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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Countdown: Cocoa Beach Uncorked Takes Off This Weekend


Beach? Check.
Ocean views? Check.
Food? Check.
Craft beer? Check.
Wine and spirits? Check.
More Food? Check. 

Hungry and thirsty yet? Yeah, check that.

The inaugural Cocoa Beach Uncorked two-day food and beverage festival takes off June 3-4 at Alan Shepard Park -- on the beach -- in Cocoa Beach. 





A sister event to Clearwater Beach Uncorked (now entering its sixth year)the Cocoa Beach event is billed as "the hippest gastronomic event to launch on the Space Coast." And, from the looks of things, who can argue? The event features a 20,000 square-foot tented Grand Tasting Village, where Central Florida's chefs and restaurants will be showcased, along with craft breweries, wineries and spirits producers. “Cocoa Beach is the perfect location to launch our new taste-fest and showcase the finest food, wine, craft brews and other fabulous culinary treasures of Florida’s east coast,” said Tammy Gail, event producer. “We’re bringing together people with a shared interest for what will be an unforgettable weekend for attendees, partners and exhibitors alike." 

The foodie fest includes a number of restaurant partners who will be serving up tastebud-tantalizing culinary creations. Celebrity food judges will lend their expertise in awarding the top Uncorked Foodie Favorite honor. Judges include Jerry Craft and Macy MacNeely from Publix Aprons Cooking Schools; Emily Ellen, the "Retro Rad Chef" from Food Network; Shaun O'Neale, winner from Master Chef Season 7, who's also a DJ (wonder if he sings in the kitchen); and Luis Reyes, Executive Chef for Sysco Food Service.

In addition, fest guests will vote for their top choices in the Best of Space Coast People's Choice Awards in categories of Foodie Favorite, Best Wine, Best Brew, Best Spirits and Best Decor. Looks like the vendors need to bring their overall "A" games! 

On the beverage side, a few local breweries in attendance have already experienced photos and beer critiques from this writer. To that effect, hey, I'm looking at you: Hell 'n Blazes (Melbourne), Saltwater Brewery (Delray Beach), Tampa Bay Brewing Company (Tampa) and Rock Brothers Brewing (Tampa). But, that's not all! Take a look at all of the breweries, wineries and spirits sponsors attending this fest

Yes, I'll be attending the first Cocoa Beach Uncorked! What do I expect? I have no idea! What am I looking forward to? First, I love the beach! And, who doesn't like to experience food that reaches the levels of top tier cuisine? Add craft brew and adult beverages, and, well, you don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out the rest. I also anticipate venturing into some previously uncharted territories, along the lines of a few wine and spirits tastings.

Not only does the event feature food and beverage sampling, it also offers cooking demonstrations and interactive experiences. Tickets are available in two levels: VIP and General Admission. Both ticket levels include unlimited food and beverage tastings in the Grand Tasting Village, with the VIP admission adding a one-hour early entrance at noon and access to a special VIP tent (and tastings of Moet & Chandon beverages). The festival runs until 4pm each day. 

Presenting sponsors include Space Coast Florida (visitspacecoast.com), Publix, Hilton Cocoa Beach, and City of Cocoa Beach. The event also includes a number of brand and beverage sponsors, restaurant sponsors, community partners and media partners. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association and the Brevard Humane Society.

I think I hear a countdown: T-minus and counting. 

Looking forward to attending the cuisine and beverage fest on the beach! Stay tuned as I go full board ahead at Cocoa Beach Uncorked!

Cheers!

Til next time,




Linda







Linda Johnson, Certified Cicerone®



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