2018 Food & Wine Festival Participants

We’re proud to host some of the best culinary talent in the country. Our expert chefs will tantalize your taste buds and our unmatched global wine selections will make for a truly memorable experience. Enjoy unique culinary stylings alongside beautiful Lake Oconee.

Check back soon for an updated list of 2018 participants!

Featured

Vintner

FOR YOUR TASTING PLEASURE WE PROUDLY PRESENT:

Silver Oak

From A Bold Idea Comes A New Frontier In Winemaking.

The Story of Silver Oak

Silver Oak

Raymond Twomey Duncan, a Colorado entrepreneur who began investing in California vineyards in the late 1960s, and Justin Meyer, a winemaker and former Christian Brother, began in a Napa Valley dairy barn in 1972, producing only 1,100 cases of their inaugural vintage.

Over the next two decades, Silver Oak grew in popularity. Our Napa Valley and Alexander Valley Cabernets sold quickly upon their release from the winery and became a sought-after staple on restaurant wine lists around the country. After selecting Daniel Baron to succeed him as winemaker in 1994, Justin retired, selling his share of Silver Oak to the Duncan family in 2001.

In 2006, a fire destroyed our historic Oakville winery. It was a difficult and emotional event; but in hindsight, a blessing in disguise. When we regrouped on the morning of the fire, we knew we had to rebuild, and it wasn’t long before the excitement of a new, state-of-the-art winery overcame our sense of loss.

Today, we are applying this experience from our LEED Platinum Oakville winery toward a new winery in the Alexander Valley. Set amidst 70 acres of estate vineyards along the rolling foothills of the Mayacamas mountains, our new Alexander Valley winery – set to open for harvest 2017 – will push industry design and innovation standards through alternative energy sources, innovative water reuse systems and reclaimed building materials.

With David R. Duncan serving as President and CEO and Tim Duncan as Executive Vice President, the Duncan family continues to operate the winery to this day.

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Participating Chefs

The Festival's Chef Lineup for 2018 is Coming Soon!

Big Bites

Our Festival Chef participants and bios will be ready soon!

Merci Beaucoup Cakes will be participating in the 2018 food and wine festival.

Reva Alexander

Chef & Owner

Merci Beaucoup Cakes | Eatonton, Georgia
At The Grand Tasting

Upon launching Merci Beaucoup, a cake and pastry business, Reva rapidly achieved a reputation for creating innovative and tantalizing confections. This stellar reputation led to appearances on top-rated television shows and media coverage by leading national publications.

She has appeared on WEtv, E! Entertainment Network, Food Network UK, Style Network, Duff Goldman’s new series “Duff till Dawn” and has won the Food Network’s “Cake Wars.” Reva has been features in an extensive list of magazines and industry-leading tradeshows.

Reva’s never-ending pursuit of excellence has led her to tackle new challenges that include expanding her operations to the East coast, developing a book and sharing her decades of insights and knowledge by teaching the craft of baking.

Teri Blevins

Owner

Lil' Bit of Heaven Cupcakes | St. Albans, West Virginia
At The Grand Tasting

Teri Blevins started her culinary career creating snacks for her siblings and their friends in exchange for doing her chores in her hometown of St. Albans, WV. Known as the Food Mom, Teri has had a lifelong passion for baking and cooking. In 2010, Teri entered Duncan Hines Red Carpet Cupcake Challenge and she placed in the top 10 nationally. The result was a flurry of inquiries, and Lil’ Bit of Heaven Cupcakes was born on August 1, 2010!

Lil’ Bit of Heaven Cupcakes has grown into one of the most successful bakeries in WV and in 2016, Lil’ Bit of Heaven Cupcakes moved into a beautiful historic brick and mortar bakery on Main Street in St. Albans. In the last ten months over 10,000 happy customers have enjoyed Gourmet Cupcakes, Heavenwiches (Gourmet Cookie Sandwiches) homemade pepperoni rolls, scones, cakes, cheesecakes and more.

