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Food/wine fest at Ritz-Carlton, Reynolds Plantation features Atlanta chef, benefits charity

The sixth annual Lake Oconee Food & Wine Festival, planned for March 20-21 at The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation, features acclaimed Atlanta chef and author Steven Satterfield and benefits benefit local children’s arts and education organizations including the Gatewood School, the Oconee Performing Arts Society's Educational and Outreach program and the Eatonton-Putnam Arts Foundation.

The event also features a live demonstration by Atlanta artist Thomas Arvid, renowned for his oversized, highly realistic paintings of wine bottles, glasses, corks and more.

A Thomas Arvid work. AJC file photo

“We are thrilled to return to The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation for our sixth annual Lake Oconee Food & Wine Festival,” said Teresa Doster, 2015 festival chair. “This year, we are especially excited to introduce the new VIP Experience featuring celebrity chef Steven Satterfield of Atlanta’s Miller Union. The festival celebrates great wine and food while showcasing our beautiful Lake Oconee area.”

By the way if you haven't been to the Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation, here's a great video that gives you an overview. We took a trip there with some friends recently. It's just a little over an hour from Atlanta; a very easy weekend trip.

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The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation will host the sixth annual Lake Oconee Food & Wine Festival March 20-21. I took these photos during a recent trip we took to the property. Everything was dee-lish!



The food and wine festival begins at 7 p.m. Friday, March 20 with a sponsors-only dinner at Linger Longer Steakhouse, part of the Ritz-Carlton Lodge property. The resort's new executive chef Andrew Litherland, whose resume includes executive chef positions at The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta; The Hotel at Auburn University; The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead; and The Ritz-Carlton, Coconut Grove, will prepare a five-course meal paired with fine wines. (To learn more about becoming a festival sponsor, call 770-722-8706).

A view of the property. Photo: Jennifer Brett
The resort is on Lake Oconee. Photo: Jennifer Brett

A silent auction to benefit local schools, art education and performing arts programs will take place throughout the evening of Saturday, March 21.

General admission tickets are $85 and allow guests to enjoy the festival’s “grand tasting” and food specialties from lake-area and participating restaurants.

VIP tickets are $250 each and offer additional all-night access to the VIP lounge hosted by The Local Palate.

Satterfield, executive chef and co-owner of Miller Union and author of the new cookbook "Root to Leaf," will headline the VIP experience, including a live cooking demonstration pairing farm-to-table cooking with carefully crafted cocktails. VIP guests also will be able to purchase signed copies of "Root to Leaf."


Edward Leonard, the new executive chef and director of culinary operations at Reynolds Plantation, who has served as Vice President of Culinary Education and Corporate Chef at Le Cordon Bleu College of North America and authored seven cookbooks, is part of the festival lineup.

Guest chefs include Gerald Schmidt, executive chef and director of food and beverage at Cuscowilla Golf Club and Resort in Eatonton; Fabio Capparelli, executive chef and managing partner at Blue Culina Restaurant in Lake Oconee; Adam Smith, executive chef and owner of Smith’s Coastal Grill in Eatonton; and Jeffrey Miller, senior sous chef at Cuscowilla Golf Club and Resort.

“It is an honor to welcome such distinguished chefs and artists to our hotel for the Lake Oconee Food & Wine Festival,” said Ralph Vick, The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation's general manager. “I am excited to highlight our resort and showcase all that we have to offer while celebrating fine food, wine and community."

The lobby at the Ritz-Carlton, Reynolds Plantation always features a unique botanical display. Photo: Jennifer Brett
Rawr! See you at the lake!

About the Author

Jennifer Brett is a multiplatform journalist and digital coach. She writes The Buzz blog for

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