On March 23, Gobbler’s Lodge 3D Archery Range in Osteen and Millie’s Restaurant and Catering of Daytona Beach Shores put on a food event like no other.
The range is on 10 acres at 385 Gobblers Lodge Road in Osteen and offers a variety of courses for those who want to learn archery or hone their skills.
Lodge owner Daniel Levesque and Millie’s Restaurant owner Chris Chibbaro put their entrepreneurial minds together and decided to host an event where guests would get two hours of archery instruction and practice before enjoying a six-course meal with wine pairings and wild game.
I was invited as a guest sommelier, to teach the guests about the wines paired with each course, and I also had a chance to hone my once-decent archery skills.
We were instructed to meet under a fancy white tent, where we had to sign waivers to cover legal issues, and where we promised we wouldn’t shoot at each other.
Next, Levesque led us to a two-story deck overlooking the main 100-yard range where animal mannequins are placed at intervals of up to 100 yards.
A full description was given of the history and usage of archery, as well as safety instruction and personalized instruction for those who had never used a bow.
“The worst thing that can happen is you’ll get a little tattoo on your forearm if you don’t keep your form straight,” Levesque said.
We were then given free rein, and shot arrows at animal figures that represented turkeys, coyotes, bears and even some of the animals we were having for dinner that evening, such as elk.
In addition to the main range, Levesque has four other elevated decks throughout the property that are themed. My favorite is the zombie-apocalypse range, where you shoot at zombie mannequins.
After shooting, we were seated under a fancy covered white tent. The table, with a long pearl-white tablecloth, was precisely set with menus, silverware and stemware for the evening, right next to the range.
Chibbaro came out and introduced everyone as we anticipated the six courses Chef Jeremy Wimmer of Millie’s Restaurant had prepared for us.
“Thank you, everybody, for coming and being a part of this event. All the chefs, I and Daniel, have worked so hard to give you an interactive and food-oriented experience like no other,” Chibbaro said.
Chef Jeremy prepared all the courses in the Gobbler’s Lodge Barn, with help from fellow cook Troy Hudson.
At the end of dinner, the chefs came out and received a standing ovation, as guests showed their appreciation for the talent of Chef Jeremy. They were impressed with the smoothness and grace of the evening’s activities, held in such an unlikely dining room.
Plans are for the event to be held once a year. I am blessed and grateful to have been a part of this one.