Teri has provided cupcakes for Paula Deen’s Bag Lady Foundation Fundraiser in Lake Oconee, GA, Jennifer Garner’s Flood Relief Fundraiser, has been named to the 101 Most Unique Places to Dine in WV, and has been named #24 out of the Best 101 Cupcakes in the US by the Dailymeal.com. Local awards include Best of Taste and Peoples Choice at the 2016 Sweet Charity Dessert Competition. Teri is thrilled to be at the 2017 Food and Wine Festival and can’t wait to bring a taste of WV to Georgia!

Griffin Buffkin

Proprietor

Southern Soul Barbeque | St. Simons Isl. GA
At The Brew & Que

Griffin Bufkin, proprietor of coastal Georgia smoke joint Southern Soul Barbeque, grew up on St. Simons Island, where he is a third generation Islander and passionate curator of some of the Southeast’s best barbeque. He spent his college and post-graduate years in the fields of design, photography and video production, followed by a long career in the music business, running several local venues and working as a talent booker and manager.

Bufkin’s appreciation for Southern food traditions was born when he cooked at venerable Island kitchen Frannie’s Place, where he developed culinary skills using a modern, healthy approach. Signature dishes at Frannie’s Place inspired several of Southern Soul Barbeque’s most popular sides, including Brunswick stew and Hoppin’ John. In the early 2000s, Bufkin was hosting charity bluegrass suppers with a friend, Pitmaster Harrison Sapp, while tending bar at local pub Palm Coast. When the pub’s sub-leased kitchen became available, the two jumped at the opportunity to establish Southern Soul Barbeque, which later relocated to their current space in a refurbished gas station in the heart of the island. Bufkin’s main goal through Southern Soul Barbeque is to spread the gospel of Southern foodways and Slow Food while continuing to offer some of the Southeast’s finest smoked meats and sides.

Casey Burchfield will host the Go Wild! Game & Beer Dinner at Lake Oconee Food & Wine Festival.

Casey Burchfield

Chef de Cuisine

Linger Longer Steakhouse | Greensboro, Georgia
At the Go Wild! Game & Beer Dinner

Casey Burchfield is Chef de Cuisine, Linger Longer Steak House at The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee where he oversees culinary operations and menu creation. A professional chef for 10 years, Burchfield grew up amid the magnificent countryside of Western New York. He takes great pleasure in the infusion of local seasonal ingredients and deep-rooted family traditions into his culinary dishes and is dedicated to providing a dining experience highlighting quality ingredients in a fun, modern way.

Burchfield launched his culinary passion at Pelican Marsh Country Club in Naples, Florida. Burchfield then returned home, gaining valuable experience at the historic Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York. Burchfield earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Food Service Management at Johnson and Wales University. During his studies in Charlotte, he pursued culinary excellence at the Westin Charlotte hotel under Chef Michael Treanor. From Charlotte, Chef Burchfield moved to Los Angeles to join the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining team for the reopening of the iconic Hotel Bel-Air. His work there offered him his first Sous Chef position, where he learned from some of the best chefs in the business.

After moving back east, he began his journey with The Ritz-Carlton brand in downtown Atlanta. This move eventually led him to Lake Oconee where he was previously the Chef of Banquets and Catering.

Casey enjoys shredding local mountain bike trails and kayaking on the beautiful Lake Oconee and spending time outdoors with his future wife, Morgan, and their two dogs, Dakota and Todd.

Chef Corrado

Executive Chef and Owner

da Corrado Ristorante | Greensboro, GA
At The Grand Tasting

Corrado Corrias is a native of Sardegna, Italy. He started his career in the food industry in Rome when he was 18, working for Ciampini in Piazza Navona. He then moved to Chicago and managed two successful restaurants, before moving to Georgia. He helped open the Ritz Carlton Reynolds Plantation in 2002 shortly after marrying his wife April, a native of Madison, Ga. In 2010, Corrado opened his own restaurant based on the recipes of his mother, Giovanna. Da Corrado Ristorante has since undergone two expansions and has become a favorite with locals and tourists alike, offering everything from Baked Sea Bass in salt to authentic Italian brick oven pizzas. Corrado is passionate about doing his best to ensure his guests are happy, well-fed, and having fun!

