SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. is pleased to announce the hosts of the 2017 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest’s Chef Vintner Dinners, taking place Friday, Feb. 24. Ten extraordinary dinners will uncork the weekend of giving, where guests will enjoy a uniquely themed, intimate dining experience in a private venue, featuring the culinary talents of a celebrated chef paired with wines of a renowned vintner.
“Magical Greek Isles” will be hosted by Bill and Debbie Toler at their Barefoot Beach waterfront home in Bonita Springs. To kick off the evening, an ambassador from Krug will be there to pour their award-winning champagne, regarded as one of the world’s finest champagnes. The evening’s wines will be presented by the 2017 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest’s Honored Signature Vintner, V Madrone Cellars, to be paired with an exclusive Greek-inspired culinary experience provided by Chef Mike Mueller of Café & Bar Lurcat.
David and Christin Collins in partnership with Scott and Jenny Kashman, will present “Haight-Ashbury 60s Revolution” in Cape Coral. The evening’s vintner will be Benovia Winery, and Chef Dustin Valette of Valette and Chef Timothy Duque of Marker 92 will partner to present an unforgettable gastronomic encounter.
“Grapes, Glitter & Gold” will be presented by Art and Bev Cherry with Jason and Kelly Stephens. Staglin Family Vineyard will serve as the vintner for the evening, and Chef Gregory Scarlatos of FUSE Global Cuisine will exhibit his culinary talents for guests to enjoy. The evening will take place in Royal Harbor on Naples Bay.
Russ and Kerrie Conrad with Bob and Susan Winter will present “Pop the Cork!” on Bonita Beach. Williams Selyem Winery will serve as the vintner, with Chef Jeremy Houston of Capital Grille providing the exceptional dining experience.
Guests will enjoy “Southern Tides: Barrels, Bluegrass & Burlap” on Useppa Island with hosts Pason and Renée Gaddis and Tom and Stephanie Liber. The vintner for the evening is Saint Helena Winery, and dinner will be presented by Chef Andy Hunter of The Bay House.
“White Nights” will be presented by Rich and Cindy Harding. Husic Vineyards will pour the wines for the evening, accompanied by the culinary talents of Chef Bob Boye of Cru. The evening will take place in Miromar Lakes.
Guests can dine in a “Winter Wonderland” with the Chef Vintner Dinner hosted by Chad and Danielle Kocses in the Quail West community in Naples. HUNNICUTT will serve as the vintner for the evening, with dining provided by the talented Chef Brian Roland of Crave Culinaire.
Joe and Jenn Pavich will present “Under the Tuscan Stars” at the West Bay Club in Estero. Wine will flow thanks to Fisher Vineyards, with dinner presented by Chef Harold Balink of Harold’s.
Guests will rock the night away with Wayne and Maria Wiles’ “Wine Stock Rockin’ on the River” dinner, featuring wines from Continuum by Tim Mondavi and dinner from Chef Todd Johnson of Rumrunners and dessert by Chef Ryan Love of Norman Love Confections. The evening will take place at the Wiles’ riverfront home in the south Fort Myers’ Iona community.
Guests can enjoy the best of the elements with “Fire & Ice,” presented by Rob Wilson and Rio DeArmond at their home within the Coquina Sands community in Naples. Gamble Family Vineyards will pour the wine for the evening, and the talented Chef Jason Mallon of Ocean Prime will create an exceptional culinary experience.
In addition to the private Chef Vintner Dinners on Friday, Feb. 24, the two-day festival includes The Grand Tasting and Live Auction on Saturday, Feb. 25 at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club. To inquire about tickets to the event, please visit the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest website at www.swflwinefest.org.
SWFL Children’s Charities Inc.’s annual signature fundraiser, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, has raised $16 million over the past eight years, making it the most successful fundraising event in Lee County and one of the top-grossing wine fests in the country. The nonprofit, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. donates 100 percent of the event proceeds to three local beneficiaries. Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida is the primary beneficiary of the event, and the money raised helps to fund the building of the new family-centered children’s hospital that will provide new and expanded medical services and subspecialty services to children from Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. In addition to providing funds for the new state-of-the-art Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. grants funds to Florida SouthWestern State College and Florida Gulf Coast University to provide scholarships and equipment to educate the community’s next generation of pediatric health care professionals. For more information, visit www.swflwinefest.org.