The Courtyard at Pescado will host a Walk into Fall Wine Dinner on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. The dinner will be led by Maxwell Rowe of Breakthru Beverage, featuring a menu by Chef Brendan Wakeham. This is a private event with limited tickets available. Tickets are $155 plus 7% tax and 22% gratuity. Please email email@example.com to purchase.
BLUE MOUNTAIN BEACH – Locals and regular visitors alike who have enjoyed La Loba Bakery over the years are happy to hear the Blue Mountain Beach business is still turning out delectable eats, now known as Blue Mountain Bakery. Chef Kyle Swift and Dallin Harris purchased the eatery back in the summer of 2019, and have worked to expand its offerings.
“We hand-roll our cinnamon rolls every morning starting around 2 a.m. and are selling almost 200 every day!” – Kyle Swift, co-owner
“Since rebranding, we have completely remodeled the storefront and added patio seating for an additional 48 seats,” explained Swift. All the recipes you know and love are still in use, but Chef has added new items and flavors to both the bakery and cafe menus as well.
Grab your breakfast or lunch to-go, or enjoy your fare at that revamped outdoor space.
Baked goods are available as a single item or by the dozen. Tempt your tastebuds with their famous cinnamon rolls, sticky buns, spinach quiche, or spinach tomato pie. An assortment of sweet and savory scones includes your choice of blueberry, ham and cheddar, orange or strawberry.
“We hand-roll our cinnamon rolls every morning starting around 2 a.m. and are selling almost 200 every day!” added Swift. “They are loaded with butter, cinnamon and Florida raw sugar. We top them with frosting and pecans.”
The breakfast menu includes burritos (which weigh in at nearly a pound apiece), yogurt granola bowls, avocado toast, or eggs and toast, with exactly the beverages you’d expect: coffees, teas and juices.
Speaking of the granola, it is still made in-house every day under the La Loba label. Swift uses the same recipe that made it famous, but has added a gluten-free, nut-free option. Bags are available in-store, online and they even serve multiple wholesale customers.
Lunch offers a selection of wraps, burritos and bowls. The kiddos have a choice of quesadilla or turkey cheddar roll up, both served with chips.
“Power Bowls are becoming one of our most popular lunch options,” Swift admitted. “They’re brown rice, smothered in pinto beans and our kale and collard greens. You can then add chicken or steak to that and we top it with cheddar, jalapeño, onion, pico de gallo and our cilantro lime dressing.”
Those who like to plan ahead will enjoy the convenience of online ordering, which makes feeding a large group that much easier – no minimum order, no fees required. You can even bypass the line when picking up your order.
In addition to making your morning easier, the quality of the product is superior to anything you might pick up off the grocery store shelf, and Swift encourages patrons to support local.
“With the pandemic still affecting businesses, it’s a great time to support family-owned businesses,” he acknowledged.
Business has been booming, causing BMB to temporarily pause its cake and cupcake program; however, they plan to have custom cake orders rolling again by mid-summer.
If the name Swift sounds familiar in the local culinary scene, sister business Swiftly Catered shares its commercial kitchen space just down the street from BMB. The catering menu is also available on the bakery’s website, and includes cinnamon rolls, frittatas, pies, muffins, quiche and more.
Blue Mountain Bakery is located at 2217 W. Co. Hwy. 30A, Suite E, in Santa Rosa Beach. Reach them online at www.bluemountainbakery.com or by phone at 850-267-0400. The kitchen is serving breakfast 7 to 10:59 a.m., and lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m, Monday to Saturday.
SANDESTIN – Tommy Bahama is known for its “welcome to the islands” vibe, a feeling that starts at the door with the lush, tropical decor and continues throughout an expansive menu, offering a variety of dishes all made from scratch.
“Our food is extremely consistent and made from high quality ingredients,” said General Manager Pratt Shirley. “There are very few companies that care as much as this one does about every aspect of the quality ingredients. So, there is a real excitement every day to seeing and smelling the different spices and ingredients, and watching the creation of every dish in the back.”
Some of the dishes that have put Tommy Bahama on the map include the World Famous Coconut Shrimp, the Thai Shrimp & Scallops, and the extremely popular Macadamia Nut Crusted Snapper.
“We take a fresh piece of red snapper and we coat it in a macadamia nut crust,” Shirley explained. “We sear it on a flat top hot grill, then add our Wasabi Soy Beurre Blanc sauce, and serve it with our famous coconut almond rice and fresh grilled asparagus.
Another customer favorite is the Blackened Mahi Mahi Tacos.
“Our fish tacos are made with mahi-mahi that’s been marinated in our own secret blackening sauce, then cooked perfectly on the grill. That’s set on a soft, blended flour tortilla with our signature slaw, topped with our tomato relish made fresh every day, and a chipotle aioli sauce. They’re fabulous!”
