The third annual Orlando Food & Wine Fest is coming up. The event, which is presented by 103.1 WLOQ and the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, will be Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 13 and 14, at Lake Eola in downtown Orlando. To celebrate, I’m giving away two pairs of weekend passes in this week’s drawing. As with all other drawings, the winners will be selected from among the list of SJO newsletter recipients. If you’re already signed up, you’re already entered to win; if now, fill in the box at the bottom of this article and you will be in moments.
Some of the restaurants scheduled to serve so far are Funky Monkey, Bananas Diner, CRAVE, the Boheme, the Capital Grille, Cityfish, HUE, Anatolia and a bunch of others. Some of the wineries include Jekel, Sonoma-Cutrer, Mosella, Domaine Napa and Lincourt. The admission price – $10 per day or $15 for a weekend pass – gets you into the festival area, which runs along Robinson Street and the northeast corner of the park. Participating restaurants and wineries will be offering sample sized food and wine priced between $2 and $6.
For some reason, this concept always irritates a few people who think they shouldn’t have to pay extra for food and wine once they’ve paid to get into the festival. It doesn’t seem to bother them that it costs Over $80 to get into the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival with food and wine costing extra, but I won’t go into that. The admission fee goes to providing some terrific entertainment. With WLOQ as one of the sponsors, you can expect some good jazz. Headliners this year include WAR on Saturday and Fourplay on Sunday. (You’d think Fourplay would come first, wouldn’t you?)
There’s also a chef’s stage again this year where you can watch cooking demonstrations from area chefs and visiting celebrity cooks. Headliner on that stage is Kenny Gilbert, a Top Chef finalist from season seven, who will give a cooking demonstration at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
For a complete list of cooks, restaurants, wineries and performers, visit the Orlando Food & Wine Festival Web site. You can also purchase tickets there, but you might want to wait until after 3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 4, when I’ll have the drawing for two pairs of weekend passes.