How do cars and food relate? My Flameboi drives me to grocery stores and restaurants. Sometimes I eat while sitting in the driver’s seat. Slave and master relationship. Will the Buick Discovery Tour (pairing food, wine, and CARS) change that perception?

After being released into the lobby, my group nibbled hor d’oeuvres, sipped coffee, chatted over high tops and pretended like we belonged among the (definitely older) well-dressed invitees of Tampa Bay. The attendees then split into three groups to begin with driving, desserts, or soup.

Socs and Pyra modeling for Buick and Food&Wine Magazine

Cruising for us!
An army of Buicks hummed outside. Chaperoned by a Buick staff member in the passenger seat (to make sure Socs and I didn’t Bonnie and Clyde up Clearwater I presume) our conga line traveled through the calm, straightforward roads of the resort. Our “chaperone” didn’t make me feel comfortable and I caught several lost moments of chatting up the car’s features—I felt like I was the one who had to initiate the chat. Anyways, we drove the Encore and Lacrosse mostly for looks.

The two of us with Chef Hedy Goldsmith Basil Panna Cotta with Strawberry Consomme

Chef Goldsmith spoiled us with dessert
Group Gray filled a small conference room to get sweet with Chef Hedy Goldsmith – quirky, enthusiastic and looking oddly like that fun chemistry teacher. Chef Goldsmith churned vanilla, lemon zest and BASIL into a very delicious Basil Panna Cota with Strawberrry Consomme. It had the creamy, jiggly texture of flan while the whiffs of basil added a delicious dimension.

Chef Hugh Acheson creates a soup for us The Wild Mushroom Soup is simple in appearance but flavorful

Souping with Chef Acheson
Dry-humored Chef Hugh Acheson created a Wild Mushroom Soup with Almonds and Sherry. The nommy, meaty smell from his stove attacked my nostrils from 10 rows away. Pureed and bland in color—appearance didn’t matter because I could still taste all the each fresh ingredient.

Michael Green really is this dramatic

Wine with Michael Green
I thought he’d be poshly snobby, but Green was hands-down the crowd favorite. Loud, funny, and dramatic (“oh woe is me. I have to sample 200 wines- sometimes in the morning—at the best hotels in Europe. My tongue is tired”) he gave us a quick wine lesson. We saw, swirled, smelled, sipped, swished and swallowed a white and a red… and tasted the difference when attached with a lemon or chocolate.

Buick - Chef Michael

Michael Psilakis
Like his photos, Chef Psilakis comes off as observant, solemn, and fiercely serious about his food. His Gyro Spiced Sliders reflect his love. The meat was like a water balloon bursting in my mouth—so soft and juicy! The bread, onions and Tsatziki Sauce danced lightly around the patty without killing the show.

Gyro Spiced Sliders with Chef Michael in the backgroundConclusion
The foods mentioned were all SAMPLES. Me with my “eats frequent but in small amounts” belly would’ve been happy not eating anything before and after and still be content, but I don’t recommend.

As they created, each chef preached the wonders of eating and cooking fresh—not just for health but because it brings people together and helps you better appreciate time. Preach it!

In conclusion, the car part didn’t grab me at all because the drive didn’t reveal anything different between a Buick and Honda. But I did leave the event (with a signed copy of Chef Michael’s cookbook, recipes to all the foods sampled, and a Food+Wine magazine) with a strong urge to be Chef Pyra-Danny.

Click on my pictures to check out the event with us

Buick Discovery Tour (Tampa Bay)
Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club
Palm Harbor, FL
Date of invite: Feb 16, 2013

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