It’s Time to UNwineD in Panama City Beach

March 14, 2019

Are you ready to UNwineD? Panama City Beach, Florida, is bringing back its award-winning “UNwineD” event for a fourth year! The destination is pulling out all the stops to top last year’s unique combination of music, food, and fun by partnering with Southern Living and inviting an exciting lineup of elite chefs, mixologists, and tastemakers. The event starts at Aaron Bessant Park on Friday, March 22, and stretches into Saturday, March 23—making it the perfect excuse for a long weekend at the Real. FUN. Beach.

The annual two-day event at Aaron Bessant Park will feature craft beer and wine tastings, creative cocktails, culinary creations by some of the South’s leading chefs including Top Chef finalist Kevin Gillespie of Red Beard Restaurants, and live musical performances by three-time Grammy Award winner Brandi Carlile with opening entertainment by JOHNNYSWIM. Brandi recently performed at the 2019 GRAMMY Awards on February 1, where she took home her three Grammy awards in the American Roots and Americana categories.

“We are thrilled to announce the return of our award-winning UNwineD to Panama City Beach and partnership with Southern Living,” shares Visit Panama City Beach president and CEO Dan Rowe. “With Brandi Carlile, JOHNNYSWIM, Chef Kevin Gillespie, and mixologist Mercedes O’Brien joining the lineup, this year’s garden party and grand tasting are shaping up to be one of the most memorable weekends of the year, featuring the best cuisine, cocktails, and live music in Northwest Florida.”

On Friday, March 22, an elegant garden party will include bites from Chef Kevin and drinks by Mercedes O’Brien. Guests can expect the same bold flavors and delicious plays on ingredients that Chef Kevin uses in his two Georgia restaurants, Gunshow in Atlanta and Revival in Decatur, along with the same cocktail creativity that Mercedes brings to Gunshow and the soon-to-open Cold Beer. This exclusive VIP event has a limited number of tickets available, priced at $175 per person for adults 21 and over.

The VIP ticket also includes entry into the UNwineD Grand Tasting on Saturday, March 23, from 1:00 to 4:30 p.m. for adults 21 and over. Guests can sip and savor craft beer, spirits, and wine from around the world paired with delectable bites. JOHNNYSWIM will take the stage Saturday at 5:00 p.m., followed immediately by Brandi Carlile.

Tickets to Saturday’s UNwineD Grand Tasting and concerts are $75 per person, while concert-only tickets are $20 per person. Children 12 and under are free with a paying adult. A portion of all ticket proceeds will go to United Way of Northwest Florida and World Central Kitchen.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit

To help you get a preview taste of Panama City Beach’s UNwineD Festival, Top Chef finalist Chef Kevin Gillespie shared some of his favorite recipes that he will serve at Friday night’s garden party!

Low-Country Oyster Roast recipe

Low-Country Oyster Roast

Feeds about a dozen folks


1 bushel (12 dozen) of oysters
1⁄4 cup lemon juice
1⁄4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Prepared horseradish (not raw)
2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon of salt
1⁄2 cup, cut into 8 chunks of butter

Prep Tip: Use the freshest warm water oysters you can find. My favorite types are Atlantic Bull’s Bay oysters from Charleston, South Carolina, and Apalachicola Bay oysters from Florida.


  1. Heat a grill for direct medium-high heat.
  2. Spread the oysters in a single layer directly on the grill grate and cover with a wet towel. Close the lid of the grill or, if cooking on an open grill, cover with a large metal bowl or roasting pan (to capture the steam). Steam the oysters until they start to pop open, about 5 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the oysters to baking sheets.
  3. 3. In a small saucepan, combine the lemon juice, Worcestershire, horseradish, Tabasco, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then pull from the heat and whisk in the butter, 1 chunk at a time, until melted. The sauce will separate as it sits, but that is not a problem; gently warm and stir it just before serving.
  4. To shuck the oysters, cover your hand with a thick glove or towel, cradle the oyster in your gloved hand, and gently pry open the hinged end with an oyster knife. Remove and discard the top shell and, using the knife, separate the oyster from the bottom shell. Spoon a small amount of the warm sauce onto each oyster and slurp it right out of the shell.

