It was time to try something new," said Caroline Ryan, chair of the Symphony of Kitchens tour Feb. 15-16.
Kitchens selected for the tour were recommended by association members, designers and vendors, said Sue Seiter, association publicity consultant.
"It gives us the opportunity to showcase a couple of chefs, too," Seiter said.
Among kitchens on the tour are two from Lakewood Ranch, including Terri Vitale's outdoor kitchen; two in University Park, the Bradenton home of Derek Barnes of Derek's Culinary, and the Lido Key kitchen of Sarasota actress Carolyn Michel and Howard Millman.
Tommy Klauber, owner of the Polo Grill and Bar, Pattigeorge's and Fete Catering, will be one of the celebrity chefs.
Contacted by phone New Year's Eve, Klauber said he will be preparing food at a University Park home for about 50 people.
"I like these kind of things. They are fun for the people in the home, fun for me
because I get to do what I like to do, and it's fun for the people on the tour," Klauber said.
For something a little different, Ted Ryan of the Coca-Cola Archives in Atlanta is expected to share fun recipes using Coke for the tour stop in a Lakewood Ranch home.
The Sarasota Orchestra and its Youth Orchestra Program will benefit from proceeds from the Symphony of Kitchens.
Pre-sale tickets are $25. Tickets the day of the event are $30 at all the homes. Tickets are available for groups of 20 or more for $20 each from Irene Schatz at email@example.com or 941-907-6934.
A hospitality house for Symphony of Kitchens visitors will be available on the tour dates from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., where guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast, lunch or afternoon snack as well as pick up maps and directions for the tour.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.sarasotaorchestra.org, by phone at 941-953-3434 or at the Sarasota Orchestra Box Office, 709 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.
Retailers selling tickets: Cabinets Extraordinaire, 5686 Fruitville Road, Sarasota; Davidson Drugs in Midtown Plaza, South Bridge Mall, Siesta Key Village; Eurotech Cabinetry, 1609 DeSoto Road, Sarasota; Ferguson's Kitchen and Bath, 2451 17th Street, Sarasota; Lakewood Ranch Florist, 8362 Market Street, Lakewood Ranch, Luxury Nails, 8423 Honore Avenue, University Park, Venice Stationers, 211 W. Venice Ave., Venice, and Venice Paper Pad, 327 W. Venice Ave., Venice.
James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee editor, can be contacted by calling 941-745-7021 or tweet @jajones1.