Chef Tom Pritchard's drunken roast

On Monday night at St. Pete's Coliseum, hundreds gathered to honor Chef Tom Pritchard, local hero and executive chef at numerous restaurants including Salt Rock Grill. I've only seen "roasts" on TV, laden with celebrities embarrassing a friend. Mostly, they're small, sentimentalgatherings, but Chef Tom's Roast on Monday night extended its warm fuzzies to the entire Tampa Bay foodie community. The event honored Tom's phenomenal 30+ year career and what better way than to eat, drink and be merry like he has his whole life.

The $100 four-course wine dinner included 40 chefs stuffed into a cramped makeshift kitchen at the Coliseum, 600 attendees eating and drinking and 200+ misty-eyed industry people. I was floored that the event sold out at $100 a pop, but as many guests stated: "Hey, it's for Tom."

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