Olive Oil-Poached Shrimp with Cucumber and Radish Salad recipe

Olive Oil-Poached Shrimp with Cucumber and Radish Salad

Enough for four people as an appetizer


12 large (U30) shrimp
1 1⁄2 cups olive oil
1 watermelon radish, sliced into thin rounds on a mandoline
1 peeled cucumber, seeded, and cut into 1⁄4-inch dice, about 1⁄2 cup
1 celery stalk, strings removed and cut into 1⁄4-inch dice, about 1⁄2 cup
1 teaspoon capers
2 tablespoons herb oil
A pinch of salt
A pinch of pepper
Fresh baby basil leaves for garnish


  1. Peel and devein the shrimp, if necessary; otherwise leave them uncut, as in the picture.
  2. Heat the oil in a 11⁄2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat to 180°F. Cut the heat down to medium but maintain the 180oF temperature of the oil. Pat the shrimp dry, add to the oil, and stir to coat evenly with oil. The temperature of the oil will drop to about 100°F; gently bring the temperature of the oil back to 150°F and cook the shrimp just until they begin to curl and lose their translucence, about 5 minutes. Watch them closely so they don’t overcook; you want the shrimp tender but just cooked through. Line a plate with paper towels and use tongs to transfer the shrimp to the plate to drain. Refrigerate until cold.
  3. Set the radish slices on a cutting board and, using your smallest round cutter, preferably 3⁄4 inch, punch the slices into uniform rounds. In a small bowl, mix the radish rounds, cucumbers, celery, and capers with 1 tablespoon of the herb oil, tossing to combine.
  4. Mound 3 shrimp in the center of each serving plate and sprinkle with salt and Espelette pepper. Spoon a little of the cucumber mixture on top of the shrimp, drizzle with some of the remaining herb oil, and garnish with basil leaves.

Warm Banana Pudding recipe

Warm Banana Pudding

Feeds about twelve folks


2 cups half-and-half
2 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split
1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 large eggs
2 1⁄2 cups sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks
1 store-bought pound cake loaf, about 12 ounces
1⁄2 cup strong brewed coffee
8 to 9 very ripe bananas, peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch coins
1⁄2 teaspoon cream of tartar


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine the half-and-half, milk, vanilla bean and 1⁄2 teaspoon of the vanilla extract and heat over medium-high heat until bubbles start forming around the edges of the pan, about 4 minutes. Pull the pan from the heat. Fish out the vanilla bean and use a paring knife to scrape the vanilla beans and pulp from the pod into the milk mixture. Discard the pod.
  3. Separate the egg yolks from the whites using the three-bowl method: one small bowl to separate the eggs over, one large bowl for the yolks, and a third bowl to collect all of the whites. Crack one egg at
    a time, straining the white into the small separating bowl and placing the yolk in the yolk bowl. If the yolk did not break, transfer the white to the white collection bowl. This method ensures that no broken yolk gets into the main batch of whites. If you break a yolk, you’ll only lose 1 white instead of the whole batch. For meringue, it’s imperative to have whites with absolutely no yolk at all or the whites won’t whip up properly.
  4. Add 2 cups of the sugar to the yolks and whisk until very thick and light yellow, about 1 minute. Pour the flour into a strainer over the yolk bowl and shake the flour into the yolks. Whisk the flour and salt into the egg yolks until smooth. Slowly whisk 3⁄4 cup of the milk mixture into the yolk mixture to gradually warm the eggs so they won’t scramble; this is called tempering. Whisk all the yolk mixture into the milk mixture and return the pan to medium heat. Cook the mixture until it thickens, about 8 minutes, stirring nonstop. There will be some lumps, which is fine. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter, one piece at a time, until it’s all incorporated. Blend the pudding with an immersion blender for 1 minute. Press the pudding through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any remaining lumps.
  5. Slice the pound cake 1⁄4 inch thick and arrange the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven until they are lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Flip the slices and toast again until lightly browned, about 4 minutes more. Remove the toasted cake from the oven and brush both sides with the coffee.
  6. Spoon about 11⁄2 cups of the pudding into the bottom of a 2-quart deep casserole dish. Layer the pound cake and bananas on top of the pudding and repeat the process, ending with a layer of pudding.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1⁄2 cup sugar and cream of tartar to combine. Whip the egg whites in a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until they are thick and frothy, about 2 minutes. With the mixer running, slowly add the sugar mixture to the egg whites. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and beat until the mixture holds soft peaks when the whisk is lifted.
  8. Mound the meringue on top of the pudding and spread to completely cover and seal at the edges. Using the back of a spoon, swirl the meringue into peaks. Bake until the peaks are browned, about 5 minutes. The top should be brown while the center of the meringue stays soft and creamy. Let the dish cool for at least 15 minutes. Serve warm.