GastroFest 2015 Schedule of Events & Tastings! March 21st, Hemming Park 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.


Welcome to GastroFest; we hope you are excited! This program of events will give you the details on what is happening, when, and where throughout the day. Our goal is to bring you tastes from around the First Coast, expert speakers, chef demos, kids’ activities and more! So get out there and try some of the finest cuisine Jacksonville has to offer – and don’t forget to use #GastroFest2015 and #321GastroFest!

What are Taste Tickets, how do they work, and where do I get them?
GastroFest Taste TicketTaste Tickets will be your currency during GastroFest. Each Taste Ticket costs $1 and, on average, the samples will be worth 3 tickets, with some items a little higher. Entry to the festival is free, but in order to sample what our Taste Vendors have to offer (anything from local restaurants, food providers and food trucks, as well as pairings from local breweries)  you will need Taste Tickets. You can buy Taste Tickets at the Festival, or in advance at Tres Leches on Stockton Street, as well as on our website,
Taste Vendors will rotate throughout the fest, changing out at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Utilize the provided program, which details the time slots where each Taste Vendor will be participating. It is the best way to ensure you get to taste everything!

GastroFest 2015_MAP

Happenings in Hemming and More

Our Tasting Vendors and Marketplace Vendors will be located in Hemming Park. Taste Vendors will be out from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and will rotate throughout the day. The Taste Vendor Program we have attached contains all the details on what restaurants will be available during all given sessions. Our Marketplace Vendors will be selling goods that you can take home, as well as small snacks such as pops, pickles, delicious kettle corn, and more!

There will be plenty of activities for your kids as well! Check out the schedule below for details on the Kids’ Zone at Visit Jacksonville located on Laura Street! From local beekeepers to urban chickens this will be an educational and fun Saturday you and your children won’t want to miss!

Eat.Drink.Man.WomenThroughout the day Visit MOCA Jacksonville’s Stage, located inside MOCA, for a full schedule of Educational Speakers and films! There’s something to interest every food-lover, whether you’d like to learn to eat more responsibly, are interested in the history of local food, or want to learn about beekeeping here in North Florida. You won’t want to miss Ang Lee‘s film, Eat Drink Man Woman at 7:45 p.m. We’ve also put together a panel called “Food and Social Good,” which explores the connection of food with making the world a better place. Visit our event schedule, so you don’t miss a single discussion!

Make sure you check the schedule for our Special Events Tent, located inside Hemming Park near the D’Land Productions Music Stage. You won’t want to miss the Homebrew competition and San Sebastian Winery samples of Florida wine!

Throughout the festival you’ll have the pleasure of listening to local bands on our D’Land Productions Music Stage. You won’t want to miss Cougar Barrel, Dr. Sirbrother, East China Sea, JacksonVegas, Tambor, Tough Junkie, Tomboi, and Tropic Of Cancer.

We are proud to partner with All About Events! They have provided all the tents inside Hemming Park for GastroFest 2015.

River City Chicks

Kids’ Activities at Visit Jacksonville

11a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Visit our Kids’ Area in and around Visit Jacksonville on Laura Street. Inside Visit Jacksonville, we have bees under glass from the Jacksonville Beekeepers Association and fun “food” art stations from Melrose Avenue preschool. Outside, near Visit Jacksonville on Laura street we’ll have the Duval County Extension Office on-site, with materials to make radish necklaces, start seedlings in toilet paper rolls, and information on growing herbs in North Florida. Kids will also see the chickens from urban chicken farmers, River City Chicks. There will also be a giant chess and an oversized checkers set, as well as the Imagination Playground, set up on Laura Street.  You can also take the kids inside the MOCA theater, from 11 a.m.-12:45 p.m. where we are featuring a free showing of educational shorts from TedEd on topics such as the science of spicy, the chemistry of cookies, and why oil and water don’t mix.


Chamblin BooksLocal Cookbooks

Chamblin’s Uptown on Laura Street will be featuring local cookbooks, many of which will be signed by the authors.

12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Jeffrey Spear, the author of two cookbooks, will be on hand to sign locally focused “The First Coast Heritage Cookbook,” featuring some great recipes updated for the modern cook, with a fascinating look at the cuisine of early inhabitants of the First Coast (through the settling of St. Augustine).

