Food & Wine Festival Participants

We’re proud to host some of the best culinary talent in the country. Our expert chefs will tantalize your taste buds and our unmatched global wine selections will make for a truly memorable experience. Enjoy unique culinary stylings alongside beautiful Lake Oconee.

Participating Chefs

Check Out The Talent We've Lined Up For 2022!

Festival Chefs

We are thrilled to present these incredibly talented culinary artists at the 2022 Food & Wine Festival!

Sous Chef Justine Alexander stand infront of the docks at Lake Oconee.

Justine Alexander

Sous Chef

Gaby's by the Lake
At The Grand Tasting

Born and raised in Stockbridge, GA, Justine has always had a special love for fine food and a good time. Justine's grade school talent was always cooking and singing a great song. Her career began in her uncle’s café as a kitchen assistant at age 16. From there, she finished her high school career at Rockdale Career Academy as a junior culinarian. Justine pursued culinary arts throughout her college career, receiving her associates at Gwinnett Technical College, then completing her bachelor’s degree in Food Service Management at Johnson and Wales University.

After gaining valuable experience in Atlanta area restaurants, she joined Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee in 2016. For the past five years, she has grown as a chef, starting with Georgia’s Kitchen and recently moving to Gaby’s By the Lake.

Known for her bold lipstick and bubbly personality, Chef Justine plans on continuing her growth within the Ritz-Carlton brand. Justine's favorite hobbies include listening to an intriguing crime podcast, relaxing with a good massage and enjoying movie night with the ones she loves.

Merci Beaucoup Cakes will be participating in the 2018 food and wine festival.

Reva Alexander-Hawk

Chef & Owner

Merci Beaucoup Cakes | Eatonton, Georgia
At The Grand Tasting

Upon launching Merci Beaucoup, a cake and pastry business, Reva rapidly achieved a reputation for creating innovative and tantalizing confections. This stellar reputation led to appearances on top-rated television shows and media coverage in national publications.

Reva has appeared on WEtv, E! Entertainment Network, Food Network UK, Style Network and Duff Goldman’s series “Duff till Dawn." She is a two-time winner of Food Network’s “Cake Wars” and is a Food Network "Wedding Cake Champion," “Halloween Wars Champion,” two-time "Big Cake Champion" and has participated in 3 seasons of Amazing Wedding Cakes. Reva has been featured in an extensive list of magazines and tradeshows.

Reva’s never-ending pursuit of excellence has led her to tackle new challenges that include expanding her operations to the East coast, developing a book, a webseries on Tik Tok and sharing her decades of insights and knowledge through teaching the craft of baking.

Jaime & Jennifer Amaya

Chef & Owner

The Chef & The Wife | Greensboro, GA
At The Launch Party

Chef Jaime Amaya & Jennifer (The Wife) are transplants inspired by fresh food, creative flavors and beautiful plating. Together they found a home in Georgia’s Lake Country.

Jaime and Jennifer Amaya met in NY where they both worked at a modern French restaurant in Greenwich CT. Jaime worked closely with the chef/owner and was influenced by the chef’s French cooking technique and the simplicity behind each of his dishes. Jaime’s 15 years of experience with modern American cuisine has given him the chops to execute many styles of cuisines incorporating a broad mixture of flavors.

Jennifer Amaya graduated from The Fashion Institute of Technology, NYC. Using her skills as a floral designer Jennifer delivers memorable experiences for their guests. She has over 20 years of restaurant and hospitality experience. As a designer, Jennifer creates jewelry in nearly any style you can imagine.

In 2016, Jaime and Jennifer created The Chef and The Wife. This multi-talented husband and wife team will amaze you!

Chef Zouhair stands beside the lake holding delicious and colorful food dishes.

Zouhair Bellout

Executive Chef

Reynolds Lake Oconee
At The Grand Tasting

As a boy growing up in Morocco, Zouhair loved to cook. He followed his passion to culinary school at the lnstitut de Technologie Hotleire et Touristique where he earned a degree in culinary arts. After working in multiple five-star properties in Morocco, Zouhair moved to the United States and held multiple positions within WDW, The Ritz-Carlton and LOWES Hotels. He worked for The Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota, Florida as the Banquet Chef and then moved to become Executive Sous Chef at Keswick Hall and Golf Club. In 2013 he was honored with an invitation to cook at James Beard House in New York City. In January 2016, Zouhair arrived at Reynolds Lake Oconee, first as Banquet Chef de Cuisine, then  Chef de Cuisine at Creek Club (one of Reynolds’s private clubs), then advanced to Executive Sous Chef of Platinum Dining, overseeing the culinary operations for Reynolds Lake Oconee’s Platinum members, including Richland Pointe and the Creek Club. There, he enjoyed the creative freedom of designing boutique menus, food and wine pairings and seasonal offerings, often incorporating his own international flair. He was proudly promoted to Executive Chef in October 2021, where he now leads all culinary operations for this affluent community’s seven restaurants, catering activities for members and their families, multiple annual events and is integral in the strategic planning of the Club’s future food and beverage goals.

