Bud & Alley’s Waterfront Restaurant located in Seaside, Florida on 30A has been a weekly tradition for my family as long as I can remember. Living just steps away from this weathered Gulf front restaurant for so many years has been a joy, so much so, that we donated our historic family Tarpon that hangs above the bar when our kids were attending Seaside Middle School. Bud & Alley’s Waterfront Restaurant  beckons locals and tourists alike, and it is easy to get lost in the ease of the upstairs deck famed for sipping cocktails while watching the sun dip below the horizon.


But…something else exciting is happening at Bud & Alley’s in Seaside this week: On May 8th at 7 p.m., owner Dave Rauschkolb has again generously donated the beautiful downstairs restaurant space to host Celebrated New Orleans Chef and Down South cookbook author Donald Link, who will be featuring his pre fixe wine dinner for Food For Thought charity. I met Chef Link a couple of times in the corse of ten plus years and stayed current on the food scene when moving to South Walton by way of New Orleans many , many years ago.

So, I know this is a four-course culinary adventure one will not to miss! Dinner begins with local Blue Crab Beignets with White Remoulade, Savory Pork Rillion with Onion Jam and fluffy Cheddar Bacon Gougeres. The first course includes a Beach House Ceviche and Grilled Florida Gulf Deep Water Royal Reds. The second course features Braised Lamb with Lemon & Olives, and Fresh Mint Couscous. Lemon Blackberry Tart and McGaw’s Chocolate Cookies (named after a diner that at Links first restaurant each Saturday) will offer up a sweet ending. Select wines will be thoughtfully paired with each course.

Frank Patti from Pensacola discovered Royal Reds in the 1960's
Did you know that Frank Patti of Pensacola’s Joe Patti’s  discovered Royal Reds in the 1960’s?  Photo: Jack Gardner

Limited tickets will be sold for this special occasion dinner and event with Donald Link at $125 per person, including tax and gratuity. To purchase tickets, email Elijah Shelly at elijah@budandalleys.com or call (850) 231-5900. For more information call Bud & Alley’s Waterfront Restaurant at (850) 231-5900 or visit www.budandalleys.com. All guests will also receive a complimentary copy of Chef Link’s second cookbook, Down South: Bourbon, Pork, Gulf Shrimp & Second Helpings of Everything, (Clarkson Potter, $35), written with Paula Disbrowe and with luscious photographs by Chris Granger.

Recognized as one of New Orleans’ preeminent chefs, Chef Link has peppered the streets of the once dilapidated Warehouse District with several distinctive and beautiful restaurants over the past 13 years. Herbsaint, a contemporary take on the French-American “bistro,” was Link’s first restaurant and helped earn him a James Beard Award for Best Chef (South, 2007). Cochon, opened with chef-partner Stephen Stryjewski, offering true Cajun and Southern cooking, and Peche Seafood Grill, is Links newest venture that opened this year in a gorgeous rustic setting where whole Gulf fish roasted over live fire can be ordered and oyster shuckers are always a reach away. I’ve been three times and can’t say enough good things about Peche.

Sidenote: As of May 5th, 2014 Peche Seafood Grill won Best New Chef and Best New Restaurant at the James Beard Foundation Awards!


Celebrated Chef Donald Link
Celebrated Chef Donald Link Photo: Chris Granger

The James Beard Foundation also nominated Link for the prestigious award of Outstanding Chef in 2012 and 2013. For his commitment to the industry, the Louisiana Restaurant Association honored Link by naming him Restaurateur of the Year in 2012.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Food for Thought, to help fight local childhood hunger. Its small volunteer team provides backpacks filled with easy-to-make meals so children can focus on their development and education… not where the next meal is coming from.

Click here to read more about Bud & Alley’s Waterfront Restaurant on 30AEATS.com. Look for a Down South Dinner wrap up & recipe share soon!

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