For years, South Walton, a 26-mile stretch of Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast, has been quietly growing as an epicurean magnet. Award-winning chefs with a penchant for 100-mile-radius cooking have been attracted to the area for its exquisite day-boat seafood, local organic purveyors, inspiring natural beauty and peaceful atmosphere. Serving some of the freshest and most inventive Gulf-and-farm-to-table fare in the Southeast, the area’s culinary stature is on a national rise with a series of growing wine and food festivals – including one featuring Chef Emeril Lagasse.
South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival
The South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival will be taking place April 24-27 in partnership with Visit South Walton, Wine Enthusiast Magazine and the Lagasse Foundation. Chef Emeril Lagasse, winner of the 2013 James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year award, and a local South Walton resident, will make a special appearance at the festival on April 26 to help benefit children’s charities in Northwest Florida.
The signature four-day festival, celebrating South Walton’s 16 distinct beach neighborhoods, will feature dozens of celebrity vintners, with over 800 world-class wines available to taste. The Savor South Walton Culinary Village will offer seminars on pairing food with wine, craft beer and spirits, while a Nashville songwriters showcase and an auction, named a “Top 10 Charity Wine Auction in the U.S.” by Wine Spectator, round out the program.
Chef Lagasse, who recently relocated his family fulltime to this beautiful stretch of Gulf Coast after vacationing there for 25 years, will entertain South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival attendees with a lively informal interview with Christina Mariani-May, co-CEO of Banfi Vintners. The floor will then open to audience questions.
Tickets are now on sale through the festival website at www.sowalwine.com. The official lodging partner for the event is Wyndham Vacation Rentals.