Teri Blevins


Lil' Bit of Heaven Cupcakes | St. Albans, West Virginia
At The Grand Tasting

Teri Blevins started her culinary career creating snacks for siblings and friends in exchange for doing her chores in her hometown of St. Albans, WV. Known as the Food Mom, Teri has had a lifelong passion for baking and cooking. In 2010, Teri entered Duncan Hines Red Carpet Cupcake Challenge and she placed in the top 10 nationally. The result was a flurry of inquiries, and Lil’ Bit of Heaven Cupcakes was born on August 1, 2010!

Lil’ Bit of Heaven Cupcakes has grown into one of the most successful bakeries in WV and in 2016, Lil’ Bit of Heaven Cupcakes moved into a beautiful historic brick and mortar bakery on Main Street in St. Albans. In the last ten months over 10,000 happy customers have enjoyed gourmet cupcakes, Heavenwiches (gourmet cookie sandwiches) homemade pepperoni rolls, scones, cakes, cheesecakes and more.

Teri has provided cupcakes for Paula Deen’s Bag Lady Foundation Fundraiser at Lake Oconee, GA. Lil' Bit of Heaven has been named in the 101 Most Unique Places to Dine in WV, and has been named #24 out of the Best 101 Cupcakes in the US by the Dailymeal.com., named Best Local Bakery in WV by MSN, BEST Cupcakes in WV by delish.com and Spoon University.

Local awards include being named Best Cakes and Cupcakes in the Valley (2019), WV Living Magazine Best Pepperoni Rolls in WV (2020 & 2021) and WV Weddings Magazine's Best Wedding Cake in WV (2021).

Teri is thrilled to be participating at The Lake Oconee Food and Wine Festival for the fourth time!

Casey Burchfield will host the Go Wild! Game & Beer Dinner at Lake Oconee Food & Wine Festival.

Casey Burchfield

Chef & Owner

The Burch | Greensboro, GA
At The Brew & Que and The Grand Tasting

Casey moved to Lake Oconee seven years ago where he found his fiancé, forever home and three adopted dogs (Dakota, Skye & Todd)! He has an extensive background within the culinary world and has most recently worked with Wolfgang Puck and The Ritz-Carlton brand. During the pandemic he quickly realized he could expand his talents by sharing culinary creations with the community and therefore The Burch (a.k.a @burchthis on social media) was created! The brand started as a provisional sales small business + small catering gig specializing in seasoning and hot sauce creations. Since then it has expanded into a full time private Chef + drop off catering experience. Over the next few months The Burch will expand into a full time food truck addition at Oconee Brewing Company in Greensboro, GA. With hard work, dedication and support from friends & family near and far the goal is to continue to expand The Burch empire for years to come.

Jon Altzeiler-Beiger, a co-owner at the pair’s Table at the Lake restaurant venture will be joining Chef Casey at The Grand Tasting. You can get a taste of their magnificent oysters at The Brew & Que.

Seaside Grown's Chef Will Collins poses with arms crossed leaning against a tree trunk.

Will Collins

Executive Chef

Seaside Grown and Frogmore Bottling Company | Saint Helena Island, SC
At The Brew & Que

Johnson and Wales Culinary Arts Graduate, Chef Will Collins, has found his calling at the helm of Seaside Grown’s commercial kitchen, where creating recipes from the culls of the American produce harvest has grown into an inspiring plan to reduce food and packaging waste. Together with his close friend Ross Taylor and a handful of entrepreneurial-minded teammates, Collins has developed 20+ fresh, Field to Glass® products seen on shelves at Publix, Kroger, The Fresh Market and Harris Teeter, to name a few. Last Fall, Collins was tasked with creating a fresh tomato sauce for Aramark and Clemson University’s Dining Program. What began as a morning cocktail experiment using the Taylor family’s farm fresh tomatoes has led to the opportunity to support the American farmer and offer the consumer a product with unprecedented traceability and freshness – a win-win entrepreneurial success story.

