Why St. Augustine is Ripe for a Food and Wine Festival
St. Augustine had long been acclaimed as a fun town for tourists of all ages. After all, we’re America’s oldest city, plus there are 42 miles of beaches and world-renown attractions. (Who hasn’t heard of the Fountain of Youth?) But those who’ve spent any time here know that we aren’t just a tourist town — we are a tourist town with a food problem.
Visitors have quickly discovered that St. Augustine has a wealth of eateries, from a decades-old diner that offers a ginormous serving of biscuits and gravy, to a brand-new restaurant that presents food from Uruguay and Argentina, including numerous desserts de leche. Conversations among locals frequently focus on which place has the best steak/seafood/dessert, and tourists often stop locals on the street to find out where to go for the perfect Cuban, perogies, romantic dinner for two, gator tail, or a cup of coffee before 7:00 a.m.
St. Augustine is definitely a tourist town with a food problem and we love it.
If you enjoy learning about food and drink, trying new foods and drinks, and talking with others who feel as you do, then St. Augustine is your town, and the St. Augustine Food + Wine Festival is the perfect festival for you.
The St. Augustine Food + Wine Festival runs from May 6 through May 9, 2021, with the majority of the activities taking place at the World Golf Hall of Fame, near our Historic Downtown. This festival has something that will please every foodie, from Master Classes on cooking and on adult beverages, to a succulent, two-hour barbeque extravaganza, “Smoke on the Walk,” to a six-course “Winemakers Dinner.” And that’s just a few of the highlights.
Tickets can be purchased for the whole experience or à la carte. To purchase tickets, go here.
Special Guests Include Two World-Class Golfers
As host and sponsor, the World Golf Hall of Fame has invited two retired world-class golfers who have each found new passions and careers involving food and wine.
Australian, Greg Norman, has won 89 professional golf tournaments including two majors and 20 PGA Tour tournaments. Now, Greg continues to win awards with wine from Greg Norman Estates. This wine company produces varietals from Argentina, Australia, and the U.S.
Jan Stephenson, also from Australia, won three major golf championships and 16 LPGA Tour events. Her enjoyment of fine wine led to Jan Stephenson Signature Series Wines, from her vineyard in California, where they currently produce Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, among other wines. Jan also produces world-class, award-winning rums.
In What Ways Do You Enjoy Food?
What are Your Favorite Foods? What food do you just love to eat? What food do you make at home and strive to perfect? What are your favorite types of restaurants? What food would make your next gathering epic? Do you love to try new restaurants and foods when you travel?
Whether you consider yourself a foodie, a gourmand, or a gastronome, chances are, you’ll taste and learn something about your favorite foods and beverages, and our local eateries and chefs at the St. Augustine Food + Wine Festival. (The photo below is from Preserved in St. Augustine.)
A Multi-course Banquet, Perhaps?
If you enjoy multi-course, white-tablecloth dinners with wine pairings for each course, then make sure your ticket includes the “World Golf Hall of Fame Winemakers Dinner” on Thursday night.
There, guest celebrity chefs will be joined by chefs from St. Augustine and all of these top chefs will work together to prepare a six-course dinner. Every course will be paired with the perfect wine from the wineries owned by Greg Norman and by Jan Stephenson; expect every morsel to delight, and that your taste buds will sing the Hallelujah Chorus.
After dinner, there will be a live auction fundraiser for the festival's charity partners, Jan Stephenson's Crossroads Foundation and the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Guest Chefs for the Winemaker's Dinner include the following:
- Charcutier, Michael “Sully” Sullivan, of American Cured
- Chef Owner, Paul Fehribach, from Big Jones in Chicago
- Chef Michael Gulotta, from Maypop in New Orleans
- Chef Morgan Norman, from Greg Norman Estates
- Maneet Chauhan, Chauhan Ale & Masala House in Nashville
Local Chefs for the Winemaker's Dinner include the following:
- DeeAnn Hobbs, Renaissance World Golf Village Resort
- Christof Bauer, Preserved
- Michael Lugo, Michael’s St. Augustine
- Josh Smith, Catch 27
- Brian Whittington, Preserved
- Ben Zimmerman, Preserved
Love to learn? Fan of the Food Network?
Don’t miss the Epicurean Master Classes offered on Friday. They start off-site with classes on adult beverages, for which you may choose one of three outstanding sessions: on spirits, brews, or wine. Two of those classes take place in St. Augustine, one at the St. Augustine Distillery, and one at the Dog Rose Brew Pub. The third, on wine, will be held at Legends Grille right at World Golf Village.
The other four master classes are scheduled so that you can attend them all, starting with Chef, Author, Restaurateur, and Television Presenter, Maneet Chauhan. Her class on cooking Aloo Chaat will be sure to add an excellent new dish to your own repertoire and everyone who attends will receive a signed copy of her new book, Maneet Chauhan's new cookbook, Chaat: Recipes from the Kitchens, Markets, and Railways of India.
