La Bella Vita salutes all things Italian next Sunday, April 8, at Wine Country Inn.   Edesia: A Palisade Culinary, Wine & Spirits Adventure will offer cooks an opportunity to learn from experienced local chefs how to create iconic dishes.

Although the VIP Luncheon from 11 am to 1 pm is sold out, the main event from 2 to 5 pm offers plenty of entertainment besides the Chef Demos.  Local wineries, distilleries and breweries will be pouring samples to accompany restaurant and food vendor bites.

Edesia, which will benefit Marillac Health, is sponsored by Alpine Bank with St. Mary’s Medical Center|SCL Health and Peach Street Distillery.

Leading off at 2:30 pm, Chef Chris Watson from Ristorante Pantuso will prepare Gnocci Vongole.    At 3:30, Wine Country Inn Chef Dave Kassera will make Italian Sausages.  At 4:30, Chef Vincenzo Favale of Enzo’s Ristorante Italiano will share his recipe for classic Tiramisu.  Samples will be shared in each demonstration in the Club Rooms of the Vintner’s House adjacent to the Pavilion and tented venue.

Live music will entertain throughout the day.   Mike Gazdak on keyboard will provide ambiance for the VIP Luncheon, while Eric Nohe, classical and jazz guitarist, will greet arrivals in the Lobby at 2 pm.  Shaun Ray will enliven the Pavilion/Tent area with guitar and vocals from 2-5 pm.

For shoppers, the Silent Auction in Caroline’s Restaurant is loaded with exotic vacation trips, art, personal items, adventure excursions and generally fun items.   All can be previewed on the website

Ian Kelley, WCI General Manager, says the quantity and quality of goods and services donated this year is exceptional.  “I’d say take a look online before you come.   Bid early and often!” he says.

Media sponsors are KKCO 11 News, The Vault 100.7, Magic 93.1, The Business Times, and Eagle River Associates.

Other sponsors include Shamrock Foods, Peczuh Printing,  Country Elegance Florist,  Event Productions, Suzi Productions, Absolute Prestige Limousine Service,  Oakley-Wanebo-Love-Mendenhall-Keller,  Mark & Cathy Green, Swire Coca Cola USA/Dasani, Rocky Mountain Health Plans, Farmer Brothers Coffee, Reddy ice, Whitewater Building Supplies, Your Way Safety & Sign Supply, Your Sign Company, Lifestyle Studio Booths, Small Occasions,  Dalby Wendland & Co.,  Town of Palisade, Palisade Chamber of Commerce and Wine Country Inn.

Earlier in the day, guests at the sold-out VIP Luncheon will experience a personalized guided tour of Italian regional foods and wines with the bonus of sampling comparable Colorado vintages, thanks to Chef Partner Michael Rodgers, who is also General Manager of Maggiano’s|Little Italy Denver South restaurant.

“We think our guests will appreciate the opportunity to sample unfamiliar Italian wines and then compare those profiles with Colorado wines,” points out Kelley. Spirits, beer and ciders will also be poured at the main event, he reminds.

“Enthusiasm for this year’s Edesia has been great,” Kelley says.  “Our guests are going to enjoy the variety and quality of what our local vendors offer.   We have a lot to be proud of in the Grand Valley.”

Last year Edesia raised $30,000 for MarillacHealth, which serves uninsured and underinsured patients in Mesa County.

Tickets for the Main Event from 2 to 5 pm are available online at through a secure PayPal portal or in person at Wine Country Inn for $65 per person.

Any late purchases this week will not be mailed, but may be picked up at Will Call the day of the event.   Some tickets may be available for walk-ins, but Kelley cautions that a phone call to 970-464-5777 to confirm availability might be wise