Get Ready to be Wowed
Food & Wine Festival 2022
By Holly Houser, Ocean Reef Press Manager
It’s back! And it will be nothing short of spectacular.
The Food & Wine Festival began in 2014 at the hands of Sr. Director Culinary Operations Philippe Reynaud and Director of Beverage & Wine Operations Sean Carroll. Now 8 years later, this dynamic duo is still at the helm of creating one the season’s most anticipated weekends.
When asked what excites Sean most about the approaching weekend, April 22-24, he said, “Mostly, the fact that, after two years of not holding the event due to Covid, we are back and even better. This is easily one of my favorite weekends, not only because it marks the end of a great season, but because this year, the Club’s culinary and beverage teams really get to come together to showcase their expertise, presenting something outstanding for the Members.”
In previous years, the weekend featured invited chefs from around the country. The structure of this year’s event makes it all the more special. Food & Wine 2022 will see our own Ocean Reef Chefs at the forefront, as they prepare all culinary aspects of the weekend from the Welcome Luncheon to the Saturday demonstrations and Grand Dinner.
“The Club is fortunate to have so many new and talented chefs who are deeply passionate about their culinary craft,” said Philippe. “The Food & Wine Festival this year presents the opportunity to really show off this group of skilled individuals, offering the perfect platform for them to develop relationships with our Members that they may not have been able to do yet due to Covid.
Our chefs will get the chance to present their culinary prowess in a way that allows for freedom and creativity. To take a step out of their kitchen and into the spotlight. After this weekend, our Members will be even more proud to dine in our Club outlets.”
What’s On the Menu?
Friday’s Food & Wine Experience will be just a glimpse of the traditional evening of the past. This year, the signature tasting event is moving to a transformed Town Hall Waterside. The vibe, as Sean describes, will be that of a classy outdoor lounge – relaxed, elevated, with DJ music enhancing the atmosphere. Here, eight of our Club Chefs will each takeover a station where they’ll feature delicious dishes not found on any Ocean Reef menu.
Calling attention on the turf will be the spirits purveyors, more than in year’s past, with industry specialists on-hand to answer any and all questions. Sampling crafted cocktails from these new and exciting brands is encouraged – Fiero, Ilegal Mezcal, Islamorada Beer Company & Distillery, Aldez Tequila, Aczu Gin, Patron Tequila, Grey Goose, St. Germain, Havana Club Rum. Not to mention, a wide selection of wines from well-known regions around the world. “Go big or go home,” Sean says.
On Saturday, Sean is trading the traditional Bloody Mary Bar for a Bloody Maria (tequila) and Margarita Bar, plus a wine bar because “why not drink wine all day long?” The demonstrations that follow, via our expert Club Chefs, will feature Duck Tamale with Oaxaqueno Black Mole from Chef Jared Reardon, Italian Grilled Cheese of Fontina from Chefs Betania Salles and Cameron Kihnel, and other delicacies from Chefs Andrea Rodella and Jonathan Kaiser. Philippe says it’s sure to be delightful and delicious.
Sprinkled among the demonstrations, wine seminars begin. It’s “Bubbles & Bubbles,” “Rose all Day” and “Around the World with Pinot Noir” lead by Wine Consultants Jackie Gwidt – a familiar Food & Wine face – and Stephanie Southgate.
Looking for more? Visit oceanreef.com/FoodandWine for details on the Moet Welcome Lunch, Grand Dinner, and Veuve Clicquot Champagne Brunch.
Eat! Drink! Be Merry!
This April is a time for celebration, and the Food & Wine Festival is all about celebrating a shared love and appreciation for fine dining, fine beverages, and fine friendships fostered around a shared meal or cocktail. For ticket information, call 305-367-6526.