Alex Davidson

Chef

Georgia Butts BBQ | Eatonton, Georgia
At The Brew & Que

Alex Davidson began his journey with no professional cooking experience but he loved cooking for family and friends in the backyard. After tasting his delicious food, a few friends and a church group encouraged him to open a part-time BBQ shack, and Georgia Butts BBQ was created on Oct. 3, 2010.

In the beginning Georgia Butts was only open a few days a week, but today it’s open for 6 days a week. Recently, Georgia Butts moved to a new and bigger location on Lake Oconee with boat slips, drive thru and enough room inside to sit 60 people. Georgia Butts BBQ has come a long way in 7 years, from a little shack to a full-service restaurant. Alex appreciates all his loyal customers over the years!

Cef DeBernardo prepares a dish by the hearth oven at the pine restaurant.

Scott DeBernardo

Chef

The Pine Food & Drink | Athens, Georgia
At The Grand Tasting

Amidst the hustle and bustle of the popular 5 Points neighborhood in Athens, Georgia, you can find The Pine Food & Drink. Opened in 2014, The Pine is a Southern-inspired, globally-influenced, hearth-bake restaurant with strong ties to the area. The eclectic following of The Pine, from both the staff and regular patrons, is well known to Athens locals but something that needs to be experienced more than just read about for tourists and passersby.

The menu at The Pine focuses on using high-quality, local ingredients to turn out signature dishes, many prepared in the wood-fired hearth in the middle of the restaurant. This open atmosphere has created a unique sense of community where everyone can feel at home while sharing great meals and great drinks with friends, family, and strangers alike.

Whether you are ready for lunch, dinner, or a special Sunday brunch, The Pine has a mouth-watering menu available Tuesday through Sunday. From their Spicy Southern Fried Chicken sandwich served on a brioche roll, to Roasted Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Flatbread, and Blackened Shrimp & Grits, the offerings will delightfully surprise you. Sunday mornings bring out biscuit sandwiches, homemade gravy, and other culinary delights that pair well with a mimosa or hand-crafted Bloody Mary. Be sure to check out The Pine at this year’s festival, you won’t be disappointed!

James & Joy Kuper

Chefs & Owners

Sweet Kneads Bakery and Café | Eatonton, GA
At The Grand Tasting

Sweet Kneads has great things in store for the 2018 festival! Chef & owner James Kuper has invited three of his former culinary comrades to join him in presenting a mouthwatering selection of gourmet treats at this year’s Grand Tasting. The Sweet Kneads booth is a not-to-be-missed experience.

Chef James Kuper: Passionate about food from an early age, Chef Kuper worked in kitchens and restaurants beginning in high school. On graduating from culinary school he began his career as a chef with the Ritz-Carlton of Naples, FL, alongside Chef Roy Khoo. Chef Kuper owns and operates Sweet Kneads with his wife, Joy.

Chef Roy Khoo: Beginning as a bicycle delivery boy for a catering service in Malaysia, Chef Khoo spent 18 years with the Ritz-Carlton Group around the globe, working as everything from Assistant Chef Garde manger to Executive Chef, showcasing kitchen artistry skills along the way. He is currently Executive Chef and Director of Culinary for Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Georgia.

Chef Leon Teow: Food preparation has always been in Chef Teow’s life, beginning at age 6 helping with his mother’s catering business. A graduate of the Penang Culinary Association in Malaysia, he worked at fine locations around the world before joining the Ritz-Carlton Group for a 10-year stretch. Today he is Executive Chef at Loew’s Portofino Bay Hotel in Orlando, Florida.

Chef Charles Metheny: As a graduate of Capital Culinary Institute of Keiser University, Chef Metheny’s education spanned all facets of the kitchen process from assembling the equipment to preparing a meal for a US President. He has worked for many award-winning locations and operated his own catering business for nine years. He now shares his skills at the Rhode Island Country Club.

Sweet Kneads serves the Lake Oconee Area with fresh baked pastries, signature quiches, and their world-class chicken salad. Their menu includes an array of specialty sandwiches, delicious soups, and an all-day breakfast menu.

