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Andy’s Island Seafood holds first cooking and wine class

April 18, 2012
By MEGHAN McCOY ( , Pine Island Eagle

The first cooking and wine tasting class held at Andy's Island Seafood last Wednesday attracted 24 individuals who wanted to learn how to prepare local seafood.

Chief Mischief Maker for Magnet Social Media Karen Moran said they raised $550 for the one class, which will all be donated to the Harry Chapin Food Bank.

"Our goal over the course of the year is to donate $6,000 to the food bank from the proceeds of these cooking classes," she said.

Article Photos

Meghan McCoy
Brian Urso, co-owner of Andy's Island Seafood, held his first cooking and wine class in Matlacha Wednesday night in front of 24 individuals. He prepared grouper tacos for everyone to enjoy.

The wine for Wednesday's event was donated by Friendly Frankie's Liquor off of Pine Island Road in Cape Coral.

The cooking and wine tasting classes, which will be held on the second Wednesday of every month, will take place from 7-8:30 p.m. at Andy's Island Seafood. Admission to the class is $25, and 100 percent of of the net proceeds will be donated to the Harry Chapin Food Bank.

"After reviewing numerous, well-deserving local charities, we picked the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida because they received a 67.93 rating score out of 70 from Charity Navigator," Moran said. "Charity Navigator evaluates the financial health of individuals charities and rates them based on their accountability and transparency in their fund-raising efforts. Because of this high score, we felt the Harry Chapin Food Bank was the best fit to receive the proceeds from Andy's monthly cooking classes."

Fact Box

If You Go:

What: Cooking and Wine Tasting


Who: Co-owner Brian Urso

Where: Andy's Island Seafood,

4330 Pine Island Road in


When: May 9 from 7-8:30 p.m.

Reservations: 239-283-2525

Cost: $25 per person, which will

all be donated to the Harry

Chapin Food Bank

The class demonstrated how to purchase and prepare fish in an inexpensive, 15-minute fashion. The class also taught individuals how to pair wines with the fish.

The first of the series, which taught individuals how to prepare fish tacos using grouper, was held April 11.

Brian Urso, co-owner of Andy's Island Seafood and chef of the class, told everyone that the recipe for the fish tacos did not consist of a lot of prep work. He said it is a simple dish with a great presentation.

"You don't have to do a lot," Urso said.

The graduate of Johnson and Wales said he is always looking for easier ways to make healthy dishes.

"I learned there are really easy ways to make dinner," Urso said, because the majority of people work all day and do not want to spend a lot of time cooking.

"The goal is not to overwhelm you with hard recipes."

Katie Moreau attended the cooking class because she wanted to learn how to cook something easy. The class provided her with the opportunity to get her feet wet in cooking seafood at home.

After Urso was done fixing the fish tacos, Moreau said she did not realize how easy it was to cook fresh seafood.

"Fresh is what I was looking for," she said. "I like the idea of being able to buy stuff locally and fix it. It is nice for me that I do not have to go off the island."

Patricia Greenwell attended the class with her friend Kat Hutchinson Wednesday night.

Greenwell said she loves the people at Andy's Island Seafood and has been shopping for seafood there for many years. She said the class was providing her with new ideas, along with giving her the chance to support the Harry Chapin Food Bank.

"Brian showed me something neat," she said of fish tacos.

Her friend, Hutchinson, said she eats fish at least twice a week and cooks at home every day of the week.

"Now I am going to be making fish tacos," she said after the demonstration was over.

Hutchinson was also thrilled to learn about the market at Andy's Island Seafood because now she has somewhere to shop for fresh, local seafood.

"I will absolutely come here for fish," she said.

The thing that stood out the most to Hutchinson during the class was Urso using all fresh products.

"Very healthy and low fat," she said. "I hope he continues to do recipes like this,"

Hutchinson said she will return to the class and bring more with her because it is for a good cause.

The next class will be held May 9.

Reservations are needed for the class, which can be made by calling 239-283-2525.



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