Florida Keys — Culinary and “how-to” cooking events pair the flavorful tastes of two Upper Keys areas together for cuisine-conscious visitors during “Uncorked: the Key Largo and Islamorada Food and Wine Festival.” The festival is scheduled Thursday, Jan. 7, through Sunday, Jan. 17.

Extended this year to 11 days, the food, wine and spirits celebration traditionally features 30-plus culinary events at Upper Keys venues.

Festival highlights include happy hour wine tastings, a reprise of the Keys’ version of the popular television cooking show “Chopped,” a progressive “Dine Around Islamorada” gourmet dinner and a southern-style gospel brunch.

Also planned are several appearances by chef, restaurateur and author Tony Leck from Guernsey in the British Channel Islands. Leck is to be featured as part of the festival’s new International Celebrity Chef exchange to be held at the Islander Resort, A Guy Harvey Outpost, at mile marker (MM) 82.1.

Leck, author of the “Pavilion on a Plate” cookbook, is to share cooking demonstrations alongside the Islander Resort’s chef Andy Niedenthal. He also will prepare traditional Guernsey dishes for tastings to be paired with wines.

A junior chocolatiers’ cooking class as well as an adults’ Cabernet-Meets-Chocolate event are to be held at Key Largo Chocolates, MM 100.5.

The signature outdoor “Grand Tasting” event is planned for Saturday, Jan. 16, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Islamorada’s Pelican Cove Resort & Marina at MM 84.5 oceanside. Attendees can sample signature dishes from numerous area restaurants, complemented by a grand selection of wines.

Live music, cooking and mixology demonstrations and cocktail tastings round out the afternoon on the water, flanked by the Atlantic Ocean. General admission tickets are $65 (plus tax) per person. VIP tickets are available as well, allowing early entry at 11 a.m. and a VIP hour until noon. Cost of $90 (plus tax) includes a souvenir T-shirt, tasting glass and gift bag with cookbook.

Multiple Sunday brunch opportunities also are planned during the Uncorked festivities, along with art-inspired food and wine events.

Event information: www.floridakeysuncorked.com
Key Largo visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/keylargo or 800-822-1088
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Contact: Andy Newman/Carol Shaughnessy
1-800-ASK-KEYS 800-275-5397 or 305-461-3300

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