Last Resort Grill restaurant logo, participating in food and wine festival.

Last Resort Grill

Restaurant

Last Resort Grill | Athens, Georgia
At The Grand Tasting

The Last Resort Grill serves southwestern-inspired cuisine in Athens, Georgia. Known for an exciting array of foods that complement Athens distinctive character, Last Resort chefs celebrate their southern roots by preparing menus with unique twists, inspired by local ingredients. The flavors of their unique fare extends from farmers, growers, and bakers that call Athens home. Using traditional methods such as open fire, grilling, brining, pickling and preserving, The Last Resort has had a long-standing commitment to serving the finest food to the local community.

The original Last Resort opened as a music club in 1966. The club hosted passionate performers such as the Reverend Pearly Brown, Towns Van Zandt, Doc Watson, Jimmy Buffet and Steve Martin. Today, this passion is reflected in the Last Resort menu, which draws directly from the room’s eclectic history. The Last Resort prides itself on its commitment to serving the local community and supporting the growth and preservation of Athens.

Edward Mendoza

Executive Chef

Cucina 503 | Augusta, Georgia
At The Grand Tasting

Edward Mendoza’s ingenuity and creativity can be found at Cucina 503 in Augusta, Georgia. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Augusta State University, and a degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson Wales University in Vail, Colorado. He began his culinary career as line cook in Vail and then moved to Charleston, South Carolina where he worked at Louis’s, renowned for their “Southern Fine Dining.” While working for Chef Louis Osteen, Edward perfected how to add a southern twist to classic French techniques.

Edward then moved to Southern California, and was the executive chef at La Palapa Del Mar in Long Beach. In 2003, he moved to Dallas and worked at several of the most distinguished restaurants in the city: Nana Grill under Chef David McMillan and as sous chef at Lola the Restaurant. During his tenure at Lola, D Magazine voted Lola the Best in Dallas two years in a row and received five stars from the “Dallas Morning News.” In 2006, Edward opened Kitchen 1924 and during his time there was published in Bon Appetit as a “Rising Star Chef.” From there, he went to Bijoux, helping the restaurant achieve five stars, be voted as best restaurant in 2006 by the “Dallas Morning News,” and appear in Bon Appetit Top 10.

From there, he became the opening chef and a teacher at the Le Cordon Blue School of Culinary Arts in Dallas. During his time there, he attended the LCB International Training Center in Ottawa, Canada where he learned classic techniques of cooking French cuisine. He continues to attend the International Star Chefs Congress in New York, an annual three-day culinary symposium where the most influential, innovative chefs present the latest techniques and culinary concepts.

Edward has extensive experience in catering corporate events. He has been corporate chef for The Masters, The U.S. Open, The Kentucky Derby, The Super Bowl, and The Salt Lake City Olympics.

Derin Moore

Executive Chef

Reynolds Lake Oconee | Greensboro, Georgia
At The Grand Tasting

Prior to joining the team at Reynolds Lake Oconee, Chef Moore led culinary operations at the prestigious Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Turnberry Isle in Miami, Florida, and the flagship Ritz-Carlton Resorts of Naples, Florida, where he maintained Mobile Five Star and AAA Five Diamond status for four seasons. In 2003, Chef Moore was recognized by the American Culinary Federation as a Certified Master Chef – the highest level of certification available.

Moore has made a name for himself on an international stage. For nearly a decade, Chef Moore was selected to represent the United States in international competitions including the highly regarded World Culinary Olympics in Germany. Overall, he has received 13 international awards and more than 30 medals domestically.

Since joining the Reynolds team in 2015, Chef Moore has opened the award winning Tavern at The National Village.

Chef Brandon Peterson will prepare an amazing

Brandon Peterson

Restaurant Chef

Gaby’s by the Lake | Greensboro, Georgia
At The Go Wild! Game & Beer Dinner

Chef Brandon Peterson serves as Chef de Cuisine of Gaby’s by the Lake at The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee. Chef Brandon oversees culinary operations and menu creation for the restaurant and poolside menu, which features a very popular taco cart.