The Sandestin location is one of a group of Tommy Bahama restaurants across the country. And while all share the same menu, Shirley said each restaurant has its own individual flare thanks to fresh, locally sourced ingredients and the opportunity to showcase some of every chef’s individual talents.
“We have a main menu that is run throughout the company, but we also have the ability to put out fresh sheets every day which show off our chef and our teams.”
Sip, sip hooray!
The cocktails, just like the food, are also made with fresh ingredients.
“All of the mixes like the sour mix, the sangria, the mojitos, and all of that, they’re all made from scratch,” Shirley said. “We have a Coconut Cloud Martini that can’t be touched by anybody, it is absolutely excellent! And a Key Lime Martini that’s really special, also.”
Their Island Time Happy Hour offers a great opportunity to sample some of those drinks.
In the evenings, live music is featured, usually with a solo guitarist or perhaps a duo. And when the weather permits, the music is often moved out onto the patio.
“We have a beautiful patio that seats around 160 people and overlooks fountains. It’s an atmosphere, sitting under the stars in Destin, Fla., like you’ll never see anywhere else.”
Offering a memorable experience unlike any other is a top priority for Tommy Bahama.
“We want to take you to the Caribbean Islands,” said Shirley. “When you come into our restaurant, we want to make sure you forget about everything else for the two hours you’re here. And I think that’s extremely special about us.”
Open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tommy Bahama is located at 525 Grand Boulevard in Sandestin. Reservations are highly recommended, especially between March 1 to mid-August. Call 850-654 -1743 or visit www.tommybahama.com/restaurants/sandestin
Co-owner Bryce Jarvis welcomed a crowd of industry taste-testers to the Sip, Shuck and Savor menu tasting Sept. 8, explaining they were there to help shape the new menu, which should be available in about six to eight weeks.
Maggie White, community relationship ambassador for Slick Lips and sister restaurant Sunset Bay Cafe, kicked the night off with the first of her 10 selections from behind the bar. She said she’s trying out these new offerings to see what she wants to make a permanent part of the beverage menu.
“I tried to implement a lot of Florida spirits,” White explained as she poured samples of the Jai Alai IPA by Cigar City out of Tampa.
She had the cocktail shaker working overtime, mixing up the “Razzle Dazzle,” a gin and tonic featuring Old St. Pete, blueberry, and edible glitter. The “Slick Lips Hand-shaken Piña Colada” is deliciously creamy and served with an edible flower. Her strawberry daiquiri, affectionately named “Tuck’s,” included spiced rum for something a little different.
The “It’s Always Sunny in Sandestin” is White’s take on a Moscow Mule, this time done with blood orange and rimmed with Florida sugar. Another crowd favorite, the “Kiwi Go Again,” is her own strawberry-kiwi mojito.
When concocting “Maggie’s Margarita,” she elevated the classic drink by adding butterfly pea flower tea, which creates an intriguing blue layer floating on top.
“If you haven’t tried it yet, you should, quite frankly,” White quipped as she showed off the libation, poured in a lowball, finished with a tropical paper umbrella.
Those who enjoy a drier drink should look to the “My Paloma,” which combines pink grapefruit Fever-Tree soda and Black Sheep Tequila, served with a dehydrated dragonfruit garnish. The “Something About Miranda” mixes bubbles with the relaxing aroma of lavender, served with a rock candy swizzle stick.
The kitchen kept up with the drinks, giving guests a first look at seven new dishes from the recipe book of Executive Chef Jay Ammons.
“I was thinking of flavors from the South, something light, and something new!” explained Ammons.
He started the evening with his take on barbecued oysters, topped with New Orleans-style barbecue sauce, pepper jack cheese and fresh-sliced jalapeño for some zing. He continued with appetizers including his crawfish beignet – served with a zesty remoulade; a fried green tomato crab cake with Creole sauce and feta cheese; and pork belly burnt ends glazed in a honey-sriracha-lime sauce.
“You’re going to get a lot of smokiness, a lot of depth in this dish,” Ammons said of the burnt ends.
Perhaps the stars of the night were his fried pork chop and fried snapper Pontchartrain entrees. The chop is plated with peach chutney and a sweet potato mash that earned literal applause from the crowd among comments like, “I don’t even like sweet potatoes, and those are delicious!” and “This is a home run!” The snapper is delightfully mild – not at all “fishy” – and expertly fried, served alongside smoked gouda-cheddar grits and collard greens.
“It comes with a Tasso shrimp cream sauce, and it’s really, really good to be brutally honest,” Ammons added with a smile.
