After very first and very successful Curated Experiences weekend in February of this year (see our recap of this epic event-filled Curated Experiences weekend here), Curated Experiences returns to The Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes on the weekend of April 23-25, 2021.

In one perfectly planned weekend, guests at Grande Lakes Orlando can enjoy the ultimate mix of relaxation and inspiration, along with master classes, guided workshops, immersive demonstrations and more led by an array of award-winning chefs, winemakers, jewelers, artists, athletes and wellness experts.”

New this time – Two-time James Beard Award Winning Chef Melissa Kelly will lead both the Italian Cooking class and headline the Saturday evening Wine Pairing Dinner, along with Chef John Tesar of Knife and Spoon and special guests including local Orlando restauranteur Eddie Nickell (of Bites and Bubbles) and  Chef Kathleen Blake (The Rusty Spoon).

Something new that Grande Lakes is offering in April that they did not have in February is multiple tiered ticket options, including:

FOUR PACKAGES TO CHOOSE FROM

COMPLETE CURATED
EXPERIENCES WEEKEND
Friday-Sunday
$750 per person

FULL DAY SATURDAY & DINNER
Four Curated Experiences
with Wine Pairing Dinner
and Entertainment
$600 per person

SATURDAY EVENING
Wine Pairing Dinner
and Entertainment Only
$300 per person

FULL DAY SATURDAY & LUNCH
Four Curated Experiences
with Chef Curated Lunch
$300 per person

Register Now: https://web.cvent.com/event/388d19d4-816b-4934-9778-1e4db02ec615/summary

CURATED EXPERIENCES

WHEELS, WATCHES, WHISKEY & WINE RECEPTION

6:00pm-10:00pm | Friday, April 23

A casual Friday kickoff welcomes guests to Wheels, Watches, Whiskey & Wine. Guests will indulge in a Taste of Grande Lakes featuring an array of small plates from the resort’s on-site award-winning restaurants. Makers will invite guests to amble among the wine and whiskey carts to taste and learn. Exotic Cars Display to fire the imagination and fuel the conversation, and fine jewelry makers will display their exquisite creations.

EXOTIC CARS DISPLAY

6:00pm-10:00pm | Friday, April 23
6:30pm-10:00pm | Saturday, April 24

A display of both vintage and contemporary vehicles including modern exotics, vintage luxury brands and other rare and unique examples. Names like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Aston Martin, Porsche and others will be on display. Representatives, owners and others who work in the automotive field will be onsite to educate guests on the history and performance of each vehicle.

YOGA & MIMOSA/WINE BAR

8:00am-8:50am | Saturday, April 24
8:00am-8:50am | Sunday, April 25

Morning yoga session to start the day followed by a complimentary glass of mimosa or wine. The Ritz-Carlton Spa enables guests to experience elements of nature and emerge refreshed, relaxed and revitalized. Between or post-treatment, relax in the outdoor lap pool or enjoy a healthy meal at Vitale, a Spa Café. Signature therapies, including massages and body treatments, incorporate CBD and herbs from the resort’s organic garden, honey from its resident bees, citrus from local orchards and other homegrown ingredients.

MEET THE WATCHMAKERS

9:30am – 10:45am | Saturday, April 24

A boutique display of 30-50 vintage and contemporary timepieces will be on display presented by experts in the field who will introduce these interesting timepieces in a fun and educational manor allowing for those who may not be watch collectors to appreciate the craftsmanship and elegance of each piece. Included in the display will be some rare and unique timepieces many collectors may have not seen before.

ART OF PASTRY

9:30am-10:45am | Saturday, April 24

Perhaps more than any other culinary genre, pastry requires the perfect combination of technical skill and creative artistry. Every day, Grande Lakes Orlando’s pastry team creates edible works of art from scratch to serve all over the resort. Pastry pros must master flaky croissants, airy soufflés and an array of breads – along with tempering chocolate, cooking cream and pairing fruits, spices and other essences to add memorable flavor notes to their creations. Enjoy a glimpse into this fascinating world that goes way beyond butter.