Corrado Corrias

Executive Chef and Owner

Dolce Caffe | Madison, GA
At The Grand Tasting

Corrado Corrias is a native of Sardegna, Italy. He started his career in the food industry in Rome when he was 18, working for Ciampini in Piazza Navona. He then moved to Chicago and managed two successful restaurants, before moving to Georgia. He helped open The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee in 2002 shortly after marrying his wife April, a native of Madison, Ga. Corrado is passionate about doing his best to ensure his guests are happy, well-fed, and having fun!

Alex Davidson


Georgia Butts | Eatonton, GA
At The Grand Tasting and The Brew & Que

Alex Davidson began his journey with no professional cooking experience but he loved cooking for family and friends in the backyard. After tasting his delicious food, a few friends and a church group encouraged him to open a part-time BBQ shack, and Georgia Butts BBQ was created on Oct. 3, 2010.

In the beginning Georgia Butts was only open a few days a week, but today it’s open for 6 days a week. Recently, Georgia Butts moved to a new and bigger location on Lake Oconee with boat slips, drive thru and enough room inside to sit 60 people. Georgia Butts BBQ has come a long way in 7 years, from a little shack to a full-service restaurant. Alex appreciates all his loyal customers over the years!

Restaurant Chef Gustavo Fuentes poses in the kitchen at Linger Longer Steakhouse in Greensboro.

Gustavo Fuentes

Restaurant Chef

Linger Longer Steakhouse, Greensboro, GA
At The Vintner Dinner

Chef Gustavo serves as Restaurant Chef for Linger Longer Steakhouse at the beautiful Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Georgia.

Born in Guatemala and raised in Madrid, Chef Gustavo discovered his love of cooking while helping his mother prepare food for family and friends. At the urging of his father Chef Gustavo followed in his footsteps and finished three years of medical school before realizing his undeniable passion for creating masterpieces in the kitchen.

After leaving medical school to attend classes at Escuala Culinaria de Madrid, Chef Gustavo was hired to work with some of the most prestigious hospitality brands including the Westin Palace in Madrid, Hyatt Miami, Hyatt Princeton, several country clubs and P.F. Chang’s. Chef Gustavo then led the opening of a casino in Atlantic City and worked events with Marc Forgione and Jose Garces. He furthered his career with Marriott International, where he worked for flagship brands including the Marriott Marquis in New York, in both The View and Crossroads restaurants, and J.W. Marriott in Washington D.C. before Joining The Ritz-Carlton as Restaurant Chef at Linger Longer Steakhouse.

Chef Gustavo is continually inspired by his love of travel and exploring new cultures, as well as spending free time on adventures (and cooking!) with his family- his wife Raluca, a native of Romania, and their three beloved children.

Portrait of ritz-carlton pastry chef Michael Gaddy.

Michael Gaddy

Pastry Chef

The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee
At The Vintner Dinner and The Go Wild! Game & Beer Dinner

Michael Gaddy serves as a Pastry Chef for The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee, where he oversees the pastry operations and menu creation for all outlets at the resort.

Born in Dade City, Florida, Chef Michael Gaddy’s love for pastries began at the early age of 10 when he started baking cakes and pies with his mother. The fire in him ignited at the age of 17, when he won Dade City’s Kumquat Festival with a decadent strawberry French vanilla cake.

In 2010 Chef Michael earned the position of Pastry Prep Cook at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida and continued as an Overnight Baker for the Orlando World Center Marriott. By 2012, he held the title of Pastry Lead Baker, and in 2014 he was crowned with the title of Outlet Pastry Supervisor, where he created plated desserts for all six outlets of the 2,200 room hotel. In 2015, Chef Gaddy became the Pastry Supervisor for banquets, charged with the task of plating for events with up to 5,000 attendees.

Along his journey, Chef Michael has traveled to Zürich, Switzerland; Rye, New York; Miami, Florida; Nassau, Bahamas; Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois and many other cities crafting pastries and learning new techniques to further his career. One thing remains the consistent through all his travels, his Caribbean roots and whimsical spirit are tasted in all of his creations.

Chef Noah Gumustekin smiles fo rhis portrait with a commercial kitchen in the background.

noah Gumustekin

Restaurant Chef

The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee
At The Go Wild Game & Beer Dinner

A native of Turkey, Chef Noah Gumustekin’s passion for food began during his childhood, with his culinary career beginning at the young age of 17 in Ankara. After a move to the metropolitan city of Istanbul, he worked with chefs from around the world in some of the city’s top restaurants.

