ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (Sept. 26, 2016)— Hundreds of attendees came from across the southeast and beyond for the third annual Wharf Uncorked Food & Wine Festival Sept. 15-17, and through their generosity, a total of $15,251 was raised for Make-A-Wish® Alabama - an organization devoted to granting wishes to children statewide with life-threatening medical conditions.

During the Grand Tasting on Saturday, funds were raised through live and silent auctions, sponsored by CSpire, and the total amount was awarded to Make-A-Wish at the conclusion of the night with a check presentation.

“We are thrilled to have surpassed last year’s donation total and appreciate the crowd’s willingness to give to such an impactful organization,” said Sheena Mizell, Marketing Director at The Wharf. “The rain couldn’t stop us from having a great time, and we appreciate all attendees, chefs, judges and vendors who made the weekend a success.”

The three-day festival, presented by Wind Creek Atmore, also included a cooking competition featuring some of the Alabama Gulf Coast’s finest chefs.

Chef awards included:

• Award for Creativity: Bayes Southern Bar & Grill, Chef Matt Waterman – Heirloom Beet Redux, Maque Choux Spoonbread, Smoked Sous Vide Pork Belly, Goat Cheese Horseradish Foam, Micro Arugula
• Award for Flavor: Orange Beach Concierge, Chef David Pan – Boeuf Bourguignon with Roasted Garlic Pomme Puree
• Award for Presentation: Driftwood Bar & Grille, Chef Chris Kelly – Southern Gulf Stack: Whiskey Sour Blackfin Tuna paired with Cold Smoked Fried Oyster over Fairhope Tire Grits with Heirloom Tomatoes, Lionfish Remoulade Salad, and Bluegrass Smoked Soy
• Award for Use of Ingredients: Flora-Bama Yacht Club, Chef Chris Sherrill - Okra Dust & Potato-Crusted Smoked, then Fried Gulf Oysters with Fire Roasted Corn & Garlic Aioli
• People’s Choice Award: Flora-Bama Yacht Club, Chef Chris Sherrill – Okra Dust & Potato-Crusted Smoked, then Fried Gulf Oysters with Fire Roasted Corn & Garlic Aioli
• Grand Tasting Overall Winner: Flora-Bama Yacht Club, Chef Chris Sherrill – Okra Dust & Potato-Crusted Smoked, then Fried Gulf Oysters with Fire Roasted Corn & Garlic Aioli

This year, one of the competing chefs had the chance to win an automatic qualifying position at the World Food Championships – The golden ticket went to Chef Chris Kelly of Driftwood Bar & Grille and Ronin Sushi who will compete back at The Wharf in November for the ultimate title.

During Thursday’s Kick Off Party, Chef Brody Olive with Perdido Beach Resort took home the title for the winner of the first Chef Showdown after facing off against Chef Chris Kelly and Chef Chris Sherrill in a heated challenge with secret ingredients and sabotages.

Details for The Wharf Uncorked 2017 will be updated at TheWharfUncorked.com.