A significant fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Alabama that raised more than $20,000 for the charity last year, The Wharf Uncorked Food & Drinks Festival will be held Sept. 13-15 at The Wharf in Orange Beach.
The three-day event combines tastings of food and more than 100 wines, live entertainment, silent auctions and more.
On Thursday, Sept. 13, the schedule includes the VIP Kickoff and Chef Showdown culinary competition. Officially the event kickoff, this event will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and feature an open bar, a wine pull and a live auction benefiting Make-A-Wish-Alabama. The winner of this event will be an automatic Elite Qualifier for the World Food Championships, which will be held in November at The Wharf.
High-end wine tastings, signature drinks from John Emerald Distillery and small bites will be served as guests enjoy a front row view of three local chefs battling it out during the Chef Showdown.
The competition tests the culinary skills and quick thinking of these chefs as the rules challenge them to cook against the clock, use Alabama Gulf seafood and include mystery ingredients in their creations.
Friday, Sept. 14 will showcase a number of restaurants at The Wharf whose chefs will curate dinner menus and signature wine pairings for the festival’s "Local Wine Dinners."
Saturday, Sept. 15, is the grandest of the days, with the Grand Tasting. Main Street and Wharf Parkway will be lined with vendors offering samples of their finest food, wine, beer and spirits. Guests will be able to vote for their favorites, and the evening will close with an awards ceremony.
In addition to the tastings, Saturday will also feature cooking demonstrations from celebrity chefs on the Rouses Markets Culinary Experience Stage, high-end wine sampling in the cozy Sandy Sansing BMW Lounge, and cookbook signings by two-time “Chopped” champion and one of People Magazine’s “Sexiest Chefs Alive” James Briscione and his wife, Brooke Parkhurst, food columnist and author of “Belle in the Big Apple” among other titles.
A two-bedroom Orange Beach vacation rental is perfect for a beach retreat for one or two couples or even a girlfriends’ getaway. Or, if more are in your group, a three-bedroom Orange Beach condo can comfortably sleep up to 12 or more.