Noah competed throughout his career in the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs with the Turkish Culinary Team in Russia and Japan, and many more. In 2006, he moved to Florida, honing his skills at hotels and resorts in Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. He joined the Sea Island team in 2019, where he served as Chef de Cuisine at the resort’s pop-up Sushi Lounge and prepared gourmet meals at the Oak Room.

Chef Noah joined the Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee at the end of 2021. He is delighted to bring his culinary creations to the area and have the opportunity to make people feel special and happy during their most cherished life occasions. As he tells his other chefs, “For us it’s a regular day, but for our guests, they will remember these special moments forever.”

Karen Henry-Garrett

Chef & OWner

Henry’s Garrett Catering
At The Grand Tasting

Chef Karen Henry-Garrett opened and ran a catering business in central London for eight years after training at Le Cordon Bleu. Her family moved to Boston in 2005 and she opened the Dot 2 Dot Cafe in the Dorchester neighborhood in 2008. The cafe became a hub for the community and a place to eat great food, always made from scratch. In 2018 Karen moved to Eatonton and embarked on a new adventure opening a bed and breakfast in an antebellum home formerly known as the Reid Griffith/Haband House, now called The Dot 2 Dot Inn. She also has a catering business called Henry’s Garrett Catering. Breakfast is a favorite and her breakfast items are always made from scratch from the Brioche bread used for the french toast to the perfect hollandaise sauce for eggs benedict. Chef Karen brings an international flair to her cuisine and has introduced the local area to flavorful ingredients and dishes from all over the world. Consider Dot 2 Dot Inn if you’re looking for a weekend get-away and a delicious, hearty breakfast. If you’re looking for a caterer for an upcoming special event, consider Henry’s Garrett Catering. Work with Karen to create a custom menu and enjoy delicious fusion cuisine you can’t find anywhere else. Be sure to save room for the French patisserie desserts.

Ronald Hollis

Chef & Owner

RoHo Bakery
At The Grand Tasting

RoHo Bakery currently specializes in cakes and cupcakes. Ronald focuses on taking a gourmet approach to a classic recipe by expanding the flavor profile with the use of fresh ingredients and unique spice blends.

Baking has always been a passion for Ronald Hollis. It all started from a memory when Ronald was a small child and his grandmother gave him cookie dough as she made cookies. After graduating from the University of Georgia, Ronald attended Le Cordon Bleu where he was able to explore his true passion of food. It was the desire to share that passion with as many people as possible, one bite at a time, that led to the formation of RoHo Bakery.

After being founded in 2020, RoHo Bakery’s Carrot Cake placed in the final round of the Flavor of Georgia 2020, and in the Top 10 of Dessert Wars 2021, the largest dessert festival in America. One of the things Ronald wants the world to know about RoHo Bakery is that every cake is an experience, creating a lasting memory from the first bite you take!

Lamar Kersey

Chef & Owner

Kersey Catering
Ath The Grand Tasting

Chef and Owner Lamar Kersey is originally from Eatonton and now resides in Madison Georgia. He has worked in the food industry for 25 years and received his culinary degree from Johnson and Wales University. He has a passion for good food and has catered many local events and weddings which has left the Lake Area buzzing about his delicious food and amazing talent.

Chef Cullen Lord looks at the camera for his headshot wearing reflective blue sunglasses.

Cullen Lord

Chef & Owner

Real Cajun Market | Atlanta, GA
At The Brew & Que

Cullen grew up in Louisiana where he developed a passion for cooking Cajun food from watching his grandmother cook all the traditional meals every Sunday for family dinner. Then, as a teenager, Cullen spent most of his free time working in the kitchen of his father's restaurant. After graduating from LSU he could not shake his love for making people happy through the food he created. Following his passion, Cullen enrolled in culinary arts school. He trained under a french chef which perfectly complemented his Cajun background. He went on to work as Executive Chef at some of the finest establishments in Baton Rouge before he started his own catering business, Southern Film Caterers. He has catered television shows and movies for the past ten years which eventually brought him to the Atlanta area. Once in Atlanta, he realized it was impossible to find true andouille sausage for his authentic Cajun dishes, so he decided to start making his own. At first, he made andouille for his own personal use but his recipe quickly gained a cult following which is how Real Cajun Market was conceived. Today Real Cajun Market sells one ton of Cullen's Cajun smoked sausages a week.

Kenneth McCord at his ripe thing market in greensboro, ga.

Kenneth McCord

Executive Chef

Ripe Thing Market & Eatery | Greensboro, GA
At The Grand Tasting

The Ripe Thing Market was founded in 2006 by Robert and Dinah Hoch. Robert Hoch is a 3rd generation Produce Broker, specializing in vine ripe tomatoes. They felt the area needed more “fresh produce” for the residents of Greene County and so they opened The Ripe Thing Market.

