Recent Blog Posts


Chef Spotlight: Scotty Schwartz

Posted on Monday, March 19, 2018

Scotty Schwartz, the owner and executive chef of 29 South in Jacksonville, Florida, always knew he loved cooking, but for years never considered it anything more than a hobby. As a child, he helped his mother in the kitchen and became passionate about what he could create. It wasn’t until he started studying psychology and Spanish literature at the University of Georgia, however, that he realized he could do more with his passion. Changing career plans...

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Vintner Spotlight: Todd Newman of Dakota Shy

Posted on Monday, March 12, 2018

Dakota Shy, currently located in the heart of Napa Valley at the base of Pritchard Hill, dates back to the 1850’s. With beautiful redwood and magnolia trees scattered throughout the estate and 1.2 acres of both Italian and Spanish olives (from which Dakota Shy presses their own oil), they are known for their stunning views and expansive history. Grapes are sourced from all over Napa Valley- from the valley floor AVA’s of Oakville, St. Helena, and Calistoga...

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Charity Spotlight: Boys & Girls Club

Posted on Monday, March 5, 2018

Originally founded in 1968, the Boys & Girls Club has dramatically grown and expanded over the years into the amazing organization it is today. With their drive and belief that every child has the potential to be great, they provide seven safe, positive neighborhood Clubs along the Emerald Coast with school and summer programs for children between the ages of 5 and 18 years old. With more than 700 kids registered during the school year and over 1,950 during...

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Chef Spotlight: Matthew Basford

Posted on Monday, February 19, 2018

Matthew Basford began his culinary journey growing up in Australia and absorbing techniques and influences from Pan-Asian cuisine. From his very first restaurant job in his teens, Matthew knew he was destined for a career in the world of restaurants and cuisine. He started his culinary journey at Pear Tree Cottage in Greenock, followed by Vintner’s Bar and Grill in Angaston, where he was recognized in the Nestle Junior Chefs of Australia Competition as...

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Vintner Spotlight: Ted Henry of Clos Du Val

Posted on Monday, February 12, 2018

Located in the Stag’s Leap district of Napa Valley, Clos du Val Winery was established in 1972 by two French winemakers, John Goelet and Bernard Portet. Covering 350 acres in California, Clos du Val has been known since its inception for its exceptional productions of Pinot Noirs, Cabernet Sauvignons, and Chardonnays. At the heart of the wine production is Ted Henry, Clos du Val’s remarkable Winemaker. Bringing with him over 15 years of winemaking experience...

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Charity Spotlight: Emerald Coast Autism Center

Posted on Monday, February 5, 2018

The Emerald Coast Autism Center (ECAC) was founded in 2009 as the first large scale non-profit in the Okaloosa and Walton counties to fill a growing need for an educational and therapeutic resource for children with autism. With autism affecting 1 in 68 children in the United States, the importance of having an environment to improve the lives of these children and their families is hard to overlook.  ECAC approaches their student’s education in a...

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Vintner Spotlight: Anthony and Olive Russell of Hamilton Russell Vineyards

Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Hamilton Russell Vineyards is one of the closest vineyards to the sea in the southern wine estates of Africa. Having pioneered viticulture and winemaking just behind the old fishing village of Hermanus, Hamilton Russell utilizes the cool climates of South Africa and Hemel-en-Aarde Valley to produce what are widely considered the best wines in South Africa and among the finest wines in the world. Originally founded by Tim Hamilton Russell in 1975, the undeveloped...

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Punts and Pinot

Posted on Sunday, January 28, 2018

A tradition lasting over 50 years, Super Bowl Sunday serves as the peak night of America’s enjoyment of football. Whether your team is on the field in their bright uniforms or you’re just watching for the commercial breaks, everyone enjoys the food at a Super Bowl party! Typically for fried, bold, and spicy snacks, the assumed beverage of choice tends to be a cold beer. But what if you’re like us and would rather enjoy wine with all occasions? Despite...

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Chef Spotlight: Craig Richards

Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2018

Craig Richards, renowned Executive Chef at St. Cecilia restaurant and VP of Culinary Operations of Ford Fry Restaurants, did not always set out to be a chef. While studying creative writing in graduate school, Craig picked up a job washing dishes for a local restaurant to earn extra money. It was there that his interest in the profession was piqued. “I enjoyed the camaraderie, pace and energy. I also like how you cook something and it’s immediately enjoyed...

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Vintner Spotlight: Champagne Delamotte and Salon

Posted on Thursday, January 4, 2018

Located in the illustrious Cote Des Blancs area of northeast France, Champagne Delamotte has been a benchmark wine producer since 1780. With wines described as discrete yet present, heady but not heavy, they are known for creating a light, impertinent champagne perfect for any occasion. Producing Bruts, Blancs de Blancs, and Rosé, their luxurious productions stand out from the crowd.  Mathieu Pouchan, the Export Director for Salon Delamotte, came...

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