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{{tncms-inline alignment=”right” content=”&lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;First course &amp;mdash; oysters&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The first course was local oyster with green apple and a pink-peppercorn mignonette. I brought out a bottle of Diamant Royal Brut Blanc de Blancs from France and explained to guests about the classic pairing of oysters with sparkling wine. I explained &amp;ldquo;blanc de blancs&amp;rdquo; means the wine is produced with 100-percent chardonnay grapes.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Second course &amp;mdash; gumbo&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Next up was a Florida gator gumbo topped with cornmeal-fried okra. I poured the &amp;ldquo;O&amp;rdquo; Chardonnay by Claude Vialade and explained that chardonnay goes great with poultry. Because the first time people try alligator meat, they usually say it tastes like chicken, this combination was perfect.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Third course &amp;mdash; salad&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;For the third course, we were delighted with a spring salad featuring wild-boar lardons, heirloom tomatoes and goat-cheese croquettes. This was a light salad with some big flavors.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Lardons are thick-cut cubes of bacon &amp;mdash; in this case boar &amp;mdash; while the croquettes were breaded and fried pieces of goat cheese I could eat a whole plate of.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;For this course, I told guests about the Domaine du P&amp;egrave;re Caboche Ros&amp;eacute; from the Rhone Valley of France, a delightful blend of Grenache and Carignan grape varietals.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Fourth course &amp;mdash; pheasant&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;We then moved on to grilled leg of pheasant with purple-rice grits, caramelized shallots, and morel mushrooms. This proved to be a tasty game bird, and with some of my favorite grits from Jacksonville and delicacy mushroom, it made an excellent savory dish.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;I talked about the Pacific pinot noir from one of America&amp;rsquo;s top pinot noir regions, Willamette Valley, Oregon.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Fifth course &amp;mdash; elk&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Course 5 was the richest. Chef Jeremy nailed an Elk Wellington with charred broccoli and a port wine demi. Wellington is a classic dish, where the meat is wrapped in a puff pastry and baked, usually with fillet.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Chef Jeremy used the most tender pieces of elk with an applause-worthy demi-glace and a texturally perfect pastry wrapped around it.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;I brought out the Zardini Amarone, a staple red wine from Valpolicella, Italy, where the winemakers use a process known as the &amp;ldquo;appassimento,&amp;rdquo; which involves drying the grapes on straw mats for weeks to concentrate the sugars and flavors.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Sixth course &amp;mdash; dessert&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;We were starting to fill up when the cooks delivered a Swiss meringue cake with papaya cream and guava syrup. Guests who didn&amp;rsquo;t think they had room made it for this sweet, fruity and beautiful dessert. We paired it with Ch&amp;acirc;teau Pineau du Rey Sauternes from France. I explained to the guests how a fungus called botrytis cinerea &amp;mdash; often called &amp;ldquo;noble rot&amp;rdquo; &amp;mdash; causes the sweetness and delicacy of this dessert wine enjoyed all over the world.&lt;/p&gt;” id=”e66af71f-523c-4914-a85e-c2880b9d416f” style-type=”info” title=”The Courses” type=”relcontent” width=”half”}}

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.

{{tncms-inline alignment=”right” content=”&lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;More info:&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;br /&gt;For more information about Gobbler&amp;rsquo;s Lodge, contact Daniel Levesque at 386-341-0793, or find Gobblers Lodge on Facebook and Gobblerslodge on Instagram.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;br /&gt;For more information about Millie&amp;rsquo;s Restaurant and Catering, contact Chris Chibbaro at 386-275-1492, or find Millie&amp;rsquo;s Restaurant and Catering on Facebook and milliesrestaurant on Instagram.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;” id=”4dc28b7a-80c6-4faf-a7c2-d2ba70b7f90b” style-type=”info” title=”Get in touch” type=”relcontent” width=”half”}}

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.


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