Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival kicks off with high expectations
March 7, 2015 - bbq set
TAMPA — The Spirit of Spring stands relaxed and measureless in Bird Gardens, though her forearms are a small patchy. Jim Dean, boss of Busch Gardens, squinted during a stately topiary, not utterly certain it would be 100 percent on Saturday for a opening of a initial Busch Gardens Food Wine Festival.
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“The biggest plea for this eventuality has been planning, and how high a expectations are,” he pronounced as dual albino peacocks ambled behind him. “Summer Nights, Howl-O-Scream, Christmas Town — we wish a food and booze festival will be as successful.”
At a media preview Friday evening, Dean spoke of a artistic routine of how to take a now-retired Bands, Brew BBQ eventuality to a subsequent turn with this new festival.
“This was a healthy progression,” pronounced Busch Gardens’ executive cook Ron DeBonis, a designer of this new event. “Like anything, Bands, Brew BBQ had run a course.”
DeBonis says this new, some-more critical concentration on food and booze fits with what is function during thesis parks around a country. But when asked if Busch Gardens Food Wine Festival will contest directly with a obvious Epcot festival, DeBonis was emphatic.
“I don’t cruise us being nearby a Epcot event.”
To be sure, a scale of Busch Gardens’ lass eventuality is some-more modest: 9 food kiosks, 14 splash cabins, 29 food equipment between $4 and $6, 60 wines and 50 beers trimming from internal qualification to big-name nationals. The previewed food samples ranged from sincerely walking (a jerk duck with pineapple slider; bacon-topped mac and cheese) to particularly tasty (plush roasted pig swell with a tomato onion jam and a frizzle of boiled leeks).
But there’s one denote that a eight-weekend festival has desirous aims: Award-winning cook Norman Van Aken has sealed on to do book signings and combine on a culinary prophesy for a festival.
“A integrate of people during a core of this knew of me and knew of my work,” Van Aken pronounced Friday during a media preview. “When they said, ‘let’s do a food fest,’ they pronounced ‘let’s find a man who epitomizes Florida cuisine.'”
The Miami-based cook oversees Norman’s during a Ritz-Carlton in Orlando and is gearing adult to launch a children’s cooking propagandize in Miami called In a Kitchen. His impasse in a festival might also vigilance a enterprise to get to know a Tampa Bay area a bit better: He recently put a bid in for a grill for a subsequent proviso of changes during Tampa International Airport.
Results of a bid should be in any day, though for now “Father of Florida cuisine” Van Aken’s change can be seen for 8 weekends during Busch Gardens: Pan-seared diver scallops with crispy tortilla strips set atop a watermelon salsa? Deliciously Florida.
Contact Laura Reiley during firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 892-2293. Follow @lreiley on Twitter.