Spring has sprung and the cooler weather means more time in the garden.
This weekend inspiration for gardens will be sprawled under the oaks in Mount Dora. An eclectic collection of garden treasures and plants will be available at the Vintage Garden Show on April 2 & 3.. Local and out-of-state vendors will be selling everything from up-cycled outdoordecor, fresh herbs and plants, architectural wrought iron, vintage patio furniture, as well as a mix of curiousities just waiting to be re-purposed.
The Vintage Garden Show runs both days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at at Renningers Antique Center located at 20651 US 441 in Mount Dora. Admission and parking is free.
Not everyone has the gift of gab. Beginning on March 31 people will trek from across the state of Florida and beyond to explore and savor the art of storytelling in Mount Dora. The Florida Storytelling Festival, hosted at Lakeside Inn, is nationally known for its storytelling and unique combination of workshops, concerts, youthful voices and sense of community.
The festival kicks-off Thursday evening with a storytelling concert. Friday and Saturday offer workshops, storytelling concerts, story swaps, story slams and lots of informal gatherings.
The Youthful Voices and Family Fun Storytelling Tent will be open all day Saturday. In addition to performance, a Story Store will offer a multitude of storytelling resources.
For more events in Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis, follow Mount Dora Buzz on Facebook.
It's the day to let Irish beer flow, do a little jig and wash down heaping servings of cornbeef and cabbage.
The area's largestSt. Patrick's Dayparty is arguably downtown Tavares' street party hosted by O'Keefes Irish Pub. The event, which also includes neighboring Ruby Street Grille, will feature multiple stages and live music beginning at 3pm. There are special promotions and give-aways planned throughout the party.
Although O'Keefes and Ruby Street Grille are at the center of the party, other nearby venues will also have celebrations. For this event, revelers can can carry their chosen beverage from one location to another providing it's in an approved container.
O'Keefes Irish Pub is located at 115 S. Rockinghmam, downtown Tavares. For more news and events for Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis, click here
Among the simple things that excite residents, wine and fresh local berries are among them. Oak Haven Farms & Winery in Sorrento is celebrating Wine Lover’s Day this Saturday featuring free wine tasting and wine tours, plus a free cooking demonstration by Chef Alex from Pisces Rising restaurant in Mount Dora.
The family-owned winery makes strawberry, blueberry and peach fruit wines, as well as red and white Muscadine varietals. Grown in North and South America, Muscadine grapes are thick-skinned and thrive in Central Florida's summer heat allowing for the full ripening of the grape producing a sweeter wine. There are approximately 300 cultivars of Muscadine grapes including drier versions including the Noble and the Carlos.
The 20-acre farm and vineyard is a popular destination on weekends when the U-Pick strawberry fields are open to the public. Guests can either pick their own or purchased pre-picked. Wine Lovers Day is this Saturday, March 12th, 9am – 5pm. The winery is located, 32418 Avington Road, Sorrento, FL32776
For more information on the U-Pick strawberry'sclick here.
It was a friendly battle. As friendly as things get when competitors yield large knives.
Dozens of foodies and fans looked on as two local chefs went mano-a-mano during the second "Chef vs. Chef Battle" at Pisces Rising last Sunday. Thebattle pitted the chef of Mount Dora's Lakeside Inn, Casey Aldridge against chef Clemente Rodriquez of Mary's Kountry Kitchen in Tavares.
The close competition was far from ordinary. The required proteins were rabbit and an unusual black chicken. The chefs also had bounty of exotic fresh produce and micro herbs to use in their dishes.
Aldridge and Rodriguez presented their creations to three judges who rated the dishes on a 1-10 scale in three categories, including, taste, use of secret ingredients, and presentation.
After four dishes, Rodriguez prevailed with a creamy Black Chicken Soup with mirepoix, asparagus, topped with wheat croutons; a coconut-battered rabbit marinated in seasoned cream with siracha. He also dished out a seared flank steak in a bitter melon reduction. Rodriguez also plated a dessert of simmered berries in coconut rum with a light citrus custard sauce over a graham crust.
Alridge's dishes included a Caribbean black chicken risotto with coconut rum, followed by braised rabbit shanks over cauliflower puree and lastly a dish of flank steak tacos with sautéed onions and bok choy.
The organizer and host of the competition, local chef Graham Ellis, wanted to bring the energy and excitement of network TV cooking shows to Mount Dora while creating a hospitality night where restaurant employees could network and unwind.
"I think this competition is creating such a great buzz because it's unique, there is nothing like this in Central Florida, the ingredients are very challenging," said Ellis. "This isn't a cook-off its a chef battle. And it's still has that under ground feel to it."
Although Ellis expects the next Chef vs. Chef battle to take place sometime this spring, culinary arts isn't the only competition he's focusing on. Ellis will be hosting a Bartender Battle and is encouraging people to email their votes for contestant bartenders to firstname.lastname@example.org