Bacchus Beckons Kicks Off Boca Bacchanal

Bacchus Beckons Kicks Off Boca Bacchanal

Photos & Story by Rachel Galvin

Food and wine lovers mark their calendar yearly for one of their favorite events — Boca Bacchanal. This year, it will be held April 29-30. Before Boca Bacchanal even begins, they had a special event to announce the occasion and provide more detail as to what to expect. It was called Bacchus Beckons.

Bacchus Beckons

This year, Bacchus Beckons was held on March 8 in a private aviation hangar in Boca Raton called Privaira. Among the planes, people mingled, enjoyed charcuterie and music from a DJ, and tried samples of some of the wines they will probably be enjoying during the main events. There also was a raffle with several prizes given out. But the real reason everyone gathered was to find out which chef was being paired with which vintner and at which home for the upcoming Vintner Dinners.

Everyone listened when the members of the Boca Raton Historical Society picked up the microphone, including chairman Olivia Hollaus, who talked a little about the upcoming events and the fact that Boca Bacchanal is celebrating its 20th year. She said the committee is planning a “Boca Bacchanal for the books” and thanked other committee members, as well as the founding sponsor Republic National Distributing company, who provides an “amazing array of vintners and spirits [year after year].” She also thanked the many other sponsors, which include The Boca Raton, Boca Magazine, The Addison, Publix, Crown Wine and Spirits, The Berman Group, BRiC and CP Partners, JM Family and others.

“We have so many wonderful sponsors who support this event. Thank you to each one of you for being a part of Boca Bacchanal and in support of our mission, which is to preserve our history, educate our children and residents, and to build a sense of place in our beloved Boca Raton,” said Hollaus. Boca Bacchanal supports the historical society as well as the Schmidt Boca Raton History Museum.

Hollaus then welcomed historical society board members Joyce DeVita and Lauri Saunders.

DeVita, who is also a chairperson, spoke first and said the Grand Tasting will feature wine seminars this year and “three very exclusive VIP sections.” She introduced Saunders, who co-chairs the event as well, and Roxanna Garcia, from Republic National Distribution company, who proceeded to introduce who would be included in the vintner dinners.

Vintner Dinners

The festivities always begin with the vintner dinners held at people’s homes or other locations with a chef cooking up a fantastic menu of five courses with his masterpieces paired with different wines usually chosen by vintners. Tickets are $350 each. This year, the dinners will be held on April 29.

Dinner #1 will be hosted by Thom & Joyce DeVita and Joni & Al Goldberg with Chef Eric Baker, who owns Rebel House, AlleyCat and Big in Japan, and vintner Anna Pepgjonaj, from Silver Oak and Twoney Cellars in Napa Valley, CA.

Dinner #2 will be hosted by David & Holly Meehan and Zoe Lanham & The Addison. Patrick Duffy, executive chef from The Addison, welcomes to his kitchen Jeff Tunks, the executive chef of Corvina Seafood Grill in Boca Raton, and Chris Clime, executive chef of PassionFish in Reston, VA, as well as Jose Hernandez, the executive sous chef from The Addison. TJ Evans, the winemaker from Domaine Carneros in Napa Valley, CA will be there as well.

Dinner #3 will be hosted by The Seagate Resort & Spa with Elizabeth Kelly Grace & Olivia Hollaus. Chef Gordon Maybury, director of culinary of Seagate Resort & Spa will be working with Chef Ivan Acevedo, executive chef of Seagate Beach Club, and Chef Mitzu Nozaki, pastry chef, also from Seagate. Teresa D’ Aurizio, national sales manager for ZD Wines in Napa Valley, CA will be choosing the pairings.

Dinner #4 will be hosted by The Boca Raton and will include Andrew Roenceck, the director of culinary operations and Resort Executive Chef of The Boca Raton, as well as Peter Annewanter, executive chef of MB Supper Club and Flybridge, The Boca Raton. Katie Nahat, brand ambassador for The Macallan Craigellachie, from Scotland, will be there as well.

Grand Tasting

The Vintner dinners will be followed by the Grand Tasting, which this year is a more intimate occasion, with it taking place during the day on April 30, from 1 to 4 p.m. at a beautiful venue known as The Addison. This annual event presents a wide array of samples from local restaurants and plenty of pours from well-known companies. There also is a silent auction, music and more. In addition, this year, there will be wine and whiskey seminars. Tickets are $125 each, $160 with seminars. VIP is $250.

“Boca Bacchanal is a festive weekend that celebrates and enhances the appreciation of wine and food, while bringing together world class chefs and vintners, offering their finest specialties, while providing the entire community with a delightful and tasty opportunity to support the heritage education programs of The Schmidt Boca Raton History Museum and the Boca Raton Historical Society,” says Mary Csar, Executive Director.

This event really is the place to be! Don’t miss out as tickets are going fast. For more information, visit

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