Living in Tampa, I’ve spent more than my fair share of time dining, enjoying cocktails and splashing at The Epicurean Hotel – but now I can say that I’ve actually stayed there. Sam and I were invited to an event with Cabot Cheese (in case you didn’t know, there are few things in life that compare to my love of cheese) that started early Monday morning, so we decided to cash in some Marriott points and enjoy a little staycation. Everything about The Epicurean is centered around food and wine, making it the perfect destination for those who love quality cuisine and luxury accommodations.
We were greeted with two glasses of wine at check-in and escorted to our room where we got the run down on everything the hotel has to offer. We booked a Deluxe Room with a terrace and enjoyed how spacious and modern the room was. There was a storm coming in so we enjoyed our complimentary glass of wine on our patio before hurrying into the room to change into robes and order room service. I wish I had taken a photo of our dinner but we were getting hangry and forgot about it completely, but I will say this: The tomato soup with the mini grilled cheese (they call them soldiers on the menu) is SO FREAKIN’ GOOD! That, and the truffle mac n’ cheese and brussels sprouts did not disappoint.
When morning came around, I was so excited because I knew the day was going to be filled with more cheese than I
should could handle. We headed downstairs to the Epicurean Theatre, which I’ll admit is another reason I was excited about this event. I’ve always wanted to experience one of the demonstrations that takes place here. Sam and I have started cooking more and more, and I love learning something new together with him that we can take back home and try on our own.
My friend and neighbor, Nichole, from Casa de Crews helped organize this event through her relationship with Sunday Supper and Cabot Cheese. Her blog is fabulous and focuses primarily on recipes and the culinary products she loves to use. I’m always so impressed by her skills in the kitchen and was excited to get to experience more from her foodie world and hello?… CHEESE!
We enjoyed several cheese-inspired recipes including vegetable negimaki appetizers, macaroni and cheese and a three course lunch where my favorite part actually ended up being the corn bread! I loved absolutely everything that was served but this corn bread was on another level – I have to try and recreate it for myself. Growing up in Los Angeles, Sam never ate cornbread growing up. It was served at almost every family function in my Southern household and I tell you, I have never had cornbread worth getting this excited about, ha ha.
Throughout the day we learned about cooking with cheese, tips for cleaning your cast iron cookware and the recipes from Cabot Cheese and Chef Jim Kennedy. I thought it was so cool to learn that Cabot is owned by the farmers that provide dairy for their products; and the biggest herd in their family of farmers is only 250 cows! At the end of the event, we took part in a cheese plate challenge and if you watched our story on Instagram you know that Sam’s team won (no surprise because he is seriously competitive) but I loved the creation my team came up with (below).
While this event was invite only, the Epicurean Hotel offers classes in their theatre all the time. If you’re planning a Florida trip this spring or summer I highly recommend considering booking your stay here so you can experience all of the cuisine, learn something new and escape to the beach just a short drive away.
You can also find all of the recipes we made during this event on Cabot’s website, here: #CookingWithCabot.