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Chef de Cuisine Nathan Hardin Leads Team from the luxury Orlando resort at the Beard in Baldwin Food & Wine Festival

ORLANDO, FLORIDA – April 5, 2016 – Few events share the universal appeal inherent to the Beard in Baldwin Food & Wine Festival. Scheduled for Saturday, April 9 from 7 to 9 pm, the event highlights the best of the Orlando culinary scene with bites and sips prepared by some of the area’s finest chefs. And when guests arrive at this year’s event, the team to see is from The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes.

Helmed by Nathan Hardin, Chef de Cuisine at Highball & Harvest, the Orlando resort’s culinary team will bring the restaurant’s trademark Southern-inspired fare to the festival. That means guests will be able to bite into foie-gras corndogs with grape-infused mustard, for example, and wash it all down with “Pauline’s Lemonade” featuring lemons and honey from Whisper Creek Farm.

With its carefully curated representation of chefs, Beard in Baldwin offers an unprecedented opportunity for foodies and those who simply enjoy a fun night out to taste the flavors and innovation of their community. The festival will feature more than 25 area restaurants, as well as Augustan Wine Imports, Original Sin Hard Cider and the local breweries Coppertail and Central 28.

As guests sip and nibble their way around Baldwin Park, they can enjoy views of Lake Baldwin and Harbor Park as well as the tunes of The Legendary JC’s, who are scheduled to perform that evening. Visitors may also choose to purchase VIP tickets, which afford access to the festival and a private cocktail event at The Osprey Tavern. There, patrons can taste hors d’oeuvres and mignardises alongside craft cocktails, champagne and fine wines.

While Beard in Baldwin is an epicurean dream event, its impact goes beyond pleasing the palate. Proceeds from the event will benefit the James Beard Foundation National Scholars Program.

The luxury resort’s festival menu honors the flavors and feel of Highball & Harvest in enticing ways. Chef Hardin, himself a Tampa native, has a long history of working with local farms and seasonal ingredients and has garnered acclaim in putting that expertise to work in the kitchen of Highball & Harvest. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with handcrafted cocktails, in a casually inviting space where Southern favorites (think shrimp and grits, brown-butter trout, steaks, oysters and more) tantalize the taste buds.

General admission to the festival costs $85; VIP admission costs $200. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit http://beardinbaldwin.com.