Stay tuned for event information and exciting details for the 9th Annual 2018 Savor the Season Fundraising Event benefiting the Taylor Haugen Foundation! Check back in the early Spring 2018 for updates.

Also, please visit our Foundation’s website to learn more about the Taylor Haugen Foundation and its mission, story and programs:

a Look Back at the 2017 Event

Emerald Grande at Harbor Walk Village

Come join the Taylor Haugen Foundation on Friday, October 27th, for our 8th Annual Savor the Season Fundraising Event! We invite you to experience one of the areas most anticipated fundraising events of the year!

Enjoy decadent food tastings from some of the gulf coast’s finest chefs, paired with savory wine, and talented music entertainment. With an extraordinary silent & live auction, wine pool, and great company you are sure to have an unforgettable evening!

This year we have some new and exciting changes! We have moved locations and will now be hosting the 8th Annual Savor the Season Fundraising Event at the majestic Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village in Destin Florida. With one of the most stunning locations on the Emerald Coast backdropped with views of the harbor, gulf, marina, and island this sunset view will surely enhance this extravagant evening!

We invite you to join us at this one-of-a-kind fundraising event benefiting the Taylor Haugen Foundation!

Emerald Grande at Harbor Walk Village

Get Special Pricing! The Emerald Grande is Destin’s shining jewel overlooking some of the most marvelous turquoise water and sugar sand beaches in the country.

Special Room Rates
  • Emerald Grande Pool Deck
  • Emerald Grande Ocean View
  • View Of Emerald Grande from Harbor
  • Harbor Walk Sunset

Chefs & Menus

Chef Christopher Holbrook of Signature Catering

Chef Christopher Holbrook
Signature Catering

In his career, Holbrook has trained under three European chefs — from England, France, and Ireland – but credits local luminaries like Tim Creehan for giving serving as valuable mentors as well.

“That’s one of the things I love about my job now, is the opportunity to work with young chefs and pass my knowledge and techniques on to them,” Holbrook said. “The first chef I worked for, he gave me copies of all his CIA (Culinary Institute of America) books, all his notes and took me to a place where I was inspired to serve great food. It’s a rewarding situation to be able to give that back. He graduated in 1998 from Johnson & Wales University from their culinary arts program.

Before becoming the general manager of Another Broken Egg, Holbrook was the executive chef at Infiniti Dining Group in Atlanta, responsible for developing Sage Woodfire Tavern into a Jezebel top 100 Restaurant, which it hadn’t achieved in its first four years of business, as well as being the chef and owner of Signature Catering in Atlanta.

He has served as a consulting chef for an exclusive club in the Bahamas, as a private chef for New Orleans mogul Al Copeland and Ford Motor Company executive Michael Dingman. He has also worked in landmark restaurants Beaumont’s and Kiawah Island Resort in Charleston, S.C., where he had the opportunity to cater the 1997 World Cup of Golf and 1998 Federation Cup of Tennis, as well as personally cook for President George W. Bush. Locally, he has worked at many fine Destin restaurants, from Beachwalk Café to Rutherford’s 465.

“I’ve had some wonderful opportunities that I wouldn’t trade for the world, to work with other people who really care about food and want to create great food,” Holbrook said. But one of the greatest lessons that he’s learned is that it isn’t all about just the passion for food, being successful in the culinary industry is also about being good at business. Holbrook has also built a solid reputation as a “fixer,” someone who can come in and deliver consistency and efficiency, who can reduce food costs while improving a restaurant’s prestige.

So now he has focused on bringing his talents to private guests, couple’s wanting the best for their special day, and working with many concierge’s to provide their guests that special occasion. “Working for myself again and focusing on the guests, is rewarding beyond belief on so many levels. Now I can bring the best restaurant on the coast right to your house and the food is executed before your eyes, which is something I’m very proud of.”

Chef Ruston Johnson - Ruth Chris

Chef Ruston Johnson
Ruth Chris Steak House

Chef Ruston Johnson was born in St. Cloud, Minnesota. At the tender age of four his family moved south to Henderson, Kentucky to escape the harsh Northern winters. His interest in cooking originated there while watching cooking shows at the age of fourteen.

Before Ruston started his culinary career he worked for his dad in construction. “I could see the happiness in his eyes as he built a dream house for people. I liked seeing people happy when you do a job and do it right and what better way than cooking. I get to see happy faces when I cook,” says Ruston. His first kitchen experience was as a teenager at a few fast food restaurants and a steak house.

Relocating to Tallahassee, Florida in his senior year of high school Ruston enlisted in the United States Coast Guard. Stationed in Michigan on a small icebreaker on the Great Lakes he replaced the ship’s chef while he was on vacation. The Captain was so impressed with Russ that he told chef to go back to cooking school and replaced him with Ruston. Later, Ruston became the chef of the Polar Sea a larger Coast Guard cutter. While sailing the seven seas he passed through the Panama Canal three times and traveled the world visiting 12 countries along the way.

After his service with the Coast Guard, Ruston attended Johnson & Wales in Norfolk, Virginia. Upon graduation he interned at the Elephant Walk in the Sandestin Resort. Chef Johnson worked at some of the most well known restaurants along the Emerald Coast including the Sandestin Hilton, Frangista, Cafe Grazie, and Louisiana Lagniappe. Chef Johnson started with the famous New Orleans based Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Destin, FL in 2006 where he remains the Executive Chef.

Chef Laurie Graupner - Seagars

Chef Laurie Graupner
Seagars Prime Steaks

Dinner Information will go here

Featured Chef Videos

Want to learn about the chefs behind the delicious food at the event? Watch the featured chef’s videos below!



Taylor Haugen Savor The Season Event at Emerald Grande in Destin