Where do the finest winemakers and chefs gather under one enormous pitched tent on a pristine beach to present amazing creations that are delicious, entertaining, and eco friendly?
Not only that, where do celebrity chefs, new “Green” companies, local tourism and commerce businesses, and the media wine and dine with the public like rock stars to pulsating island sounds of Caribbean artists?
Don Cesar Resort hosted the
Tampa Wine & Food Festival.
Where else but at the Tampa Bay Wine & Food Festival held recently at the historic 1928 five-star Don Cesar, a Loews Hotel.
This famous unique “pink” hotel with an amazing history oozes luxury from its perfect beachfront setting to its impeccable touch of class attitude. Business guests and vacationers will be spoiled rotten with indulgences in every corner starting with frozen grapes delivered to their poolside lounge chairs.
From the perfect valet parking to concierge’s assistance to my entrance into the Grand Tasting Tent, everything at the Don CeSar is smooth.
The Grand Tasting Tent. I like that name! No shoes are required in sand so I place my sandals in the shoe slot and a’ grand tasting I go! Over 400 wineries and 40 eateries with their main focus on the global trend of going green are here to fulfill the tastebud dreams of guests.
The author is an
intrepid wine explorer.
Mendocino Wine Company, Jim Bean Global, Solaire by Robert Mondair, and Seven Daughters as well as Bern’s Steak House, Capitol Grill, and Parkshore Grill are just a few of the distinguished wine and food purveyors serving drinks and treats. They are among many who are here to give excited guests an amazing experience in culinary innovation in sustainable living and the Green Movement.
In other words and as far as my stomach is concerned, they are here to give me a taste of delicious environmentally-conscious creations which is not only great for my tasting pleasure but excellent for the planet too. Time to unleash my palate!
Sizzle! Chop! Puree! Swizzle! Splash! Blend!
As the drinks and food come to life so does the intoxicating sounds of steel drums. Tropically-attired artists perform as the coconut palms sway in the Florida breeze. This is as close to the Caribbean as one can possibly get and paradise is not but one step away.
Chefs serve their creations.
Gleaming, peaked chefs hats bob above the crowd. Finely dressed fashionistas, casually-clad tourists, and suit and tie’ed managers mingle happily under the shade of the enormous tent. Two small children, who are oblivious to the going on’s around them, are the only ones to remember that the floor is still a beach and continue to build their sandcastle.
Tucson’s Southwest Grill of Clearwater, Florida offers rich, bold flavors. Tucson’s 7 Layer Dip, Fiesta Salads, Slow Cooked Baby Back Ribs, and Homemade Enchiladas are just a few of the fixin’s from the Southwest that these guys deliver. www.TucsonsCantina.com gives you the lowdown on more yummy dishes and their full-service customized catering.
As the music mellows out to a jazzy beat, Gulfport’s Island Flavors & Tings spices it up with exquisite food presentations so colorful that I think I’ve landed in Bora Bora. Or Barbados. Or is it Thailand? Their staff of international chefs provide delicacies for both eye and palate: Shrimp Cigar, Rasta Pasta, Oxtails, Mango Bread, and Coconut Lobster are on the wish list that has literally come true.