Local Asadors (live-fire chefs), Matt Brown from Leña and Nick Carrera from Urban Asado, will present a class on using Argentine-inspired live-fire grills to cook pretty much everything from meat and seafood, to fruits, vegetables, and desserts.
Additional master classes will be presented by Morgan Norman, of Greg Norman Estates, and by Jan Stephenson of Jan Stephenson Wines.
Epicurean Master Class Instructors include the following:
- Philip McDaniel and Clark Gilmore, from St. Augustine Distillery
- Doug Murr, from Dog Rose Brewing
- Tony Porcellini, from Legacy Hospitality and Carrera Wine Cellar
- Maneet Chauhan, Chauhan Ale & Masala House in Nashville
- Morgan Norman, from Greg Norman Estates
- Matt Brown from Leña and Nick Carrera from Urban Asado
- Jan Stephenson, from Jan Stephenson Wines
If barbeque is your thing, “Smoke on the Walk” celebrates some of the best pitmasters and grillmasters in the southeast. Imagine strolling along the Walk of Champions, sipping beverage tastings that include your choices of wine, brews, and spirits, talking with the masters, and trying bites of smoked, roasted, and grilled gourmet foods. (The photo above is from Urban Asado.) Live music for the barbeque will be performed by Remedy Tree.
If that’s your idea of heaven, your ticket purchase must include “Smoke on the Walk,” a casual, all-inclusive 2-hour extravaganza for persons 21 and over.
Pittmasters and Grillmasters include the following:
- Matt Brown, Leña in St. Augustine
- Nick Carrera, Urban Asado in St. Augustine
- David Carrier, Certified Burgers and Beverages in St. Simons Island, Georgia
- Bryan Furman, Pitmaster from Georgia
- Robert Owens and Gregory Vivier from Grand Champion BBQ in Roswell, Georgia
- Josh Smith, Catch 27 in St. Augustine
- Michael Sullivan, American Cured
- Brian Whittington and Ben Zimmerman from Preserved in St. Augustine
Food, Beverages, Demonstrations, and Music!
If your idea of heaven is simply spending three hours doing it all, culinary bites, beverage tastings, exhibits that feature foods and food preparation products, cooking demonstrations, food trucks, samples from the area’s best restaurants, and live music with Ramona + the Riot, then make sure your ticket includes the St. Augustine Food + Wine Festival Main Event on Saturday, May 8, 2021 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Seriously, there are just too many participants to list. This is the Main Event, for pit’s sake! Go, eat, drink, and enjoy!
Tickets are still available for "Hall of Fame VIP Lounge, also from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday. This catered experience features swag bags, private rest rooms, an open bar, and music performed by Salt & Pine — plus tickets to Main Event detailed above.
Food to Celebrate Friends and Family
On the final day, Sunday, May 9, The St. Augustine Food + Wine Festival celebrates families with a Jazz Brunch on Mother’s Day, featuring local guitar virtuoso, Sam Pacetti. This is the only event of the Festival that is open to those under 21and is family-friendly. Seating times are 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., with special prices for children age 6 to 12. Those 5 and under are free.
This brunch will feature carving stations, an omelet station, a seafood station, a host of side dishes, and a plethora of desserts. For tickets to the brunch, go here.
Something for Everyone
As I’ve said before, if you love food, eating it, preparing it, and those experiences, you will love St. Augustine’s Food + Wine Festival from May 6 to May 9, 2021. Tickets can be purchased to include the whole banquet listed above, plus breakfast and VIP passes. Tickets can also be purchased for festival events a la carte. Go here to purchase tickets.
Don’t Forget, St. Augustine is a Tourist Town
Let’s go back to how I opened this article: St. Augustine is absolutely a fun town for tourists of all ages.
If you’re planning to visit St. Augustine to enjoy part or all of the St. Augustine Food + Wine Festival, may I suggest you arrive early or stay late and take advantage of some of the other things to do here?
Be sure to check out some of our local eateries in town or at the beaches. You can find them in our Restaurant Directory. While you are out and about, counteract your indulgent weekend with a round of golf, a kayak trip, or hike. To learn more about our recreational activities, go here.
Who doesn’t want a souvenir of their visit to St. Augustine? We offer outstanding shopping from clothing to home furnishings to art. Check our Shopping Directory for a cornucopia of options, or go to our Art Gallery Directory. (Hint: St. Augustine has a long history of being the seasonal or permanent home to many talented artists. Do not miss their work.)
Follow these links to learn more about our historic attractions, and living history, including the aforementioned Fountain of Youth. Finally, St. Augustine has a wealth of museums, featuring art from nearly every era, glimpses into our history, and amazing collections.
The St. Augustine Food + Wine Festival welcomes those who plan to spend the weekend and more, as well as local tourists who opt to enjoy one or two of the events. Either way, we hope you stick around or return to America’s Oldest City — to enjoy everything we have to offer, including the food and drink.
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