Wilmington Wine & Food Festival Announces Award Winners

By Jessica Maurer, posted May 23, 2018
Lydia Clopton's angel food cake with chamomile cream and strawberries tied with Mon Ame Chocolate and Wine Bar's salted caramel chocolates for a best dessert award at a recent festival. (Photo courtesy of Judy Royal)

The sixth annual Wilmington Wine & Food Festival was held this past weekend, with the majority of the events taking place on the grounds of the Bellamy Mansion. This year’s festival included artwork by Kelly D. Morris of KD Morris Art Gallery and Wine Shop in Holden Beach, and a silent auction on Friday evening with proceeds benefiting Nourish NC and The Bellamy Mansion Museum.

Friday night’s Bourbon & BBQ cocktail party was catered by Southern Smoke of Garland and featured a mixology contest among local bartenders. Top honors went to Derrick Cook of KGB, who served the “Abandon Ship” prepared with Sutlers Gin, cantaloupe puree, basil black pepper syrup and lemon, and Jeremy Malenka of The Basics for his “Sage Rickey” prepared with Mother Earth Gin, fresh lime, sage syrup and soda water.
Chef Kirsten Mitchell of Ceviche’s earned the judges' Best Savory Dish Award at Saturday’s Corks & Forks Grand Tasting Event for her Tuna Poke with guajillo chili and avocado puree, while patrons awarded Sam Cahoon of Savorez the People’s Choice Award for his shrimp and grits (pictured below) with chorizo gravy and goat cheese polenta.

The People’s Choice Award for Best Dessert went to Nothing Bundt Cakes for an assorted variety of frosted Bundt cakes, while it was a tie for best dessert as far as the judges were concerned, with Mon Ame Chocolate and Wine Bar’s salted caramel chocolates earning an equal number of votes as Lydia Clopton’s angel food cake with chamomile cream and strawberries.

“We couldn’t be happier with the turnout at this year’s festival,” said director Lauren Dixon. “It was the biggest turnout we’ve had despite mother nature’s record rainfall on Saturday. We were blown away by the amount of money we were able to raise for the Bellamy and Nourish NC. A big thank you to the board members, volunteers, wine vendors, local breweries, food trucks, restaurants, musicians and everyone who gave silent auction donations.”    

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