2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Through much discovery, determination, and love, Chef Dennis Chan has brought to those that frequent his restaurant, Blue Bamboo, (and now you) uniquely warm and non-fussy experiences in his award winning cookbook entitled “Hip Asian Comfort Food”. Experiences he hopes you will share with your loved ones as you discover that food does not have to be complicated to be satisfying to the soul.


SEA_BESTSea Best Cooking Demo Stage Schedule

Chef Howard Kirk of 13 Gypsies. – 2 p.m.

Jeffrey Spear, cookbook author and owner of Studio Spear. – 3 p.m.

Chef Amadeus of Southern Passion Spices and Winner of Food Network’s Extreme Chef Mexican Showdown. – 4 p.m

Chef Ashley Amin owner and chef of Jacksonville’s Fusion Food Truck and “Top Indian Chef” of San Diego 2009. – 5 p.m.

 Florence Haridan of Conscious Eats. – 6 p.m.

Special Events Tent

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The Beer:30 Homebrew Competition

Session 1: 2:45-3:45 p.m.
Session 2: 6:45-7:45 p.m.
The Beer Apostle hosts this homebrew competition. It’s first come, first serve! Taste what locals have been brewing, and vote for your favorite beer. A People’s Choice and Judges’ Choice Award will be announced on the Mainstage at 8:15 p.m.

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9-0-4 Whiskey Tasting From Palm Ridge Distillery 4 p.m.

Learn about and enjoy Florida whiskey during our Palm Ridge Reserve “9-0-4” Whiskey Tasting! Come taste 9-month aged, Virgin (0 month/non-aged), and 4-month aged whiskeys with the Palm Ridge Reserve owners and distillers themselves, Marti and Dick Waters.

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Vegan Cheese & Wine Flight 5:30 p.m.
Tickets are $17 and available on EventBrite. Limited availability.
Taste vegan-certified wines and locally crafted, artisan, vegan cheese from SunRAWise.

Florida Wines from San Sebastian Winery 8 p.m. -10 p.m.

Try samples of our local wines and get to know San Sebastian Winery. They will also be raffling off a basket filled with local snacks, chocolates, and wine!


Down the Rabbit HoleWorkshops at Down the Rabbit Hole

The Gospel of Brew Sessions 11:30 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.

The Beer Apostle, Brian Little, and James Moriarty of Veterans United Craft Brewery talk beer, so you too can get your start as a proud home brewer.

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Cupping Locally Roasted Coffee with Bold BeanTaste and Learn: Cupping Locally Roasted Coffee with Bold Bean 1:15 p.m., 2:15 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Tickets are $5.00 and are available on Eventbrite.

Bold Bean Coffee Roasters will do cuppings with four different roasts per session. If you can’t live without a good cup of coffee this is for you! Learn about the different nuances of these wonderful and locally roasted coffees.

Real Bread Workshop 3:30 p.m.

Community Loaves presents a workshop on the mysteries of sourdough bread-making, and why, sometimes, the old ways are the most delicious ways!


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The Candy Apple Cafe at Sweet Pete’s Cocktail Contest at The Candy Apple Cafe at Sweet Pete’s
Presented by GastroJax 7 p.m.

Tickets are $35, and are available on Eventbrite.

The GastroJax Cocktail Contest will focus solely on craft cocktails created using locally sourced spirits and ingredients. Each of the five cocktail samples will use Palm Ridge Whiskey. The competitors are: The Candy Apple Cafe, Bistro AIX, Grape & Grain Exchange, bb’s and Sidecar. There will be both a juried and people’s choice winner. Come support GastroJax and enjoy great cocktail samples, live music, and yummy appetizers! Celebrate local with the best in libations!


dLANDOn the D’Land Productions Music Stage

Tough Junkie – 11:00 AM 10 12:00 PM

Jacksonvegas – 12:20 PM to 1:20 PM

Tambor – 1:40 PM to 2:40 PM

Tropic of Cancer – 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM

East China Sea – 4:20 PM to 5:20 PM

Cougar Barrel -5:40 PM to 6:40 PM

Tomboi – 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Announcement of the Homebrew Winners (Audience Favorite and Judges Favorite) – 8:15 PM

Dr. Sirbrother – 8:30 PM to 10:00 PM


About Teresa Spencer