The third annual Ocala Food & Wine Festival presented by Lugano Diamonds is returning to World Equestrian Center – Ocala on November 3-5, 2023 and now guests can access even more of the fun.
By popular request, a limited number of tickets are now on sale for the kickoff event on the evening of November 3. The three-day festival weekend begins with the Barbecue, Bourbon & Blues welcome party from 6pm to 9pm under the stars on the WEC Grand Plaza.
Previously available only to full-weekend ticket holders, the lively event will feature Ocala barbecue with Certified Angus Beef ® brand, live-fire cuisine, bourbon tastings and blues music with the Honey Hounds. The weekend’s lineup of celebrity chefs will sample their own recipes at stations throughout the night. Individual tickets are now on sale for $125 per person. Must be 21+ to attend.
The Ocala Food & Wine Festival
Back for a third year, the Ocala Food & Wine Festival is guaranteed to bring big flavor and big fun. The weekend rolls into Saturday with the Taste of Ocala from 11am to 3pm in Exposition Center One. The grand tasting will feature samples of cuisine, wine, beer, and spirits along with a host of celebrity-chef-led demonstrations from big names in the industry, including Chef Lorena Garcia, Chef Timothy Hollingsworth and Ocala’s own Pitmaster Rashad Jones of Big Lee’s BBQ and Pastry Chef Yohann Le Bescond.
Amidst the tasting and demonstrations, attendees can also sit in on a series of educational classes led by masters of the industry covering exciting topics including Chopin Vodka, French wine and a special bubbly lounge focused on Champagne and sparkling wine.
The Four-and-Five-Star Experience packages include all three festival days for an entire weekend of culinary celebration. The Five-Star Experience package, which is already sold out, is the only access point to the coveted Celebrity Chef Dinner on Saturday night. Held at Stirrups Restaurant, the elegant, multi-course dinner features distinct courses each prepared and presented by a different celebrity chef, and fully paired by in-house Master Sommelier, Roland Micu. Attendees can still enjoy the crème de la crème each day of the festival, sans the Celebrity Chef Dinner, with the Four-Star Experience package.
The whirlwind weekend finishes on Sunday morning on The Equestrian Hotel’s outdoor terrace with a Champagne Jazz Brunch from 10am to 1pm. Toast to the best weekend of the year with this elegant brunch featuring live jazz music, Champagne and a broad selection of Southern brunch favorites.
All for a good cause, the Ocala Food & Wine Festival benefits the Public Education Foundation of Marion County ProStart Program supporting youth in the culinary and hospitality industries in the Ocala area and beyond. Explore the weekend offerings with the Four-Star Experience package, or purchase Friday night’s Barbecue, Bourbon & Blues or Saturday’s Taste of Ocala events à la carte to join in the fun. For more information on the event visit ocalafoodandwinefest.com or follow the event page on Facebook.