Cheers to This Year's Food & Wine Summerhouse Series!
For Golden Oak residents, this fall's slate of fantastic food and wine events was one for the record books as well as the memory books.
To be sure, it was that time of year for the annual Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World® Resort, a longtime favorite of many of our residents.
But the Golden Oak Club fired things up to a whole new level at its 2015 Food & Wine Summerhouse Series, featuring an exclusive roster of seven gastronomic events.
From September through November, residents convened at venues around Summerhouse, Epcot®, and Orlando. Each event dazzled with superbly crafted beverages, foods and personalities -- including Disney Legend Kurt Russell and a Chopped Chef! Here are some "snapshots" of the events.
Oktoberfest came right on time to Golden Oak this year -- as did Grateful Pumpkin Ale, Blackwater Dry Porter and Eminent Domain Scottish Ale! In late September, the foursome, along with other engagingly named suds from Orlando Brewing, headlined the inaugural event of this year's series. Some of the brews poured that evening at Markham's were also making their debut at Walt Disney World® Resort.
Residents were introduced to the distinctive personalities of each brew by the company president, John Cheek. His presentation was a fascinating concoction of brewery lore, brewing philosophy and fascinating anecdotes about the beers and their names.
"It was the perfect way to kick-off this year's lineup," said Melissa Schreiber, Golden Oak Food and Beverage Area Manager. "And since our menu offering in Markham's and Tyler's focuses on sourcing products that are local and sustainable, it was natural to tie in with a Orlando producer that is also the state's only Certified Organic Brewery."
WINE 101 WITH QUANTUM LEAP WINERY
Markham's restaurant at Summerhouse was the setting for a late September evening of eyeballing, swirling, sniffing and swishing. Discovery met fun as residents learned the essentials of wine tasting and appreciation with Matt Uva, Tasting Room Manager and Brand Ambassador for Orlando's Quantum Leap Winery.
As they made their way through a collection of Quantum Leap wines -- accompanied by nibbles of aged Gouda, Brillat Savrin, Baley Hazen Blue and Toma cheeses -- residents were guided in discerning the influences of production, barreling techniques and aging on every glass of wine. Questions posed throughout by Matt and the residents made for lively discussion at the palette-pleasing event.
TASTE OF SUMMERHOUSE
In October, the Markham's Culinary Team took residents on a remarkable around-the-world tour of global cuisine. Setting the stage for the series of six scrumptious tastings was a stunning first course: farm-raised Sarasota Caviar served with traditional accouterment, as well as bruschetta, pork paté, sweet onion and Gruyère tartelette paired with Zonin Prosecco from the Piedmont region of Italy.
From there came a deftly orchestrated series of scrumptious tastings of roasted duck stew, dry-aged New York strip, "Land" catfish etouffee, root vegetable tortellini and pork tenderloin with a coffee-cocoa-crust. Each course was served with a stellar supporting cast of accompaniments and spirits, followed by a grand finale of desserts.
Residents deemed Taste of Summerhouse a "perfect" event, and quite a few enthused in parting, "I'm already looking forward to the next one!"
Disney Legend and actor Kurt Russell, whose storied career first began in a 1966 Disney movie, came to Markham's in October to introduce his GoGi Wines to Golden Oak fans and share his inspirations and recollections. Click here to read the full News & Updates report!
THE MEEKER VINEYARD
Meeker family wines from their Sonoma County vineyard, presented by Lucas Meeker, were exquisitely paired with creations from the Markham's culinary team during a multi-course October dinner.
THE ULTIMATE FOOD & WINE EXPERIENCE
Wrapping up the Festival was a full-immersion, day-to-night feast for the senses at Epcot®! Highlights of the mid-November event included a private brunch with Chopped judge and chef Alex Guarnaschelli, tastings at the new Sustainable Chew Marketplace, a private backstage tour of the new Lands greenhouse gardens, VIP seating at the "Eat to the Beat" Chaka Khan concert and a VIP viewing of the IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth nighttime spectacular.
GOLDEN OAK CLUB EVENTS: THE FUN GOES ON!
Throughout the year, the Golden Oak Club hosts a creatively curated array of social, recreational and Park experiences for residents to enjoy as a group with family, friends and neighbors. Click here to check out more Club happenings!