The Group Travel Leader

MAY 2017

The online home of The Group Travel Leader, America's leading publication for the group travel industry. Articles on hot destinations, attractions, news and travel trends from across the country and around the world.

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GROUP TRAVEL LE ADER T H E juicy pork loin. Students also learn how to make applewood-smoked chicken breasts and wrap up by preparing competition ribs. When class is over, it's time to eat, "which is certainly one of the fun parts," Warner said. The full banquet includes "adult" macaroni and cheese made with five cheeses, "The Best Baked Beans I've Ever Had" and a fresh, mayoless coleslaw made with apple cider dressing. For groups that don't have all day or don't have the passion for barbecue, shorter classes can be offered for at least 40 people. For Valentine's Day, the school recently held a 'Que With Your Cutie class, in which students learned how to cook elegant barbecue and pair it with wine. Classes are held at a Knights of Columbus farmhouse-turned-hall with a giant backyard strewn with picnic tables under trees. Inside, students learn about rubs, brines, marinades, injections and sauces at "lab tables," each with an assistant to help. WWW.SOUTHERNTHUNDERBBQ.COM C H Â T E A U É L A N W I N E R Y A N D R E S O R T B R A S E L T O N Château Élan Winery and Resort is just 40 minutes north of Atlanta, and 3,500 acres of estate vineyards surround the winery, which is housed in a 16th-century-style French chateau. In addition to restaurants, a conference center and a spa, the winery is home to the Viking Culinary Studio, which can do cooking demonstrations for groups of up to 150 people. Hands-on cooking classes are available for up to 60 people at individual cooking stations, and lessons include such wide- ranging options as making a three-course meal and sitting down to enjoy it in the room next door, and facing off in "Iron Chef "-style competitions. A large pavilion on the ground f loor below the studio is ideal for groups of more than 150 people. The culinary team will break the group into teams of 20, and each team will work with a chef to prepare a different portion of the meal, from appetizers to dessert, served either at a buffet or during a plated dinner. For meats, participants can even pick out their steaks before throwing them on the grill. Some attendees have even played the role of wait staff. And, of course, there is always "plenty of our wine f lowing during the cooking process," said Doug Rollins. With six restaurants and two bars, there are plenty of ways to experience Château Élan's food and wine outside of the studio. The Taste of Georgia experience pairs Château Élan's wine with local Georgia products such as cheese, bread, chocolate and even olive oil from the Georgia Olive Farms, which grows and presses its own olives. As part of a recent $2 million renovation, the winery added a 50-seat climate-controlled veranda at the 130-seat Café Élan as well as two private dining rooms that can seat 12 and 24 people, respectively. Groups can also dine in the vineyard or other unique locations around the property and can arrange dining experiences built around different themes, such as the harvest, Southern cooking, or rum and other spirits. WWW.CHATEAUELAN.COM Courtesy Milton's Cuisine and Cocktails Courtesy Milton's Cuisine and Cocktails MILTON'S CUISINE AND COCKTAILS IS FAMOUS FOR ITS GARDEN DINNERS. GUESTS ENJOY SIGNATURE DRINKS AT MILTON'S CUISINE AND COCKTAILS.

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