Local chef Daniel Joly to participate in 2016 Naples Winter Wine Festival
Special to the Daily
By the numbers: Naples Winter Wine Festival
• More than $135 million — Raised for children’s charitable causes since 2001
• More than $12 million — Raised at the 2015 festival under the auction tent
• 200,000 — Children’s lives impacted through Festival proceeds since 2001
• 420 — Volunteers
• 65 — Auction lots of one-of-a-kind treasures and experiences at the 2016 festival
BEAVER CREEK — Daniel Joly, co-owner and executive chef of Mirabelle at Beaver Creek, describes being a chef as more than “just walking around in a white jacket and shaking hands.” The certified Belgian Master Chef believes his role as a culinary professional also includes employing his creative skills for philanthropy.
In describing his motivation to participate in fundraisers, Joly acknowledged, “I cannot sign a large check,” but believes he can donate his time and skills to create “magical moments” for good causes. In January, Joly will create one such magical moment at the prestigious Naples Winter Wine Festival.
The mid-winter festival is a fundraiser for its founding organization, Naples Children & Education Foundation. Since the inaugural festival in 2001, NCEF has successfully enticed wine enthusiasts and philanthropists — usually one in the same — to spend three days in Florida’s sunshine to benefit a great cause. To date, NCEF has raised more than $135 million for more than 40 organizations, which have received grants to help improve the educational, emotional and health outcomes of underprivileged and at-risk children. In 2015, more than $12 million flowed into the charity’s coffers under the auction tent at the mid-winter festival.
Entrepreneur, philanthropist and self-described festival emissary Jonathan Rotella, who splits his time between his Beaver Creek and Naples, Florida, homes, successfully advocated for Joly’s appearance at the festival. Rotella, co-producer with Robert Kamen of the upcoming vinous movie “Judgment of Paris,” loves the intersection of his culinary and oenological passions with philanthropy. He’s also a longtime admirer of Joly’s talent and wants to promote “our gem in Beaver Creek.”
“I love his passion, consistency and creativeness with his cuisine,” Rotella said, explaining his support of Joly.
Joly will create what Rotella calls “culinary bliss” to benefit the festival’s founding organization at one of 17 Vintner Dinners. Festival trustees will host the dinners in elegant, private venues across Naples, perfect settings for supporters to enjoy unparalleled, unique dining experiences from the cadre of renowned chefs, vintners and sommeliers.
Joly not only relishes employing his culinary talents for a good cause. He enjoys promoting his adopted home state of Colorado wherever he goes. When asked about the theme for his dinner, Joly responded, “the Colorado-Belgian-Mirabelle-at-Beaver Creek story,” adding, “I want people to have a magical time at my dinner and will do my best to create a memorable evening.”
No stranger to world-class gastronomic events, Joly has appeared at many charity culinary festivals in places including Pebble Beach, Los Angeles, Aspen and Chicago. He also enjoys supporting rising chefs by serving as a judge at the esteemed gastronomic competition, Prix Culinaire Taittinger. In November, Joly will make his fourth appearance as a judge, this time at the final competition in Paris.
This month, Rotella and his fiancee, Alysa van Asten, are hosting a private event at Mirabelle to bring together festival trustees and donors from the Vail Valley Foundation and Bravo! Vail, nonprofits they support. Their vision is to promote both the Naples festival and the potential for future collaborations between the two communities. Rotella envisions a philanthropic future for the Vail Valley that includes hosting a major food and wine festival. With its resident culinary and oenological talent and world-class skiing and summer music and dance festivals, Vail and Beaver Creek no doubt would be a popular stop on America’s gastronomic festival calendar.
For more information about ticket packages to the Naples Winter Wine Festival, contact Barrett Farmer at 239-514-2239 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The festival’s roster of celebrity chefs, vintners and sommeliers will be announced in September and posted for all to see on http://www.napleswinefestival.com.
Suzanne Hoffman is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel. Her blog is http://www.winefamilies.com.
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