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Grande Lakes hosts Curated Experiences Nov. 5-7

Written By Scott Joseph On October 20, 2021


Grande Lakes aerial

The fall version of Grande Lakes Orlando’s Curated Experiences will be Nov. 5 through 7 in and around the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott Orlando. It will be a weekend of food, wine, cocktails, exotic cars, fine watches and jewels, demonstrations, workshops and activities. A high point will be a four-course dinner Saturday night with celebrity chefs John Tesar (Knife & Spoon), Art Smith (Homecoming) and Bradley Kilgore (Alter Miami) with Maggie Kruse, winemaker for Jordan in Sonoma County, followed by a concert featuring Sister Hazel.

I attended the inaugural Curated Experiences weekend in February and found so much going on that it took two articles to relate it all. You can read Part One here and Part Two here.

As in February, the November weekend will begin with a Friday evening Wheels, Watches, Whiskey & Wine Reception on the Ritz-Carlton’s Da Vinci Lawn. A fleet of exotic cars will be on display along with fine timepieces and representatives to talk about the craft of watchmaking.

Not listed among the Ws is the panoply of restaurants and chefs from the resort’s many venues serving foods to match with the wines and cocktails. (The event brochure’s description says small plates, but trust me, go hungry.)

 Art Smith headshotArt Smith  Tesar HeadshotJohn Tesar


Saturday begins with a fly casting demonstration or a guided kayak tour of Shingle Creek (sign me up for that one). Then attendees can choose a cooking demonstration by Smith or the chefs at Primo or learn about the art of dry aging meats from Tesar (it’s a fascinating process).

Following Art Smith’s Picnic Luncheon, world champion ice carver and chocolate sculptor Victor Dagatan will present the Art of Chocolate. Other afternoon options include “The Evolution of Jordan Winemaking,” presented by Maggie Kruse, or a whiskey tasting hosted by Iron Smoke Whiskey.

The weekend concludes Sunday morning with a farewell brunch hosted by Highball & Harvest.

Tickets for the weekend are $750 per person. You don’t have to be a guest at the resort to attend the Curated Experiences but it’s a good idea to get a room and just make a staycation of it – you’ll feel more comfortable imbibing and you’ll have a place to rest up Saturday afternoon before the dinner and concert.

Reservations are required and can be made at the Curated Experiences at Grande Lakes webpage.

CE dinner venue


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