The market continued to evolve and in 2017 Executive Chef Ken McCord, from Charleston, SC joined the team as partner. Ken brought a whole new concept to the market and expanded Ripe Thing to become The Ripe Thing Market and Eatery.

Sous Chef Jestina Pambu in her white chef's coat.

Jestina Pambu

Sous Chef

The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee
At The Grand tasting

Growing up in a family of 8, Chef Jestina knew someone had to take up the cooking. Jestina developed a fondness for the kitchen during visits with her family to the village where her grandfather was a chief. Because of his leadership position they had visitors most of the time and they were always cooking. Jestina’s deeper culinary passions were ignited while helping her grandmother in the kitchen.

When the country’s civil war started, the family managed to escape to Guinea as refugees. Jestina later went to a vocational trade school in Freetown as well as at the Hotel and Tourism Training Center, where she earned a culinary diploma. After moving to the U.S., Jestina went into the nursing field, but couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing. Thoughts of her first love, cooking, returned to her over and over. Heading the call, she enrolled in Le Cordon-bleu and graduated in 2010.

Jestina completed her internship with The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta and became employed as a Cook 3 in July 2010. Working under the supervision of many chefs, she became a learning coach and was then promoted to Garde Manger supervisor. In 2017, she earned the 5-Star employee of the year award. In 2019, she joined The Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas as Banquet Supervisor before taking her current position as Sous Chef at The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee.

Sous Chef Jaclyn Popp stand in the courtyard at The Ritz-Carlton.

Jaclyn Popp

Sous Chef

Georgia’s Restaurant | Greensboro, GA
At The Go Wild Game & Beer Dinner

Chef Jaclyn Popp is the Sous Chef of Georgia’s Restaurant. She began her career working at Elway’s Steakhouse in Colorado at age 16. After graduating from high school, Jaclyn went on to attend culinary school at Johnson & Wales University, where she obtained her bachelor’s degree while fine-tuning her skills in culinary arts and restaurant management. From there, she joined Marriott International Company in the Voyager Management Training program in Denver, Colorado. Upon completing the Voyager program, Jaclyn relocated to The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Georgia, where she has worked for the past five years. 

She is currently working on her Master’s Degree in Nutrition with the goal of bringing even more healthy and delicious food creations to the guests of The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee. In her spare time, Chef Jaclyn enjoys outdoor adventures with her husband, Stefan, and their beloved dogs.

Executive Sous Chef Marco Rovas stands inside the Ritz-Carlton hotel.

Marco Rivas

Executive Sous Chef

The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee
At The Vintner Dinner

Originally from Mexico City, Marco moved to Cancun, Mexico in 2000 where he began a culinary career at The Ritz-Carlton's El Café Mexicano. Marco was then promoted to the Fantino restaurant which earned a AAA 5 Diamond award just one year later.

A year later Marco was again promoted. This time to help at The Club Grill restaurant, beginning as a cook and then moving to supervisor. While working at The Grill Club, Marco had the opportunity to be part of the team representing contemporary Mexican cuisine at the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival, Switzerland, for two consecutive years (2003-2004) and then was a finalist in the Young Mexican Chef Contest in Mexico City (2003).  The Grill Club also earned the AAA 5 Diamond award while Marco was employed as supervisor.

In 2007, Marco left The Ritz-Carlton to work in at a luxury complex in Riviera Maya, Mexico. Marco was put in charge of the fine dining beach restaurant Las Brisas and again earned the AAA 4 Diamond award for his work there and at El Puerto Restaurant which also earned the AAA 4 Diamond.

In 2011 Marco returned to The Ritz-Carlton, this time in Santiago de Chile for the re-opening of the Estro - a concept restaurant sourcing local foods to create international cuisine. By 2014 Marco's culinary skills had gained recognition and he was honored with the prestigious Chef of the Year from the Círculo de Cronistas Gastronómicos (Circle of Gastronomic Chroniclers).

In search of new challenges, Marco made the move to The Ritz-Carlton Naples in the position of Banquet Chef in 2016. Then, in 2017 Marco became a member of the opening team at the Edition luxury hotel in Abu Dhabi.

In the summer of 2019, Marco joined The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee as part of a renewed culinary team with the position of Executive Sous Chef.

Robin Schwartz

Chef & Owner

Sweet Détente | Woodstock, GA
At The Grand Tasting

The easing of tensions/relations between nations through dessert!

