Ocala Food & Wine Festival is back. Here’s a sneak peek 🍷

The three-day culinary event kicks off Nov. 4

World Equestrian Center, Ocala (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

OCALA, Fla – Time to sip some wine and get some food! The Ocala Food & Wine Festival is back at the World Equestrian Center in Ocala. The three-day event aims to bring a culinary experience while giving back to the community.

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The event will kick off on Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, at 6 p.m. and will go through Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022.

Seven celebrity chefs from around the state will partner with local chefs to create an executive, multi-course dinner experience paired with a selection of beers, spirits, and wine. They will also lead cooking demonstrations alongside masters in the wine industry.

After their debut 2021, drawing over 800 people in a single-day event, this year the organizers wanted a bigger event. The main goal of the festival is to support and inspire future culinary and hospitality professionals in the community. Proceeds will benefit charity programs that support youth development in the hospitality industries in Marion County.

“Bringing chefs of this caliber to the event and the community allows the next generation to see themselves in viable careers that can take them all over the world, and it’s vital to the future growth of our industry. We’re proud to be supporting youth in our area in a very real way and creating an enduring tradition for Ocala at the same time,” said Justin Garner, Director of Hospitality Operations.

Here are some things to know about the 2022 Ocala Food & Wine Festival:


Welcome Party

  • Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Sample food and drinks from Ocala’s top local spots.
  • Meet and greet with celebrity chefs.
  • Live music by country duo LOCASH.

Sip and Sample

  • Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Demonstrations will go every 30 minutes, to check full schedule click here
  • Guests will have the opportunity to sip and sample local cuisine with a selection of wine beer and spirits
  • Celebrity chefs will demonstrate their top recipes offering some tips to attendees.

Celebrity Chef Dinners

  • Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022
  • Celebrity chefs will pair with chefs from top spots in Ocala to create a custom menu for guests.
  • There are 7 options to choose from with partner restaurants such as Big Lee’s BBQ, The Cantina Tex-Mex & Tequila Bar, and more.

Mingle with the Masters

  • Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022
  • Guests will get a chance to level up their cooking skills by attending one of the educational breakout classes on the festival.
  • There are three time blocks available for classes from 11:30 a.m. through 2:45 p.m.

Champagne Jazz Brunch

  • Sunday, Nov 6, 2022, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Admission includes a full course brunch menu featuring fresh classics and southern-inspired recipes.
  • There will be live jazz music by Breezeway Band,

Featured Chefs:

  • Timothy Hollingsworth: LA’s award-winning chef. Owner of Otium. In 2018, he competed on the Netflix series, The Final Table.
  • Lorena Garcia: Venezuelan chef known for delivering the robust and vibrant flavors of Latin American cuisine by developing CHICA, her latest restaurant.
  • Art Smith: Executive chef and co-owner of Table fifty-two, Art and Soul, Southern Art and Bourbon Bar, and LYFE Kitchen restaurants, Chef Smith has received the culinary profession’s highest awards.
  • Yisus Diaz: Venezuelan chef and tv personality. Chef Yisus is the featured on-air chef on Univision’s Despierta América, as well as the founder of the Miami-based sushi restaurant, Ikura Sushi.
  • Esdras Ochoa: Chef Ochoa is a staple of the Mexican food scenery in California. He recently opened a new restaurant and bar in China, called 11 Westside that brings the flavors of Mexico to the streets of Hong Kong.
  • Rashad Jones: Host of the hit Food Network show Eat, Sleep, BBQ, Ocala-based Rashad Jones is known as the ‘barbecue king’ in the community. He’s the owner of Big Lee’s BBQ truck in Ocala.
  • Elizabeth Falkner: Falkner has made numerous appearances in top culinary programs. She has opened several restaurants in California, some of them with Michelin awards.

Tickets for the event are now on sale. They are available per experience, per day. There is also a VIP weekend package available. To purchase or to view the full event structure, lineup of chefs, entertainment and breakout class details, visit the event website.

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About the Author:

Nicolle joined ClickOrlando.com in September 2022.