The Wharf Uncorked Food & Wine Festival Announces Guest Judges for Grand Tasting

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The third annual Wharf Uncorked Food & Wine Festival has been set for Sept. 15-17, 2016. Along with more than 100 labels of wine and a host of culinary talent, there will be elite representation from the judges at this year’s Grand Tasting taking place on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 4-8 p.m.

“The roster of judges this year is impressive and each brings a unique expertise to the table,” said Sheena Mizell, marketing manager at The Wharf. “There’s added pressure this year as the selected winner will be an immediate qualifier for the World Food Championships, and we know these judges are ready to take on the challenge.”

Meet the judges:

Kendall Collins Gensler

Kendall Collins Gensler

This year’s head judge, Kendall Collins Gensler, is a New Orleans native and seasoned culinary professional with more than 20 years of experience. She studied at the famous Le Cordon Bleu Cooking School, continued her culinary education at Johnson and Wales and ultimately founded Culinary Concierge Magazine in 2000.

Brooke Parkhurst

Brooke Parkhurst

Brooke Parkhurst and her husband, James Briscione, are authors of “Just Married & Cooking”. Pakhurst has become a culinary, entertaining and wine expert with recurring appearances on and writing gigs for: “Today” show, “CBS New York,” “The Couch,” ”Fox & Friends,” People, Redbook and Womens Day.

Jay Ducote

Jay Ducote

Jay Ducote’s life resembles a balancing act as he juggles his time as a food and beverage writer, blogger, radio host, speaker, video producer, culinary personality and, of course, chef. He has appeared in several television programs including “Food Network Star” where he finished as a runner-up and currently has a pilot for his show “Deep
Fried America” on Travel Channel.

Mike McCloud

Mike McCloud

Mike McCloud serves as the CEO of the World Food Championships – the largest competition in food sport – and is a marketing entrepreneur focused on making food competitions a long-term, fun-filled legacy for the culinary industry.

Laura Bento

Laura Bento

Laura Bento takes pride in her southern roots and is inspired by the revitalization and localization movement – these passions led her to found Good Grit magazine, which serves as an elegant and progressive reflection of Southern culture.

Robby Melvin

Robby Melvin

Robby Melvin spent time under the instruction of James Beard Award winning chefs, Frank Stitt and Chris Hastings, followed by his position as a teacher at Culinard, the Culinary Institute of Virginia College. He is now the test kitchen director at Southern Living magazine, ‘the South’s most trusted kitchen.’

Jim Smith

Jim Smith

Jim Smith is the executive chef for the State of Alabama and chairmen of the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission. Smith is committed to the art of food through experimentation and development, which was on
display as he was crowned the King of American Seafood by winning The Great American Seafood Cook-Off.

This year’s festival will also feature chef demonstrations, food tastings from upwards of 20 local restaurants, the luxury yacht walk and both live and silent auctions benefiting Make-A-Wish® Alabama, which raised $14,421.63 last year.

Discounted ticket prices are available until Sept. 1 and can be purchased online through Ticketmaster.com, or at The Wharf box office. For a full Wharf Uncorked schedule and talent lineup, please visit TheWharfUncorked.com.

About The Wharf
Located in beautiful Orange Beach, The Wharf is the Gulf Coast’s premier destination resort and Marina. The Wharf features a unique selection of shopping, dining and entertainment options, including restaurants, boutiques and stores, a 15-screen movie theater, 112 foot tall Ferris wheel, and live music at The Wharf’s 9,600 seat Amphitheater. No matter the time of year, The Wharf is the ultimate family-friendly vacation destination. For more information visit alwharf.com.