Sweet Détente creates elegant, individually-sized, organic international desserts. The ever-expanding, collection brings the people of the world together through their own national treasures - regional sweets. Sweet Détente's goal is to unite and there's no better way than through dessert!

Originally from New York, Owner/Founder Robin Schwartz has lived across the U.S. and Europe. She has always been fascinated with all things "lifestyle." She loves food, people, travel and learning about the world.

Robin's passion for baking and entertaining began during childhood and further honed her skills through formal culinary classes. Sweet Détente was born out of her passion to create something that allowed her to explore all of her passions and make a difference. She also wanted to bring people together to share what we have in common.

Jeff Scott

Chef & Co-Owner

Table at the Lake | Lake Oconee, GA
At The Brew & Que

Jeffrey Scott, Executive Chef of Atrium Health Navicent Baldwin hospital has almost 20 years of experience in Culinary and Hospitality Services.  He is trained in French American cuisine and has held several Sous Chef and Executive Chef roles for Independent free standing restaurants, Assisted Living facility, Ritz-Carlton and The Miami Beach EDITION with Marriott International.

During his career he has had the opportunity to work with different chefs in different styles of cuisines from French American to Southern comfort to Latin to Middle Eastern, etc. Jeffrey’s favorite cuisine to cook at home inside is anything involving heavy cream and herbs and outside he loves to smoke different meats and create different rubs. His ultimate preference is outdoors over a fire.

Jeffrey is from Savannah, GA originally and grew up in Dublin, GA.  During his career with Marriott International he was Leader of the Year, part of the Top 20% of Leadership recognized in the company, a Breakthrough Leadership representative for the Southeast and CALA market. This is where he met his wife, Kimberly Scott also a Georgia Native.  They enjoy spending time with their son, Ethan, doing anything outdoors and supporting local communities and sustainability initiatives.

Shannon Stubbs with custom baked cakes in milledgeville, ga.

Shannon Stubbs

Chef & Owner

Slice Custom Cakes | Milledgeville, Georgia
At The Brew & Que

“Cakes are my Passion!”

Shannon Stubbs, owner of Slice is madly in love with cake decorating. Each of her cake creations is made from scratch, using only the finest ingredients.

Shannon started Slice in 2009 with big dreams and a passion for cake art. She is the sole baker, decorator and designer for Slice. Shannon is family-trained; her mother is owner of LisaMae Cakes in Macon, Georgia. Through her mom’s years of recipe testing and cake creation and with her blessings, Shannon created Slice. Shannon loves sharing her mom’s passion for creating “edible art.” It is also through her mom that she learned to never compromise on quality—Shannon prides herself on using the best ingredients available and she pours her heart and soul into each one of her cakes.

Slice services middle Georgia as well as the Lake Oconee and Lake Sinclair areas.

Executive Chef Dennis Vanterpool stand inside the hotel.

Dennis Vanterpool

Executive Chef

The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee
At The Grand Tasting

Dennis Vanterpool, Executive Chef, was born in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, and learned hospitality at a young age from his mother, who was then employed by The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas. Dennis’s first introduction to cooking was watching his mother cook for family, friends and relatives. It was his mother’s passion for cooking that inspired Dennis to pursue a career in culinary arts. Following high school, Chef Dennis attended Johnson & Wales University to study Culinary Arts before returning to St. Thomas to begin his career at the Marriott Frenchman Reef.

Driven to follow his goal of becoming an Executive Chef, Dennis moved to Amelia Island after accepting a position as a Garde Manger Chef. His passion for the industry was apparent, and Chef Dennis was promoted to Chef Tournant before taking over the role of Executive Sous Chef.

During his time on Amelia Island, Chef Dennis led classes for the local Boys & Girls Club, worked with the Barnabas Food Pantry, and served food at a local soup kitchen.

Now, in his role as Executive Chef at The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee, Chef Dennis is looking forward to infusing the resort’s cuisine with his soulful, worldwide flavors and getting involved with the local community.

Eric Wisham

Chef & Owner

Wisham Jellies | Tifton, Georgia
At The Grand Tasting

With the help of a throwback recipe, peppers from his garden, and a passion for grilling, Eric Wisham began getting creative with his pepper jelly batches during the summer of 2012. After a busy summer spent at his local farmers market in downtown Tifton, Georgia, in October 2013, Eric began his peppery journey to create and make Wisham Jellies for store shelves. Wisham Jellies Pepper Jellies are handmade with whole peppers and fruits, and keeps their ingredient list short and sweet!

Wisham Jellies can be used as a last minute glaze for meats and vegetables on the grill, to create a peppery vinaigrette for salads, or as a spicy kick to your favorite cocktail. You’ll find heat + sweet in every jar!

