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Taste of Hastings

Saturday, April 27 from 6:30-9 PM

301 N. Main Street, Hastings, FL

Experience the ultimate culinary extravaganza, "Taste of Hastings," from 6:30-9 p.m. Indulge in a showcase of local celebrity chefs, savor exquisite dishes and wines, groove to live music, and place your bids on the silent auction items.

Sample delectable bites from seven different chefs using cabbage, potatoes and bacon.

 

General admission tickets for "Taste of Hastings" are $35. Elevate your experience with VIP tickets priced at $100 per person, offering early entry at 6 p.m., exclusive signature bites, a swag bag, 2 alcohol tickets, and admission to Sunday's ACF Sanctioned Cooking Competition.

Chef Lineup 

THE HOST

CHEF HARI PULAPAKA

Ph.D., CEC, AAC, WCMC

Hari Pulapaka is a tenured Associate Professor of Mathematics entering his twenty-fourth year at Stetson University. Originally from Mumbai, Hari has been residing in the United States since 1987. He earned his Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Florida in 1995. A professional midlife crisis prompted him to pursue culinary arts, resulting in his graduation from classical culinary school in 2004 with top-of-the-class honors.

A four-time James Beard Best Chef semifinalist, Hari has been invited to cook at the historic James Beard House in New York City seven times. He was also a featured chef at the 2018 James Beard Awards in Chicago. In 2008, Hari co-founded the award-winning restaurant, Cress, located in DeLand, FL with his wife Jenneffer Pulapaka, which, during his co-ownership and leadership from 2008-2019, garnered numerous accolades, including being rated as ZAGAT's #1. In 2017,

Hari established his company, Global Cooking School, encompassing his culinary pursuits, which include teaching, philanthropy, and crafting world-class, globally inspired, and sustainably minded tasting menus. Recognized as a GRIST 50 fixer in 2016 for his innovative efforts in food waste reduction, Hari holds the title of Certified Executive Chef (CEC) with the American Culinary Federation and is an inductee into the American Academy of Chefs.

Additionally, he is a Worldchefs Certified Master Chef (WCMC). Hari actively contributes to sustainability initiatives as a strategic advisor for Postelsia, a member of the Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) Group and the Academic Working Group of Food Tank, and a participant in the Zero Food Waste Coalition. He serves as Chef/Partner for Enroot Organics, PBC. Hari is a prolific author, with multiple published books to his credit.

CHEF GENIE McNALLY

Chef and co-owner of The Floridian restaurant in St. Augustine, Genie is a native Floridian whose family’s agricultural roots in the region go back seven generations.

 

She draws much of her culinary inspiration from local food sources and traditions and reinterprets these into dishes that bring indigenous foods new relevance while respecting their origins.

 

Local sourcing is at the forefront of her culinary focus.

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CHEF MICHAEL LUGO

Chef Michael Lugo leads the culinary team. Originally from Puerto Rico, Michael is a self-taught Chef, who started cultivating his skills and passion for food by learning from his grandma, who inspired him to use his love of food to carve a career in the food industry.  As he spread his culinary wings, Chef Michael worked in many restaurants from Texas to Florida, learning all aspects of the restaurant industry before embarking on his own path.


Chef Michael believes that the key to good food starts in sourcing local and sustainable ingredients. Locally grown produce, seafood, and meats play the lead role in his menu development. He also believes that by working with like-minded artisans from around the world, he can share and extend his values and offer products unique to the seasons and to historical authenticity.


In addition, he leads his team with the philosophy of being involved in charitable efforts.  He has contributed his time and talent to various charitable causes and local charities.
Chef Michael finds the most creative satisfaction in giving back to the community which has poured into his work.

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CHEF NED POLLACK

Ned Pollack is a culinary legend in St. Augustine, renowned for his decades-long career of culinary excellence.

 

From his roots in Teaneck, New Jersey, to his acclaimed breakfast spot, Malaga's, followed by Gypsy Cab Co. and finally Ned’s Southside Kitchen, Pollack's passion for diverse flavors and creative cuisine has left an indelible mark on the city's dining scene.

 

With a knack for innovation and a dedication to hospitality, he has delighted generations of diners, embodying the spirit of culinary artistry in every dish he creates. Ned retired in 2018 but moonlights as a guest chef at Gypsy Cab on special occasions. 

