Jim Abbott on Travel
Postcards from Florida
1:30 PM EST, January 10, 2011
In the list of favorite things here in Postcards land, food and wine rank close to the top, along with the ever-popular "road trip that requires a day out of the office."
All of those elements come together Friday through next Sunday at the 5th Annual Food and Wine Weekend at the Gasparilla Inn & Club in Boca Grande. That historic village of Boca Grande, on the island of Gasparilla, is a slice of vintage Florida on the southwest coast midway between Sarasota and Fort Myers.
On the island, the Gasparilla Inn has been a premier destination since 1913. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the resort has hosted many notables, including Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Thomas Edison, Katharine Hepburn and members of the George H.W. Bush and duPont families. The inn also offers separate golf and beach club memberships.
Now about the wine and food:
The Food and Wine Weekend begins Friday evening with a welcome reception celebrating global flavors. Guests can explore the wines and foods of the world's most famous culinary regions, including Alsace, Southern Italy, Japan and Argentina. The weekend of activities is hosted by the inn's executive chef, Peter Timmins, and renowned guests such as Chicago chef and cookbook author Rick Tramonto and Louisiana chef and restaurateur John Folse.
Samplings of famous wines from each region will be paired with an array of flavorful dishes, and guests will have the chance to meet Timmins and participating vintners. On Saturday, events include a Napa Valley wine tasting, a Cajun cooking demonstration by Folse and a Master Chef's Dinner.
Other chefs joining Timmins in the kitchen for the Master Chef's Dinner will be Chef Bruce Sacino of Augusta National Golf Club and Frederic Monti, master pastry chef and corporate chef for PreGel America.
Reservations are recommended. Rates start at $265 per person, per day, based on double occupancy. A two-night minimum stay is required to attend the Master Chef's Dinner. For reservations, call 800-996-1913 or 941-964-4500.
Visit gasparillainn.com for more information.
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