Wisham’s signature flavors are Cranberry (2015 Flavor of GA Winner), Wild Mayhaw (2016 Flavor of GA Winner), Fire!, Mango, Peachy Peach, Pineapple and Strawlapeño, Blazing Blueberry, and Orange Ginger.

For 2020, Chef Wisham will also host a glazing demonstration at the start of The Brew & Que event.

Tiny Bites

Delicious finger foods for the Garden to Glass event are generously provided by FolksArt Mercantile & Cafe, Eatonton,GA.

Participating Wineries & Distilleries

These distinguished vintners will be presenting their craft




Orin Swift Cellars

Excellence Is Born From Passion

About Orin Swift Cellars

David Phinney, Founder & Winemaker

St. Helena, CA

Orin Swift Cellars was destiny in the making when David Swift Phinney traveled to Florence, Italy in 1995 to spend a semester studying abroad. He was so intrigued by his new experience with wine and viticulture that upon returning to the US he found employment at a wine shop and transitioned from political science to the world of wine. A few years later with his passion for the art of wine steadily growing, he landed a job at the Robert Mondavi Winery as a temporary harvest worker.

As nearly all great creations go, Orin Swift Cellars started out fueled simply by passion and a dream. David realized to make his dream come to fruition, he was going to have to create his own business. In 1998 he founded Orin Swift Cellars. The unique name is a compound of his father’s middle name, Orin, and Swift his mother’s maiden name. Through the following decade, Phinney dedicated his time to Orin Swift Cellars, creating a multinational brand that now includes 300 acres of vineyards in Southwest France, with additional vineyards in Spain, Italy, Corsica, and Argentina.

What makes Orin Swift stand apart from the crowd is not just steadfast dedication to the taste and quality, but also the unusual artistry of Swift’s wine labels. Phinney took complete advantage of the knowledge that 27% of all wine is purchased based only on a bottle’s label, resulting in the edgy creative label on each and every wine he made.

“There are lots of subtle differences in making wine,” explains Phinney. “But it is finding the vineyards, making sure that they are farmed properly, and knowing when to pick.” Despite the growth, Orin Swift Cellars continues to operate as a small, passionate team of friends and family dedicated to making great wine.

Presenting at the Vintner Dinner

Photograph of wine consultant, Jeff Adler.Jeff Adler, Portfolio Consultant, CSW, CSS will guide you through tasting notes and the history of Orin Swift Cellars.

Jeff will be presenting the following wines paired with specific courses:

  • J Vineyards - California Cuvee
  • Orin Swift Cellars - Blank Stare
  • Orin Swift Cellars - Abstract Red Blend
  • Orin Swift Cellars - 8 Years in the Desert Zinfandel Blend
  • Orin Swift Cellars - Palermo Cabernet
About Jeff Adler

Jeff Adler graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Advanced Chemistry in 1999. Post-Graduation, Jeff worked in restaurants honing his craft as a mixologist, and it was here that he developed a passion for wine.

After a 13-year rewarding career with Empire Distributors, Inc., he studied for 18 months to pass the CSW, Certified Specialist of Wine, while also earning his CSS, Certified Specialist of Spirits. In 2018, Jeff joined the newly developed position of Portfolio Consultant for the E & J Gallo Winery.

Currently seeking his sommelier certification, Jeff’s ongoing dedication to honing his craft, and deep passion and respect for wine and food, allows him to skillfully create unforgettable experiences for others.

Jeff and his wife, Emily, reside in the Atlanta area with their 2 daughters.



Enjoy delectable wines and spirits from global, national and regional vintners & distributors.

Entertainment Served Fresh!



Get Ready To Rock!

The Celebrity All Star Band

Unstoppable Rhythms to Keep You Dancing All Night

About The Celebrity All Star Band

Performing at The Launch Party

Coast to coast the Celebrity All Star Band have astonished & amazed crowds bringing them to a frenzy while leaving a trail of thrilled and grateful partygoers along the way. Acts of this collective caliber are hard to find so we are thrilled to host the Celebrity All Stars at The Launch Party once again. Including former members of Earth Wind & Fire, Bette Midler, Janet Jackson and Kenny Loggins, The Celebrity All Star Band is class personified. Delivering an exciting and dynamic non-stop show that will bring the house down!




The Lake Oconee Food and Wine Festival Presents:

Eric Dodd

A Lake Oconee Native Taking the Nation by Storm

About Eric Dodd

Performing at The Grand Tasting

“When I write, I try to envision my live show and how the songs will translate to my fans. Personally, I’m in a really good place right now, and I am sure my new material reflects that. I am so excited to get these tunes out to everyone soon.”