CHEF ELLIE SCHULTZE

Ellie Rose Schultze (@chefellierose) grew up in St. Augustine and got an Art Degree at the University of Central Florida. Starting at just 14 years old, she’s worked her way through nearly every position in restaurants, from bussing tables to head chef. She’s an avid traveler who’s been to over 50 countries and taken cooking classes in Mexico, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, and Nicaragua, before finally landing in NYC to attend culinary school and learn the ropes in the fast-paced, cutthroat kitchens of the city.


Ellie moved back to St. Augustine in 2021 to work towards the goal of opening her own restaurant. While her beachy concept, Vilano Main Street Diner, is still in the works, she jumped straight back into the community as a private chef, caterer, and volunteer. She recently stepped into an Executive Chef role to open Chez L’amour on San Marco Avenue, Uptown St. Augustine, partnering with local musicians and business owners, AJ and Jeanetta Cebollero. 


Chez L'amour (@bitesbubblesandjazz) is a music venue, jazz bar, event space, eclectic social dining concept and romantic destination that has an international love affair with food. You'll find dishes inspired by world cuisines from Southeast Asia to the South of France, intentionally pushing boundaries and bringing something new to the old town. 

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CHEF DEJUAN ROY

Chef DeJuan Roy assumed the role of Executive Chef at the Alhambra in 2011, bringing over 20 years of culinary expertise to Jacksonville's dining scene. Prior to his tenure at Alhambra, he served as the Executive Chef at the Plantation Room in Celebration, FL.

A graduate of the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago, Chef DeJuan has honed his skills and refined his craft throughout his career. Having called Jacksonville home for 15 years, Chef DeJuan has become an integral part of the local culinary community.

At Alhambra Dinner Theatre Jax, Chef DeJuan leads a talented culinary team, infusing each dish with creativity and passion. Inspired by each performance's unique story and theme, he crafts show-inspired fare that enhances the overall dining experience. From traditional Southern favorites to innovative culinary creations, Chef DeJuan's dishes never fail to captivate the senses and leave guests wanting more.

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CHEF SEBASTIAN SIKORA

Sebastian Sikora, originally from Chicago and 1st generation Polish-American, has many, many years of experience in the culinary arts. He puts his passion for food into everything that he does.

 

Sebastian began working in the industry for his parents, Vincent and Eva, at The Black Knight Deli, and since has worked in and managed kitchens all over St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra.

 

Sebastian has owned his own cafe and was once partnered with a popular Gastro pub. Recently he is Chef de Cuisine at La Cocina International Restaurant as well as a private chef, working The Master’s Tournament as well as private chef for celebrities like Michael Jordan, Dwight Freeney, and John Daly.

 

One of his favorite quotes is by Chef Jaime Oliver, “Real food doesn’t have ingredients, real food is ingredients.” 

CHEF ALEX GUNUEY

Chef Alex Gunuey, a French culinary maestro, is renowned for his farm-fresh menus. Not happy with the products available in the 80’s, he created, with his partner Amy Kalafa, the first organic poultry and game bird farm on the East Coast. That helped him develop relationships with culinary icons like Anthony Bourdain, David Bouley, and Gray Kunz, to name a few. 

 

Rooted in his mother’s French recipes, he honed his craft, spending 7 years on “Martha Stewart Living” as a chief editor. With Martha, he won multiple Emmy Awards. Next came a 4-year collaboration as a broadcast producer with Lidia Bastianich on her series “Lidia’s Italy”. Their work was honored in 2007 with a James Beard Award.  

 

Now a St. Johns County resident, Alex shares his passion for food and French cuisine through intimate cooking classes and as a featured chef and food educator at “A Taste of the Market” at the St. Augustine Amphitheater farmer’s market. There, he crafts  farm-to-table meals, sourcing locally to celebrate freshness and delighting the palates of food enthusiasts with his culinary creations.

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CHEF REBECCA REED

For Rebecca Reed, her goal is to bake the world a better place! For the last 10 years she has been showcasing her motto on the Jacksonville Food Scene.  

Rebecca graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Sociology from Wingate University, but soon realized that instead of studying the development and structure of human society, her contribution to society would be through sweets!  She moved to New York City to study at the French Culinary Institute.  Here, she would learn from some of the most famous chefs in the world and graduated with honors.

She loves to share her dedication to making delicious food and inspiring people on camera. More recently, she was a finalist on The Dr. Seuss Baking Challenge on Amazon Prime in 2022  and won an episode of Chopped Sweets on Food Network in 2020. You can see her hosting her cooking show, Plated, on YouTube and Wanderlust on screens around town and Jacksonville Airport. See what she is cooking up by following her on social media @thebakerreed.
 

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St. Paul's Episcopal Church

THANK YOU TO
OUR SPONSORS

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