SARASOTA, Fla. (March 22, 2018) – A capacity crowd enjoyed the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee’s annual “Hospitabull” fundraising event at the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota on Wednesday night. Students from the USFSM College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership worked alongside staff at the Ritz-Carlton to prepare and present an elegant dining experience for members of the community.
The 8th annual event drew scores of restaurant owners, hoteliers and others from the local community and hospitality and tourism industries, including many who spoke favorably of the college’s students and graduates.
Dr. Pat Moreo opened the event and introduced Dr. Karen Holbrook, regional chancellor of USF Sarasota-Manatee, who recognized the event’s dignitaries, including members of the Board of Trustees, and thanked the crowd for its overwhelming support.
The largest HospitaBull since its inception in 2011, the event filled two large rooms at the Ritz-Carlton.
“We’re going to have to pull back the partitions and add even more tables next year because this is becoming so popular,” Dr. Holbrook remarked.
She added, “We are so appreciative of the community support we have received, not only at this event but throughout the year.”
Among the speakers, Chef Yann Chupin, executive chef at the Ritz-Carlton, shared how the hotel’s staff was impressed with USFSM students and faculty who worked hand-in-hand with them in staging the three-hour event.
Dr. Joe Askren, an instructor at USFSM, spoke of how such partnerships, and others with hotels and restaurants locally, provide USFSM students not only with internships and other career opportunities, but with the skills to succeed in their careers.
John Horne, owner of the Anna Maria Oyster Bar, rounded out the evening with a masterful performance emceeing a live auction to benefit the CHTL. Every item sold for well above the starting bids, in part thanks to his humor and ability to engage the crowd.
Adam Carmer, another USFSM instructor, likewise engaged the attendees, offering a lively presentation about food and wine pairings. In the end, he said, there’s no great mystery to the selection process.
“The best way to pair wine with food is to drink the wine you like with the food you like,” he said.