KEY LARGO, Florida KeysYellowtail copy — Each summer, the gateway to the Florida Keys transforms into a food and wine lover’s paradise as Key Largo’s culinary experts step up to the “palate” to present nearly 30 tasty food, wine and spirits events all over the island. The 2010 Key Largo Food & Wine Festival is to take place July 30 through Aug. 8.

A festival kickoff is set for Friday, July 30, with refreshment-filled TGIF events. Featured are a happy hour and wine extravaganza, a four-course prix fixe meal paired with wines and a cooking class spotlighting seafood favorites such as grilled oysters, scallops and Keys hogfish.

Highlights of the 10-day free-pour festival include uniquely themed “how-to” and wine pairing events, the back-by-popular-demand “whodunit” murder mystery night, a “Mimosa Madness” champagne brunch, a “battle of the big reds” blind tasting, a New Orleans–style Cajun dinner with French wines, an oriental experience with saki, sushi and Thai food, a five-course progressive gourmet dinner, cooking demonstrations and pairings with tropical seafood feasts and much more.

Capping off the event is the traditional festival finale Sunday, Aug. 8, complete with music, brunch and bubbly.

For a comprehensive schedule of event times, venues, costs and reservations information, visit www.KeyLargoFoodandWineFestival.com.

For Key Largo area accommodations, call the Key Largo Chamber of Commerce at 800-822-1088, e-mail info@keylargochamber.org or visit the official website of the Florida Keys & Key West at www.fla-keys.com.

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