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The Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes Resort Hosts Third “Curated Experiences” Weekend With Celebrity Chef Art Smith and Sister Hazel Concert

After the successes of the first Curated Experiences weekend in February and the second event in April, Curated Experiences returned for its third weekend at The Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes on November 5-7, 2021.

In one perfectly planned all-inclusive weekend, guests at Grande Lakes Orlando enjoyed 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.

Two-time James Beard Award-Winning Chef Art Smith of Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ at Disney Springs led a Cooking Demonstration on-site and headlined the Saturday evening Celebrity Chef Wine Pairing Dinner with Chef John Tesar of Knife and Spoon and special guest Chef Bradley Kilgore, an internationally-reowned chef and restauranteur whose accolades includes 2016 Food & Wine Magazine’s ‘Best New Chef’, James Beard Award nominee for the ‘Best Chef South’, and multiple nods for ‘Best Chef’ in Miami.  The dinner concluded with a private concert by Sister Hazel.

Photos from Curated Experiences below:

Wheels, Watches, Whiskey & Wine Reception

A casual Friday kickoff reception to welcome Curated Experiences attendees. Makers invited guests to amble among the whiskey carts to taste and learn.  Fine jewelry makers displayed their exquisite creations.  Guests indulged in a Taste of Grande Lakes featuring an array of small plates from the resort’s on-site award-winning restaurants, sampled a selection of Jordan Wines with Maggie Kruse, and mingled with special guest celebrity chefs Chef Art Smith and Chef Bradley Kilgore.

Rise & Stretch

Morning yoga session to start the day followed by a refreshing power smoothie or mimosa.

Meet the Watchmakers

A boutique display of 30-50 vintage and contemporary timepieces were on display and presented by experts in the field who introduced 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 were some rare and unique timepieces many collectors may have not seen before.

Champagne & Sparkle – Presented by The Mall at Millenia

Chef Art Smith Cooking Demo

No matter how far his travels have taken him – from being Oprah’s personal chef to opening four incredible restaurants across the country – Celebrity Chef Art Smith calls Florida home. Chef Art returned to share his farm fresh Florida dishes with class attendees.

Dry Aging: Perfume and Process with John Tesar

Guests took an in depth look at the John Tesar signature dry aging method that has made Knife & Spoon so successful and taste the difference.  Chef 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.”

Art Smith’s Picnic Luncheon

Guests enjoyed Southern favorites such as Chef Art’s signature Famous Fried Chicken, Church Lady’s Deviled Eggs, and the legendary Hummingbird Cake.  The delicious ingredients were Florida farm sourced and served at the peak of freshness.

The Art of Chocolate

The Art of Chocolate with Pastry Chef Maggie and World Champion Ice Carver/Chocolate Sculptor Victor Dagatan. Chef Victor Dagatan 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.

Jordan Wine Learning Time

Since the 1970s, Jordan Winery has focused on just three things: chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and hospitality.  Second-generation vintner John Jordan believes that wine should not overpower the food at your table, but act as the bridge that connects all the little details of a memorable meal.  The winery’s commitment to long-lived wines of balance, culinarycentered hospitality, land conservation and social responsibility means there are many more layers to Jordan beyond your glass.

Celebrity Chef Dinner with Wine Pairing

Guests prepare themselves for an amazing culinary experience.  This landmark dinner is the delicious result of three acclaimed celebrity chefs, each bringing their own talents to the plate.  During the five-course meal, select fine wines were paired with each course.  The evening’s menu was reflective of the incredible culinary innovation brought to guests by their celebrity chefs.

Sister Hazel Concert

American alternative rock band combining elements of folk, jangle pop, post-grunge, and south-of-the-Mason-Dixon-Line classic rock, Sister Hazel’s earworm melodies, tight harmonies, and upbeat aesthetic helped make the Gainesville, Florida-based group a fixture on the alternative charts in the 1990s and early 2000s.  Sister Hazel is best known for their hit songs, “All for You”, “Change Your Mind” and “Happy.”

Farewell Brunch at Ritz Carlton Lobby

Thank you Grande Lakes Orlando for generously hosting us and for the impeccable service all weekend from all of the team members involved. The resort did a phenomenal job planning all the exciting activities for attendees and making us feel incredibly special throughout our stay.  We are looking forward to attending the next Curated Experiences staycation weekend in the near future!

To stay up-to-date on upcoming events at Grande Lakes, visit:

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