‘Tis the season to dive into Florida food festival season and Iâ€™m looking forward to the fifth annual Clearwater Beach Uncorked, Feb. 6 â€“ 7, 2016. Kick off your shoes and dip your toes in the powder soft sand of Clearwater Beach while enjoying hours of grazing on delicious bites, sipping wine and craft brews, learning from local chefs, and sampling new food products while looking through a Beer & Wine Guide to learn more about each item. The gastronomical event takes place on the gorgeous beach of the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa.
Last year I had a delicious time and probably spent way too much time hovering around the Bacon Bar. Oh yes, my friends. The Bacon Bar featured Oscar Mayer Bacon prepared by Datz, a catering company in Tampa and served up bacon in flavors of chocolate, peanut butter and jelly, espresso and maple. I know it was really bad for me but it was mighty delicious. I sure hope it returns to Uncorked in 2016!
What to Expect at Clearwater Beach Uncorked
Come Hungry and Thirsty
Indulge on tasty bites served up by local eateries and a wide variety of beverages to wash it all down. You’ll be given a wine glass to enjoy craft beer, wine from more than 100 wineries, and plenty of non-alcoholic varietals to keep you hydrated. Some vendors will be introducing new products and it’s an opportunity to speak with them to learn more about their origins, process and inspiration.
Food festivals are an opportunity for companies to introduce new products and for established brands to reinforce relationships with consumers. Many will be on hand during Clearwater Beach Uncorked giving away sample sizes and coupons. Last year I recall samples from Nutella, Shelia Gâ€™s Brownie Brittle , and Jarlsberg cheese.
Be Prepared for Culinary Inspiration
I love cooking and enjoyed demos by professional chefs. This year, several Publix Apron Cooking School chefs will present along with Joseph DiPaolo, Principal Chef â€“ Duncan Hines, and the Retro Rad Chef Emily Ellyn. Arrive early for a seat and stick around to sample their culinary creations.
A Fab Time, Florida Style
The foodie event takes place under a huge white tent on the beach. Before entering, kick off those shoes and plop them at the Shoe Check and step barefoot on Clearwater Beachâ€™s soft sand. Hey, it’s Florida. Barefoot on the sand is what we like to do.
Lots of Foodies
Along with your appetite, be sure to bring your patience because thousands of people attend and depending on the time of day, you may need to wait a few minutes in line to sample something. The good thing is, you already have something in common with everyone attending – you’re admiration for food, wine and/or beer!
Purchasing a Ticket Means You’ll Be Doing Good
A percentage of Clearwater Beach Uncorked ticket sales will benefit the USF Sarasota-Manatee College of Hospitality and Technology Leadership students in the form of enhanced educational activities and scholarships.
If youâ€™re planning on fully enjoying the flowing libations during Clearwater Beach Uncorked, drink responsibly and/or, bring a designated driver.
Nuts & Bolts
For those staying the weekend, enjoy an exclusive pre-Valentineâ€™s Day VIP rate at the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach and Shephard’s Beach Resort just for Clearwater Beach Uncorked attendees.
Sound delish? Food, wine and beer sampling is all inclusive in the ticket price. Visit ClearwaterBeachUncorked.com for additional information including ticket information.
Hope to see you there. Cheers!