Foodies, Winos and Musicians in Southern Delaware: GCFL does SoDel Fest

[text_output]Food.Wine.Music. Need we say more? Well, we are going to of course, because that’s what we do here at GCFL…we hit the streets, experience all that we can possibly experience, and report back to our dear followers with video, photography, and a succinct recap of all that was glorious about our adventures. This week, we hit the highly-anticipated Southern Delaware Food, Wine, and Music Festival. Truth be told, we weren’t sure what to expect as it was the inaugural event, but with Paul Cullen at the helm and with a killer lineup of restaurants and vendors, we knew it would be fabulous. And fabulous it was!

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[text_output]We’ll start with the venue. The event took place in Millsboro at the Independence Hall & Grounds (a Schell Brothers property), which proved to be a perfect spot for what would unfold over the next four-plus hours. Half indoors and half outdoors, the mix was ideal on the slightly chilly day. The facility was stunning, the event setup was well executed, and every single vendor was friendly and armed with information about their food, wine, or spirit (Delaware/Eagleton strikes again).

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[text_output]Oh the food. The glorious, delectable, flavorsome, mouthwatering array of food. We started off the day with a clear-cut goal of hitting up all of the restaurants for their samples and damn if we didn’t achieve that goal. So who was there? Michy’s Relaxed Dining, Lupo Italian Kitchen, Cultured Pearl, Abbott’s Grille, Nage, Touch of Italy, Palate, granpa (MAC), Bluecoast, Bramble and Brine, JD Shuckers, SummerHouse, and Semra’s. Each presented small bites, which ranged from raw oysters to duck pate, chestnut gnocchi to handrolls. Each plated item was expertly paired with wine, so for example, Bluecoast presented butter poached local tuna with blood orange, vanilla, parsnip, saba and hazelnut alongside a Chateau Beauchene Cotes-du-Rhone Blanc. We won’t belabor you with ALL of the tasty details, but we can safely say that our list of ‘must visit’ restaurants grew significantly over the weekend.[/text_output]
[text_output]The vino was definitely flowing Saturday, with a wide range of wines from craft family vineyards from Italy, France, Spain, South America, and the US, through importers such as Vintage, Opici, Portovino, Avenu’, Regal, and Artisan Cellars. Manfredo San Bonifacio was on the scene, pouring his world famous wines…and a prosecco that we may or may not have circled back to for seconds and thirds. We were also thrilled to see the Sposato Family Vineyards pouring their wine, which hails from the heart of Argentina’s Wine Country, Mendoza. Also available were a fine collection of beer and spirits in the Man Cave.

On the main stage, we enjoyed all of the cooking demos, including sessions with Hari Cameron of a(MUSE), Lion Gardner of Blue Moon, the crew from SoDel concepts, and of course, Food Network’s 2014 Rewrapped champion Neil Fuentes (a.k.a. The Singing Chef) who had the most…Broadway-esque?….cooking presentation we’ve seen to date. Rounding out the entertainment portion of the event was music by Erin Dickins, Lower Case Blues, Vinyl Shockley, Bryan Russo, and Bruce Anthony. Shortly stated, we spent the day sipping on wine and spirits, while alternating between observing cooking demos and grazing the food vendors, all while being serenaded. Yeah, our jobs are tough….

So, what did we think of the 1st Annual Southern Delaware Food, Wine, and Music Festival? If you know us at all then you know that any event that includes food, wine, and music is a win in our book, but the execution and quality that pervaded the SoDel Fest easily places it on the top of our list of favorite fall events. See you for round two in 2016 SoDel Fest![/text_output]

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Ali Baker
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Ali is a relative newcomer to the GCFL gang, but she packs a serious punch with quick wit, snappy retorts, and an affinity for writing about food, booze, events, and the best that the Eastern Shore has to offer (and no, that’s not meant to be ironic - the Eastern Shore is awesome, get on board with it). When Ali isn’t busy touting the GCFL brand about town, you can find her binge watching Netflix, pretending to complete Pinterest projects, and obsessively planning her next meal. Don’t like what she has to say? Too bad. You’ve already read it. She wins.