About a month ago, we spent time together in this space talking about a seafood festival that was coming to Savannah late April. It’s called “Aquacurean” and had all the promise of a great event. The Westin Savannah Harbor Resort always throws a great party, you had the backdrop of the Savannah River and River Street in the distance and you had a ton of great recipes and fun planned for the three day event. If you read my column regularly, then you know I will call it like I see it. Well, I thought this would be a great event. And it will be. But since then, more details have been trickling in and this event has officially gone into “hyperdrive.” How so, you ask? Well, of course you do.
Last we spoke, the plan was (and it is important to note continues to be) to have professionals and Saturday afternoon warriors alike submit recipes that will be prepared by Executive Chef Roger Michel and his staff at The Westin. The winning recipes will win some prizes up to $1,000. All of that is still in place, but all of a sudden this “seafood sampler” event is going full blown party featuring celebrity chefs, mixologists, cooking demos, and a few other surprises.
Todd English’s Bluezoo is one of the gems at the Walt Disney World Resort. I can’t say that I have been there, but I have been to a Todd English property in Las Vegas. P.U.B. is first class. Yes, pub food, but some of the best I have ever had. That will tend to happen when you have won four James Beard Awards. FOUR. The man knows what he is doing. His executive chef, Ryan Ratino, and “Star Mixologist and General Manager”, Chad Lobner, will be taking center stage on Friday morning at 11:00am talking about Champagnes and Sparkling Wines, paired with oysters from St. Jude Farms near Charleston. That’s just for starters. Sound like a great event itself? It sure does. Trust me, I put it in my calendar almost immediately when I got word.
Food Network Celebrity Chef Anthony Lamas was here in Savannah for the Food and Wine Festival back in November. His riverboat meal was a huge success, social media was glowing that night with all of the fun guests were having at his dinner. He will be part of the festivities as well.
That’s just a part of it. There will be sessions featuring Stella Artois and Southern Fried Goodness, one pairing bourbons and many different ways to serve crab and even one featuring 2014 Iron Chef Savannah Winner Cameron Cheney from B.Tillman doing a demo, a tasting and a cocktail pairing. I get the impression if you are going to attend this event, you’d better come hungry. This is going to be uh-mazing.
A lot of the details are still coming in, some of these sessions are so “hot off the presses” that they don’t have official names yet. That will change as will some of the names and faces beyond those confirmed already. This event needs to go on your calendar as soon as possible. Festival organizer, Jan Gourley, and the entire Westin staff have gone from the potential for a solid “stand up triple” in their first year, to having a shot at emptying the bases. No joke. (The preceding baseball analogy brought to you by Opening Day at Grayson Stadium! Savannah Sand Gnats in action beginning April 3rd).
I will most definitely be at as many of these events as I can. That might mean all of them. I cannot wait. Get more information and your tickets now at www.aquacurean.com. I will keep you posted on more developments.
See you on TV.