BRUNCH MIXOLOGY

9:30am – 10:45am | Saturday, April 24

Gone are the days when simply adding orange juice to a drink made it brunch-worthy. From aromatics to ABV, master mixologists consider several elements when crafting the perfect libation to pair with a relaxed daytime meal. Learn methods for mixing the best Bloody Mary and the ultimate brunch margarita, including ratios, technique and garnish preparation.

FLY CASTING DEMONSTRATION

9:30am – 10:45am | Saturday, April 24

Captain Mark Benson and a representative from G. Loomis will lead the G. Loomis Fly Fishing Experience at the resort’s casting pond, where guests can cast dry and wet flies and learn all about essential gear. Mark Benson, a native of Central Florida, caught his first fish at the age of four, and he’s been hooked on the sport ever since. It’s Captain Mark’s job to transport guests away from the luxurious setting of the resort and let them experience genuine nature.

DRY AGING: PERFUME AND PROCESS WITH JOHN TESAR
Lunch Included

11:00am-1:00pm | Saturday, April 24

Take an in depth look at the John Tesar signature dry aging method that has made Knife & Spoon so successful and taste the difference. John Tesar was called “the single most talented cook I ever worked with” by Anthony Bourdain. He has garnered praise from Food & Wine and The New York Times, has appeared on The Today Show and The Early Show, and is a two-time contestant on Bravo’s ”Top Chef.”

ITALIAN COOKING DEMONSTRATION
Lunch Included

11:00am – 1:00pm | Saturday, April 24

Experience contemporary, fine Italian cuisine inspired by the original Primo, a world-class restaurant in a 19th century Victorian house in coastal Maine. With a “homegrown” concept, we emphasize the freshest local ingredients to create imaginative and dazzling recipes. Our primo chefs will present the art of pasta and pizza-making.

CAVIAR & PEARLS FROM THE SEA
Lunch Included

11:00am – 1:00pm | Saturday, April 24

Joined by Michael Passmore, founder of Passmore Ranch, an ever-growing 86 acre ranch nestled in the rolling grasslands of Sloughhouse, California, shadowed by the Sierra mountain range. Passmore Ranch is known for its sustainably raised and sourced fish, and perhaps more so, for the making of some of the world’s finest small batch caviar for his chefs. Passmore Ranch fish have received “Best Choice” rating from The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, its highest ranking possible for sustainable practices and positive environmental impact.

THE FLAVORS OF WHISPER CREEK FARM
Lunch Included

11:00am – 1:00pm | Saturday, April 24

Enjoy a truly unique farm-to-fork experience, handpick ingredients and watch them transform into an unforgettable meal. Learn about the art of farming through guided tours and interactive cooking lessons from our JW Culinary Team. Whisper Creek Farm is a 7,000-square-foot fruit and vegetable garden with an adjoining 11,000-square-foot outdoor event space, barn, apiary and chicken coop. Products produced on the farm are featured in restaurant dishes, beverages, and even spa treatments at the resort.

THE ART OF CHOCOLATE

2:00pm-3:15pm | Saturday, April 24
3:30pm-4:45pm | Saturday, April 24

The Art of Chocolate with World Champion Ice Carver/Chocolate Sculptor Victor Dagatan. Chef Victor Dagatan’s ice carving skills have brought him accolades from around the world including 2014 Silver Medalist in the Cultural Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He is also tasked on the resort with creating large chocolate showpieces, fruit and vegetable carvings, and crafting anything out of edible sugar.

WINE BLENDING EVENT

2:00pm-3:15pm | Saturday, April 24
3:30pm-4:45pm | Saturday, April 24

Take a deep dive into terroir with an expert in wine blending. Sip and sample as you learn how vintners combine varietals from different regions, harvests and fermentations to create signature blends. The definition of a “perfect” blend is very personal, so you’ll enjoy the opportunity to create your own with assistance from someone at the top of their craft.

