Fine Wine and Dine

Happening March 15-17, enjoy fine wine and dining all in support of the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation.



Peter J. De Jesus

March 15-17 marks THE inaugural Orlando Wine Festival and Auction. Benefiting the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation, which has granted more than $23 million to local nonprofits, the festival will be spread over three days of private vintner dinners in donors’ homes, a VIP game-day experience with the Orlando Magic, and an outdoor wine festival with demos by chefs.

The lineup of locally connected and national chefs is impressive. Two-time Michelin Star holder Akshay Bhardwaj (pictured below) is executive chef at Junoon, the only Indian restaurant in New York City with a Michelin Star. Top Chef winner Joe Flamm is at Tony Mantuano’s Spiaggia in Chicago; James Beard winner Mantuano himself will participate, along with local chef Justin Plank, who heads the Mantuano-designed Terralina at Disney Springs. Other Disney Springs connections bring in Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Art Smith, and our own James and Julie Petrakis. Other local heroes include Kevin Fonzo; Disney Grand Floridian’s Scott Hunnel; Brandon McGlamery of Luma on Park, Prato and Luke’s Kitchen and Bar; and Steve Richard of Paddlefish.

The charity wine dinner model is immensely successful elsewhere. The Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation has raised $18 million in the past 14 years; the Naples Winter Wine Festival raised more than $12 million in 2015 alone.

For information on the many options, go to wineauctionorlando.com

—J.H.

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