EXCLUSIVE — The Jetport Food & Wine Festival is one of the area’s lesser known events, partly because it is only in its third year and partly because it’s in a remote location in Kissimmee. But it’s about to become one of the most sought-after tickets.
The organizers of the event, part of the multi-day Celebration Exotic Car Festival, have partnered with Bocuse d’Or to bring in at least 10 of their high-level board member chefs, as well as cheftestants from the Top Chef television program. The first chef to be announced is Daniel Boulud, owner of Daniel restaurants in New York and Palm Beach. Boulud is considered one of the most respected chefs and restaurateurs in the nation. Other chefs will be announced following the Bocuse d’Or competition next month at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, for the honor to represent the United States at the 2011 Bocuse d’Or in Lyons, France.
Unique among food and wine tasting events in Central Florida, the Jetport affair takes place in and around a private jet hangar at the Kissimmee Airport. Private luxury aircraft and exotic cars are on display, and local restaurants and purveyors offer samples for attendees.
I attended last year and was impressed with the organization of the tasting and the quality of the food, wine and cocktails. The hangar was transformed into a super huge nightclub with lights and music and a stage with entertainment. I seem to recall gigantic champagne glasses with women lolling in them for some reason. (That last part might have been from a dream.) I had intended to encourage you to go to this year’s event, which will benefit Special Olympics, but now I do so even more enthusiastically. I think this is going to be a big one.
The Jetport Food & Wine Festival component of the weekend will be Friday, April 16, from 7 to 11 p.m. Advance tickets are $100 through April 1, then $125 after. But seriously, I doubt there will be any tickets left after April first.
I’ll let you know about other participants when I learn about them. In the meantime, you can visit the official Web site for ticket details.