Eric Dodd, MV2 Entertainment singer-songwriter, CMT Discovery Artist, and Greensboro, Georgia native took his time moving to Nashville. He wanted to learn the road first by playing shows wherever there were people willing to listen. He wanted to know how it felt to travel and sleep in a van with a band and give it all to the grind… to the music. For his first four years full-time in the music business, Dodd played over 500 shows by making his rounds on the SEC college circuit and around Georgia all while honing his songwriting skills. Between 2011 and 2014, he released four albums independently to his loyal, grassroots following, and the word kept spreading and still is. “It’s like a muscle, you have to keep working it. Whether it’s writing songs or playing shows, it’s all about getting to the people and keeping in touch with them.”

Growing up a talented golfer, Dodd earned a golf scholarship to Georgia College and State University. Although golf was his first love, he was more was in love with music.

In 2015, Dodd began working with one of his best buddies and high school bandmate, Jesse Triplett (Collective Soul’s lead guitarist) who produced Dodd’s 2016 release, ‘FUN / FIRE/ RAIN.’ Later that year, Eric was picked as a CMT Discovery Artist. Dodd’s video for the party anthem, “Outskirts” reached the #1 spot on CMT’s 12-Pack Countdown twice. The singer-songwriter’s positive vibe and feel good lyrics combined with the soothing tone of his voice and impassioned guitar skills is continuing to win over crowds wherever he plays. “I always aim for my shows to be engaging. Music is an escape from reality, and I want to give people that and take them on a trip during the hour I get with them,” he explains.

Dodd has shared the stage with Jake Owen, Old Dominion, Sam Hunt, Zac Brown Band, and most recently Sister Hazel, Corey Smith and Cole Swindell. “Opening up for Sister Hazel’s sold out show at the Georgia Theatre in Athens (Georgia) has to be one of my favorite moments onstage. I earned my music business degree from UGA so it was one of those full circle moments,” says Dodd. Stay tuned for updates on Eric Dodd’s new release hitting Spotify and iTunes early 2018.





Thomas Arvid


Live Entertainment

Enjoy national and local talent as you feast your way through tasty food and hundreds of wines!

Musician Tim Cadiere smiles as he plays the fiddle at the wheel of a bus, pretending to drive.

Tim Cadiere & Washboard Road


Performing at The Brew & Que

Tim Cadiere & Washboard Road bring an electric vibe to any stage. Their rhythmic set list is often a combination of pop, country, rock and blues. There’s not much you can throw at Cadiere that he can’t play, sing or perform. Tim Cadiere’s soulful original songs have cajun-country overtones with a dash of creole spunk brought over from his native Louisiana. You’ll find Tim and his band Washboard Road playing their music at several venues around the Lake Oconee, Augusta and South Carolina areas.

In 2009, Tim Cadiere’s radio hit, “Thinking Outside The Box” gathered attention and opened many doors for him and the band. In the following months, they went on a radio tour through the United States. Tim was voted 2012 best musician for Lake Oconee Living Magazine People’s Choice Awards and Tim Cadiere and Washboard Road have released a new single, “Proud.” The song paints a picture of the pride that comes from a small, rural town like Lake Oconee and its surrounding areas. “Proud” is a patriotic ballad and holds a special place in the lives of many Lake Oconee residents, and the last verses are dedicated to Army Spc. Erica Alecksen of Eatonton, GA who gave her life for our country.

Poster image for the Next Level Trio band.

Next Level Trio

Featuring Brian Hudson

At The Jazz Brunch

Next Level is a jazz band formed by drummer and studio musician Brian Hudson. The debut album, which was released worldwide on August 18, 2017, features an all-star group of musicians. Since its release in 2017, Next Level, peaked at #3 on Roots Music Report’s Jazz Chart, #7 on the NACC Top 30 Jazz Chart, spent 9 weeks on Jazz Week’s Top 100 Jazz Chart and hit Jazz Week’s Biggest Gainers Chart. Next Level has gained the interest of radio stations and listeners from all around the world including in the U.S., Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Philippines, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and many more.

Participating Market Place Vendors

Each year The Market Place brings an eclectic collection of artists, craftsmen and culinary innovators. Meet these talented individuals, find great deals and encounter new ideas, methods and concepts behind the work.
The Market Place is brought to you by Fiji Water.

Click on a participant’s name to visit their website.

Charity Auction

Supporting Community Programs For Youth

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