August 2015

Guide to AquaCurean: How to Make the Perfect Seafood Festival

Author: Gabrielle Garcia

Take epicurean (involving an appreciation of fine food and drink), add water, place it in Savannah from August 28-30, 2015, and what do you get? You get AquaCurean, the second annual gourmet seafood, spirits and music celebration, taking place at The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa.

“AquaCurean is an opportunity to showcase exciting trends in seafood and cocktails,” Hilton Head Island resident, co-founder and director of AquaCurean Jan Gourley said. “Savannah’s already well-known for its seafood and availability of to-go drinks. The Westin Savannah wanted to create a weekend event to showcase some of the best in seafood and cocktails throughout the country—an opportunity to highlight local and regional talented chefs and bartenders.”

This isn’t your ordinary Savannah seafood fest, so don’t expect any fried seafood samplings or frozen drinks. AquaCurean offers new and unique experiences for gourmet seafood and cocktail lovers alike.

“You won’t find the typical Savannah tourist fare at AquaCurean,” Gourley said. “But you will find some of the country’s most creative approaches to seafood and mixology.”

Even though it’s only in its second year, AquaCurean welcomes visitors and renowned chefs from all over the country. Here’s your guide to all AquaCurean events:

Coastal Chef’s Table – Friday, August 28
AquaCurean is kicking off the weekend with the Coastal Chef’s Table, featuring live jazz, culinary presentations and cocktail demonstrations by talented, coastal chefs including Paula DaSilva, who is best known for her appearance on season five of Hell’s Kitchen. These culinary masters will fashion a five-course meal right in front of you, with wine and spirit experts designing perfect pairings to accompany each course.

“The chefs participating in AquaCurean are using the freshest, local seafood and ingredients to prepare really exciting dishes,” Gourley said. “Everything from savory preparation of local lionfish to wild Georgia shrimp ceviche and sushi.”

VIP Insider’s Affair – Saturday, August 29
Get up close and personal with these guest chefs as they share their secrets in this exclusive and intimate pre-event. The Insider’s Affair will feature gourmet, small plate samplings, educational culinary and beverage demonstrations, seminars and tastings.

AquaCurean Challenge & Coastal Pop-Up – Saturday, August 29
AquaCurean is taking over The Westin Savannah with live music, seafood tastings, spirit, wine and brew tastings, VIP areas, Flare Bartenders and more. Cheer on your favorite bartenders and their signature drinks as they compete in the hand-crafted cocktail competition.

“It’s very exciting to watch and taste their creativity at work. The fine art of cocktail mixing is an underrated art,” Gourley said. “The bartenders competing in the AquaCurean Cocktail Challenge are infusing their own spirits, bitters and fully embracing ‘Gartending,’ many times from their own gardens or gardens at their restaurants and bars where they work.”

Fresh Catch & Cocktails Jazz Brunch – Sunday, August 30
After an eventful weekend of seafood and spirits, you can relax and enjoy the best that a brunch can offer with live jazz, special seafood preparations and great champagne offerings, all overlooking the scenic views of the Savannah River and downtown Savannah’s Historic River Street. 

Tickets for all events are available online at

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