WHISKEY TASTING

2:00pm-3:15pm | Saturday, April 24
3:30pm-4:45pm | Saturday, April 24

Iron Smoke Whiskey tasting, Taste Cask Strength whiskey as well as their award winning natural elixirs. Forbes Magazine review states, “A must try for those who are delving into bourbon but have a hard time with the sweetness found in most expressions.” Rocker/Musician Tommy Brunett (formerly of Modern English), came up with the concept of combining two great American past times: great bourbon/whiskey making with an added subtle hint of Applewood BBQ’s smoked goodness.

MASTER MIXOLOGY

2:00pm-3:15pm | Saturday, April 24
3:30pm-4:45pm | Saturday, April 24

Experience a truly craft cocktail experience with our Bar Chef, Brenda Mulero and our mixologists Anna McElroy and Alexa Delgado from Knife & Spoon. The cocktail program at Knife & Spoon is quite extensive and not only involves the basic classic cocktails, but also the flavor profiles, pairing with the entrees, visual presentation, aroma, the way it looks when carried on a tray, and ultimately the presentation to the guest. Guests will learn how to create handcrafted syrups, juices and bitters, hand cut cubes and beverage presentation.

TRANSFORM YOUR LOOK WITH FIVE SUMMER MUST HAVES
Presented by The Mall at Millenia

2:00pm – 3:15pm | Saturday, April 24

Meet Marianne Ilunga of The Mall at Millenia’s Personal Stylist team to learn secrets that can transform your look from day to night, formal to informal, professional to casual, or breezy to WOW! Marianne will share five can’t live without pieces – to enhance any outfit! This fun and interactive presentation is sure to inspire and entertain!

TENNIS AND PICKLE BALL CLINIC

3:30pm – 4:45pm | Saturday, April 24

The Ritz-Carlton Golf & Tennis Club offers the year-round opportunity for players of all levels and experience. We feature three lighted hard courts, drills, clinics, and personal instruction from our USPTA certified tennis professional, Joey Puleri. Get tips on proper grip, swing and stance and enjoy a game of Pickle Ball.

WINE PAIRING DINNER

6:30pm – 10:00pm | Saturday, April 24

Grande Lakes Orlando is home to an extensive agricultural operation, Whisper Creek Farm. This 7,000-square-foot fruit and vegetable garden also features local chickens and an apiary to create a truly authentic farm-to-fork experience. This culinary highlight will be a sit-down dinner with farm-fresh ingredients featuring menu items by Chef Melissa Kelly, Chef John Tesar and guest chefs along with a wine pairing.

KNIFE & SPOON ROSÉ CHAMPAGNE BRUNCH

10:30am – 1:00pm | Sunday, April 25

Voted #1 2020 Best New Restaurant in Orlando (Orlando Weekly) and one of the Top 3 2020 Best New Restaurants in the U.S. (USA Today 10 Best), Knife & Spoon features New American steak and seafood conceived and led by award-winning chef, John Tesar. Enjoy a spread of fresh fruits, desserts, pastries, fresh breads, an omelet bar and a steak carving station.

FALCONRY SCHOOL

9:30am – 10:30am | Sunday, April 25

The pursuit of wild game in its natural habitat, using a trained bird of prey is one of theworld’s oldest traditions, and a closer look at this intriguing ancient practice has now cometo Grande Lakes Orlando for our guests to experience. With our resort situated on over 500 acres of the most enchanting natural surroundings found in Florida, the opportunity to participate in a Falconry class is an exciting addition to our ecological and outdoor activities. Following a short introduction about Falconry, participants are taken to the field for actual interaction with the bird.

Photos by Tiffany Nguyen

Register Now Here: https://web.cvent.com/event/388d19d4-816b-4934-9778-1e4db02ec615/summary