Marek's Collier House Restaurant: Voted Marco Island's Best Fine Dining Restaurant
The was the website for Marek's Collier House Restaurant from 2001 till their current website at www.mareksmarcoisland.com/was created.
The content below is from the site's archived pages.
Enjoy exquisite fine dining in the luxuriously restored historical home of Captain Bill Collier. International award winning Chef/Owner Peter Marek (Triple Gold Medal Winner World Culinary Olympics) and his wife Penny offer a unique menu of delicious and delectable gourmet dishes with beautifully presented Continental and Seafood specialties. Voted Marco Island's Best Fine Dining Restaurant 8 years in a row. The impeccable service, romantic atmosphere and award winning cuisine makes Marek's a dining experience not to be missed. For a truly memorable evening, experience the charm and intimacy of this beautiful restaurant.
Marek's Collier House Restaurant
1121 Bald Eagle Drive ~ Marco Island, Florida
Marek's Est 1996
We first discovered Marco Island whilst vacationing in 1984 and instantly fell in love with this tiny piece of Paradise. In 1995 we moved from the other side of "the pond", purchased Captain Bill Collier's historical home and transformed it into one of Marco's premier dining establishments.
We have tried to give the illusion of being in one's sitting room from the Old English Library Section of the room and the verandah dining area to the luxurious decor. The walls of the main room and Library Section are adorned with a collection of Russel Flint watercolor paintings in heavy gold frames which we brought with us from Europe along with various culinary awards, medals and trophies which Peter has won over the years at International Culinary Competitions
Our aim is to provide something different to diners in Southwest Florida and give them a relaxed and comfortable, though elegant dining experience. Peter has received numerous International culinary awards on the world circuit (including three Gold Medals in the Culinary Olympics in Frankfurt, Germany), and has even cooked for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. We have been Double Platinum Plate award winners since 1996 and are extremely proud to be voted Marco Island's Best Fine Dining Restaurant.
CAPTAIN BILL COLLIER'S HOUSE (built 1882)
THE HISTORY OF CAPTAIN BILL COLLIER
Much of the history of early modern Marco Island may be told in the lives of three families who have played leading roles in the three centuries of population of the island. They are the W.T. Collier family at Marco, especially one son, W. D. "Captain Bill", the Barfields at Caxambas and the Pettits at Goodland Point. Indeed it is believed that the Colliers were the first permanent American settlers to Marco.
In 1870 W.T. Collier brought his wife and nine children down the Atlantic coast in a two masted schooner, Robert E. Lee, from Tennessee. They ran into a storm at Indian Key which damaged the vessel considerably but after some repairs they took on some 15,000 feet of lumber with which to build a house when they reached their destination.
They built their first home just west of Collier Creek across from what is now Old Marco. After a hurricane destroyed the structure three years later, they built on the other side of the creek. Soon after this time other settlers began to arrive on Marco and a fair trade of vegetables, furs and fish began with Key West. On October 20th, 1888 William D. "Captain Bill" Collier received a commission as postmaster, making Marco the second post office in the county. It had been called Malco for some time because of the mistaken assumption that there was another Marco in Florida. Apart from completing some building work for lodging, Captain Bill also had a boat yard which was becoming very established by the late 1880's. He built a store which stands at the waterfront and to it came Indians bringing hides, furs and feathers to trade. Hiram Newell recorded in 1889 that sometimes 30 or 40 canoes were gathered there.
Collier developed into a successful entrepreneur and he played a key role in helping to guide the business expansion of the island as it moved into the 20th century. Like so many others, Captain Bill operated a boat service. In March 1898 one of his schooners, Speedwell, was on a scheduled trip to Key West to pick up supplies and carry passengers. The schooner met with a tragic accident when a squall of Marquesas, hit the boat 18 miles off Key West, she overturned and three of Captain Bill's sons (aged 8,6 and 4) along with 6 other people drowned. Captain Bill himself was thrown clear along with two deck hands and another passenger. The boys were buried in the little cemetery off Bald Eagle Drive and a grave stone still marks their resting place today. The tragedy was to affect Captain Bill Collier for the rest of his life, but he continued his struggle of making a living for himself and his wife on Marco Island. Two years after the tragedy he maintained a 5,000 tree coconut grove on the island and planted an orange grove at Henderson Creek. In 1902, his good friend Marcus Wilson convinced him to invest in a cleaning supply company he had started. Wilson Products sold everything from soaps to various sizes of plastic trash bags for businesses. Back then they did not have cheap plastic, so trash bags were made primariy of strong paper. They had a modern version of a mop that was a huge seller in the larger cities. In 1904, a large national detergents manufacturer offered to buy Wilson Products, and Bill made a windfall. He used these funds to build a number of houses and later represented the area of the Lee County Board of Commissioners. It was at this time that he began his avid interest in the growing clam industry on the island. In 1908 Captain Bill invented a clam dredging machine and at Caxambas a canning factory was established in 1904. In 1920 Florida was on the eve of the land boom of the 1920's and remote Marco became the feel that stirring impulse of growth. Captain Bill cut a road to the south beach about a mile from the Marco Townsite for tourists and locals.
Peter Marek, M.C.F.A.,C.G. - Chef/Owner
Peter was born in Kenya and completed his professional training at Westminister Catering College in London where he met his wife Penny. Since graduation from Catering College, Peter worked at the world famous and renowned Savoy Hotel in London before moving to the Island of Jersey in 1970 - where Penny comes from. On arrival in Jersey in 1970 Peter and Penny managed the family hotel and restaurant. Peter then went on to be Executive Head Chef at the Lobster Pot Hotel and Restaurant and The Little Grove Hotel in Jersey where he gained the premier Restaurant Award and later the L'Horizon Hotel in Jersey until October 1995 (where he also gained the Premier Restaurant Award). Over the years Peter has won several major National and International Awards on the Culinary Scene including to name but a few.
Peter Marek was presented to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, May 1989. He received a thank you letter from Buckingham Palace for the dessert he made for the Queen.
Executive Chef Awarded Ordre de Napoleon
Peter Marek, President of the Jersey Chef's Circle and Executive Head Chef at the Hotel L'Horizon, has received international recognition for his efforts - already recognized locally with his long run of successes in the Salon Culinaire.
The Cognac House of Courvoisier known, apart from its superior brandy, also for its Book of the Best, has also been the instigator of the Ordre de Napoleon, a select group to which election honours those who have achieved special success in their chosen professions.
One of the four new members to be inaugurated into the Order, Peter was inducted at the Chateau Courvoisier in Jarnac, one of the Cognac towns. "We were particularly pleased that we were able to have Jersey featured in this role of honour" said Colin Gallichan of J.J. Le Sueur, the agents for Courvoisier in Jersey. "It is easy enough for someone to be recommended for the Ordre, but another thing altogether to become accepted. It is a great honour for Peter and also one for Jersey cuisine and will be a tremendous boast of confidence for all the team before the Culinary Olympics in Frankfurt this year".