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The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island Will Host First Ever Amelia Island Cookout This October

The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island is pleased to announce the inaugural Amelia Island Cookout, held onsite at the luxury oceanfront property from October 20-22, 2023. The immersive epicurean event will highlight the diversity of Amelia Island’s cuisine and the talented chefs behind it with a variety of lavish, interactive dining experiences from gourmet wine pairing dinners and a Chefs Theater cooking demo to a multi-course Master Chefs dinner with notable national chefs and more.

The highlight of the weekend is the oceanfront Amelia Island Cookout on Saturday, October 21. The outdoor event will bring together the island’s top local as well as national culinary talent, representing a range of cuisines, with the likes of Chef Okan Kizilbayir of The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island’s AAA-Diamond Salt Restaurant; Omar Collazo, Executive Chef of Omni Amelia Island, Roberto Pestana from Fernandina Beach’s Spanish and Portuguese tapas restaurant España, Farmer Lee Jones of the Chef’s Garden, Tank Jackson of Holy City Hogs in South Carolina and many more. With options to satisfy all palettes, attendees will enjoy a night of sizzling seafood from the day’s fresh catches, grilled and slow roasted meats from white quail to whole roasted pig, fresh roasted vegetables from local farms and other barbecue delicacies along with free-flowing wine, cocktails and live entertainment, all set to the backdrop of the charming barrier island’s surf, sand and stars. The event will be emceed by Dylan Benoit, host of the Food Network Canada/Cooking Channel television series “Fire Masters”.

“We’re proud to be hosting the inaugural Amelia Island Cookout at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, which we see as the start of an ongoing event that celebrates the range of incredible cuisine and local and national talent the island attracts. Apart from chefs from the island’s most popular restaurants, our acclaimed national chef partners will bring new flavors, culinary styles and expertise, further adding to the island’s culinary diversity,” said General Manager Greg Cook. “This event aligns perfectly with our culinary values of embracing local ingredients and creating elevated, innovative and immersive dining experiences that reflect a true sense of place. We look forward to continuing to be a part of this annual event, drawing in visitors from near and far to experience the cuisine and producers of the region and beyond.”

During the fall weekend experience, locals and guests are invited to indulge in extraordinary food and libations while enjoying the relaxed sophistication of the island and its pristine beach. The experiences, which can be booked individually, or as part of select packages, are included below. All packages also include VIP access to exclusive events and amenities throughout the weekend. The experiences include:

Perfect Pairings: Salt’s Chef Okan Kizilbayir & Vin Fraîche Wine Founder, Sommelier Michael Kennedy

The art of pairing food and wines is demonstrated to a small group by Chef Okan and sommelier Michael Kennedy who perfected the art of pairing while working together at Blue by Eric Ripert. Generous wine pours and delicious bites abound as they debunk long-lived wine myths and expand participants’ appreciation of pairing wines.

Friday, October 20 | 3 p.m.- 4:40 p.m. | Seaside room | $150 per person, inclusive

Latin-Inspired al fresco Dinner and Cocktails

Three acclaimed Chefs, including Amelia Island’s Chef Papi Arnaldo Gonzalez of Coquina, Bachelor Gulch’s Manuel Gutierrez of Wyld and Fort Lauderdale’s Paula Da Silva and Adrienne Grenier of Burlock Coast collaborate to lead an exploration of flavors from Brazil, Argentina and Puerto Rico. They’re joined by pastry chef Carissa Da Silva and mixologist Jean-Pierre Belonni who will be serving up cocktails inspired by their flavorful menu.

Friday, October 20 | Reception at 6 p.m. | Dinner at 6:30 - 9 p.m. | Coquina restaurant | $150 per person, inclusive

Chefs Theater

Salt restaurant Chef Okan Kizilbayir refreshes the traditional cooking school format with an intimate gathering at the demonstration table to learn how to prepare two themed entrees. He is accompanied by Giuliana Tomatis of G Sweets Pastry who will demonstrate the preparation of a decadent dessert and mixologist Simon Crompton of Door No. 4. Each dish is paired with wines to be savored while engaging with Okan, Giuliana and Simon.

Saturday, October 21 | 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Salt restaurant | $400 per person, inclusive

Amelia Island Cookout

Meet and mingle with extraordinary chefs as they take their best work out of the kitchen and bring it outdoors for a cookout. With an unforgettable backdrop of dunes and ocean, enjoy sizzling seafood, grilled and slow-roasted meats and other creations from national chefs and local favorites including David’s, España, Matthew’s and The Omni, along with abundant wine and cocktails from expert mixologists, desserts and entertainment. The event will be emceed by Dylan Benoit, host of the Food Network Canada/Cooking Channel television series Fire Masters.

Saturday, October 21 | 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.| Oceanfront Lawn | $150 per person, inclusive

Tomorrow’s Culinary Stars Brunch

The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island’s Executive Chef Garrett Gooch and team will treat attendees to a lavish brunch, which they can enjoy while watching an interactive cooking competition between college students, judged by Chef Okan and a panel of visiting Master Chefs. Supporting both charitable causes and rising culinary talent, a portion of proceeds from the brunch will be donated to the Barnabas Food Pantry.

Sunday, October 22 | 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Ritz-Carlton Ballroom Foyer | $150 per person, inclusive

Master Chefs Dinner

Salt restaurant provides the perfect setting for the grand finale event of the weekend, The Master Chefs Dinner. The five-course collaboration dinner prepared by Chef Okan and an expert team of guest Master Chefs reflects each chef’s style, personal specialties and varied ingredients, along with artful wine pairings by sommelier Michael Kennedy. Guest chefs include Michelin Star chef John Tesar of Knife and Spoon at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Lakes, Ron Hsu of Lazy Betty in Atlanta, Jae-Eun Hung of KJUN NYC and Giuliana Tomatis, pastry chef and owner of G Sweets.

Sunday, October 22 | Reception at 6 p.m. | Dinner at 6:30 p.m. | Salt restaurant| $750, inclusive

To purchase event tickets and packages for the Amelia Island Cookout, please visit For more information about The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, please visit or call your professional travel agent.

By ML Staff. Images courtesy of Ritz Carlton


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