The chef rounded out the night with a crab angel hair pasta dish, highlighted with house-made pesto – a good option for those looking for a lighter meal.
Ammons said his dishes will be available as nightly specials until the new menu officially debuts this fall.
Slick Lips Seafood & Oyster House is located at 140 Fishermans Cove within the Village of Baytowne Wharf, Sandestin. Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, reach them online at www.slicklipsseafood.com or call 850-347-5060.
ALYS BEACH – Following the suspension of large gatherings at Alys Beach due to the escalation of COVID-19, the 2021 Crafted food and beverage event has been rescheduled for Oct. 21 and 22, 2022.
“The well-being and safety of our Alys Beach community and partners is of utmost importance here at Alys Beach,” organizers said in a statement. “In monitoring the status of Covid-19 and its impact on our area medical facilities, the difficult decision has been made to suspend the Alys Beach Crafted events in full until Oct. 21-22, 2022. Once again, our primary concern is for the health and well-being of our team members, our homeowners, patrons and guests, our partners and participating artists, mixologists, brewers, chefs, and distillers.”
Purchased tickets are being fully refunded.
The beachside community will continue with its small dinner series, the next being the Sept. 20 Alice in Wonderland-themed dinner with cocktail and wine pairings. A few additional themed dinners are scheduled for this fall and winter, along with regular seasonal (small) events, gearing up for the 10th annual 30A Wine Festival, Feb. 23 to 27, 2022.
Resort appoints Tederous executive sous chef, adds to culinary staff
Special to 30A Food and Wine Sept. 5, 2021
SANDESTIN – Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa announced changes to the resort’s culinary team following the announcement of Dan Vargo’s departure. Ending a tenure spanning over a decade, Executive Chef Dan Vargo will be leaving to fulfill a lifelong dream of creating his own company.
“From the top down, the culinary team we’ve assembled at Hilton Sandestin is truly exceptional,” said Gary Brielmayer, general manager of Hilton Sandestin. “It’s gratifying to see our family grow and provide an even greater depth and energy to our guests.”
Dan Tederous was selected as Hilton Sandestin’s new executive sous chef. Tederous will be responsible for all kitchen operations to ensure guest satisfaction. With more than 20 years of culinary experience, Tederous was most recently chef de cuisine at Delmonico Steakhouse out of Las Vegas. Tederous also held positions as executive sous chef at Mauna Kea Resort in Waimea, Hawaii and banquet chef at Four Seasons Hualalai in Kona, Hawaii.
Hilton Sandestin’s newest banquet chef, Lee Guidry, has been with Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood for 4.5 years. Guidry will work under the supervision of the banquet culinary team lead, Robert Kent, who has been with the resort for 15 years, spending eight years as sous chef at Seagar’s and seven years leading the Sandcastles culinary team. Kent will oversee the property’s catering team. Guidry, known for his passion for cooking, will be able to display his signature style and international techniques in his new role.
With almost two decades of culinary management experience, most recently as the executive chef of Iron Hill Brewery, Thomas Mikesell attended Johnson and Wales Culinary School where he graduated first in his class and was hand picked by Marco Pierre White to train under a Michelin Star chef in the UK for two years. Spending nearly a decade fine-tuning his skills at eateries in the Atlanta area, Mikesell is excited to lead the team at Seagar’s.
Fleetwood Covington has been appointed sous chef at Seagar’s. Covington started at Hilton Sandestin in 2017 at Seagar’s. His new role allows him to direct food preparation while collaborating and studying under Mikesell; together they will emphasize high quality plates, and showcase design and taste.
Overseeing the renovation of Sandcastles Restaurant’s open-air concept kitchen is new culinary team lead Steve Withall. During his 18-year career, Withall has held many impressive culinary titles, including private beach club chef, restaurant head chef, executive chef and chef de cuisine. He most recently served as the instructional coordinator of culinary and hospitality at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City.
For more information about Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, visit HiltonSandestinBeach.com or call 850-267-9500. For more information about Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood, call 850-622-1500 or visit Seagars.com.
SANTA ROSA BEACH – Celebrate the anniversary of Chef Jim Shirley being attacked by a rabid fox by partying all day at North Beach Social and The Bay on Sunday, Sept. 12.
Starting at North Beach Social, there will be live music by Wildlife Special3 from 1 to 8 p.m., and then The Bay will have Sunday Pickin’ “Rabid Edition” from 4 to 8 p.m. Both spots will offer Rabid Fox Beer brewed by Oyster City Brewery for Jim’s restaurants, Fox Bites (specials), and four special shots. Fox and vixen costumes are welcome! The all-day event on the north beach of South Walton will kick off the off-season in rabid fashion.
The Bay and North Beach Social are waterfront eateries located at the southern foot of the 331 bridge.
