As the exclusive local magazine sponsor, Ocala Style Magazine was front and center at a recent evening put together by the organizers of the Ocala Culinary Festival. The occasion was La Noche en Broadway, which served as the kickoff event for the Ocala Culinary Festival, coming up in a variety of locations from April 11-15. Tickets are going fast, so go to ocalaculinaryfestival.com to order yours now.
The brainchild of co-founders Jennifer Murty and Elodie Perron, the Ocala Culinary Festival promises to grow with each successive year, complete with memorable culinary experiences and delicious food, wine and spirits. As the kickoff event, La Noche en Broadway did not disappoint. This Spanish street party, in the feria tradition, featured chefs, sommeliers and the sounds of Spain.
Heather McCleaf notes the sold-out list of attendees was served “excellent Spanish wines along with opportunities to learn and taste the nuances of Spanish sherry and brandy.” Heather is an advisory board member of the Ocala Culinary Festival as well as a wine consultant.
The elegant yet casual street party experience, held outside the Brick City Center for the Arts building in historic downtown Ocala, allowed festival attendees to submerge themselves in the tastes and sounds of Spain. Beautifully costumed flamenco dancers were on stage during the evening for an added touch of authenticity. The smooth guitar melodies of Spanish music floated through the evening air.
A portion of the proceeds from La Noche en Broadway benefited the Marion Cultural Alliance, a nonprofit organization established in 2001 with its inaugural effort of the Horse Fever public art project. MCA champions, convenes and creates opportunities for artists and arts organizations. Next time you are leisurely strolling in historic downtown Ocala, stop in at the Brick City Center for the Arts, which MCA operates. It is a popular art gallery and a go-to destination for many fun parties.
Elodie Perron, co-founder of the Ocala Culinary Festival, explains, “From the festival’s beginning, MCA has provided so much encouragement and practical advice. We could not have executed our poster contest without their help. It feels only appropriate, as we unveil the 2018 official poster, to ask our foodie community to raise a glass in honor of the good work MCA does supporting the entire arts Community in Ocala.” You can learn more about the Marion Cultural Alliance at mcaocala.com.
The Ocala Culinary Festival mission statement states that it is “dedicated to providing a platform for extraordinary talent to convene for the purpose of creating unforgettable culinary experiences and generating insightful dialogue about food, wine and spirits.” With Ocala/Marion County’s moderate temperatures in the springtime and some of the most fabulous venues for the ticketed events, the Ocala Culinary Festival promises to grow into a national and international festival. Visit ocalaculinaryfestival.com for event details.