SANDESTIN – Sinfonia Gulf Coast – the local nonprofit orchestra in its 16th season – is presenting award-winning singer/actress Shoshana Bean in a one-night performance Tuesday, Sept. 14. Titled “Seagar’s Cabaret: A Tribute to Broadway,” the evening will feature Bean as part of a reception, dinner and performance, all beginning at 5:30 p.m.
All-inclusive tickets are available for $295 per person at https://bit.ly/SinfoniaCabaret21. The special evening – held the same night that Broadway reopens – includes valet parking, a sparkling wine reception, four-course meal prepared by Seagar’s Executive Chef Lee Guidry, wine, and all gratuities.
Bean is a Broadway veteran, making her debut in the original cast of “Hairspray,” starring as the very first replacement for Elphaba in “Wicked,” and most recently as Jenna in “Waitress.”
Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood is located at 4000 S. Sandestin Blvd., Miramar Beach.
WATERCOLOR – There’s a new breakfast game in town, one as charmingly Southern as the rocking chairs you’ll find on its front porch. A sign on the wall encourages diners to “Count the memories, not the calories.”
“A square biscuit makes it much easier for you to eat with both hands!” – Gabrielle Testa, WaterColor Resort
Opened Feb. 1, Scratch Biscuit Kitchen Chef Matt Moore and his crew bake up cathead biscuits (so named for being the size of a cat’s head), all made from – you guessed it – scratch.
With the slogan, “Baked with care, served up square,” these aren’t your average biscuits.
“A square biscuit makes it much easier for you to eat with both hands!” explained Gabrielle Testa, general manager for WaterColor Resort.
Testa pointed to the Deep South biscuit, featuring fried green tomatoes, or the Chicken Fried with honey butter and pickles, as her favorites.
“The piece of chicken spans out from the biscuit! If you’re really hungry, that’s your go-to, but you won’t eat any other meals for the rest of the day!” Testa admitted with a laugh.
Benny-style biscuits include Nola’s Finest, featuring andouille sausage; the Port St. Joe with fried oysters; and the Cold Cured Salmon with avocado and hard-boiled egg. For those looking outside the biscuit, the Not So Square menu has meals served on sourdough or a bed of lettuce, all with chips or a side salad.
In addition to biscuit-based fare, Scratch Biscuit Kitchen also serves house-made jams (check out the tomato and jalapeño), jellies and gravies; an assortment of sides including grits, house chips, and hash brown casserole; and muffins. The Sweets menu offers a Biscuit Doughnut with Chocolate Gravy, Matt’s Apple Pie, and a bread pudding featuring bourbon vanilla anglaise.
“We have different specials every day, so we can get creative,” Testa said. “For example, we have perfected the vegan cinnamon roll to meet the dietary needs of such a diverse community.”
Younger diners are in luck, as the Kids Menu offers up a mini biscuit, turkey sandwich, scrambled eggs, PB&J or “chicken nuggies,” all served with apple sauce and a juice.
Lovers of a cup o’ Joe might appreciate the Mug Club. Guests who purchase the SBK YETI mug get unlimited coffee for $1 per visit. Scratch serves a rotation of personal Southern blend brews; on this day it was the Front Porch, Azalea City, Southern Pecan, and the Live Oak Decaf. An assortment of sodas, juices and even beer and mimosas are also poured daily.
There are three seating options: indoor tables, stools at the counter, or four outdoor picnic tables positioned under oversized umbrellas. The carryout window also allows for quick grab-and-go service.
Visit Scratch online at www.scratchbk.com where Moore shares his buttermilk biscuit recipe in a tutorial video.
Scratch Biscuit Kitchen is located at WaterColor Town Center, 1777 E. Co. Hwy. 30A, Unit 101, Santa Rosa Beach. Open for dine-in or to-go daily from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. (the takeout window opens at 6:30).
Presented by Master Sommelier Craig Collins and Breakthru Beverage
Special to 30A Food & Wine Aug. 23, 2021
ROSEMARY BEACH – The Courtyard at Pescado will be hosting a four-course Chef’s Table Wine Dinner presented by Master Sommelier Craig Collins and Breakthru Beverage on Thursday, Aug. 26, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The menu, created by Chef Ken Duenas, will feature four courses paired with each wine. Live music provided by Jamah Terry. This is a private event with limited tickets available for $150 plus 7% tax and 22% gratuity. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase.
After graduating from Texas A&M University and working for Glazers Fine Wine Division, Collins was introduced to the Court of Master Sommeliers and refined the professional skills and industry knowledge that would shape his career.
The Courtyard at Pescado, a garden courtyard and lounge, is located at 74 Town Hall Road in Rosemary Beach.