Peterson attended Johnson and Wales where he earned his Associates degree in Culinary Arts. Chef Peterson takes great pride in the dishes he creates, keeping them simple and creative and allowing each ingredient to speak for itself. He enjoys cooking comfort food using old family methods learned from his grandmother. Peterson grew up in rural Missouri, making fresh pickles and preserving fresh jams—he continues to do this today, adding personal touches to his dishes.

Prior to coming to The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee, Peterson began his career seven years ago at The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte. He then joined the JW Marriot Grand Lakes where he held various culinary positions in both banquets and restaurants, including overseeing the brewery on property that provided housecraft beer for their brewpub.

In his spare time, Chef Peterson enjoys spending time with his wife, Katie and their two young children, Cooper and Iris. He continues to enjoy brewing beer.

Shannon Stubbs with custom baked cakes in milledgeville, ga.

Shannon Stubbs

Chef & Owner

Slice Custom Cakes | Milledgeville, Georgia
At The Brew & Que

“Cakes are my Passion!”

Shannon Stubbs, owner of Slice is madly in love with cake decorating. Each of her cake creations is made from scratch, using only the finest ingredients.

Shannon started Slice in 2009 with big dreams and a passion for cake art. She is the sole baker, decorator and designer for Slice. Shannon is family-trained; her mother is owner of LisaMae Cakes in Macon, Georgia. Through her mom’s years of recipe testing and cake creation and with her blessings, Shannon created Slice. Shannon loves sharing her mom’s passion for creating “edible art.” It is also through her mom that she learned to never compromise on quality—Shannon prides herself on using the best ingredients available and she pours her heart and soul into each one of her cakes.

Slice services middle Georgia as well as the Lake Oconee and Lake Sinclair areas.

Eric Thomas

Pitmaster

The Rolling Grill | Atlanta, Georgia
At The Brew & Que

After years of cooking and catering delicious BBQ for family, friends, and some cooking in the restaurant industry, Eric decided to take his show on the road and in 2004, The Rolling Grill BBQ was born.

Eric currently travels around cooking Award Winning Championship BBQ in various BBQ competitions across the country. His vast knowledge of BBQ and grilling has provided him the opportunity to compete on hit television shows like BBQ Pitmasters Seasons 4 and 5 and BBQ Pit-wars Season 2. Eric has written a book titled, How to Start a Home-Based Food Truck Business, published in July 2012.

Eric has also had the opportunity to be 1 of 30 pit masters from around the country that serves as a Barbecue Brand Ambassador for Kraft’s ‘Garland Jack Secret Six BBQ Sauce, and has worked with companies including Western Premium BBQ Products, Stubbs BBQ Sauce, Tyson’s Chicken, Coca Cola and more!

Eric is a Certified Kansas City Barbecue Society Judge and shares his years of cooking knowledge by offering BBQ 101 & Advance Pitmaster cooking classes around the country.

Eric Wisham

Chef & Owner

Wisham Jellies | Tifton, Georgia
At The Brew & Que

With the help of a throwback recipe, peppers from his garden, and a passion for grilling, Eric Wisham began getting creative with his pepper jelly batches during the summer of 2012. After a busy summer spent at his local farmers market in downtown Tifton, Georgia, in October 2013, Eric began his peppery journey to create and make Wisham Jellies for store shelves. Wisham Jellies Pepper Jellies are handmade with whole peppers and fruits, and keeps their ingredient list short and sweet!

Wisham Jellies can be used as a last minute glaze for meats and vegetables on the grill, to create a peppery vinaigrette for salads, or as a spicy kick to your favorite cocktail. You’ll find heat + sweet in every jar!

Wisham’s signature flavors are Cranberry (2015 Flavor of GA Winner), Wild Mayhaw (2016 Flavor of GA Winner), Fire!, Mango, Peachy Peach, Pineapple and Strawlapeño, Blazing Blueberry, and Orange Ginger.

Little Bites

Check back soon to see who will provide scrumptious hors d'oeuvres at the 2018 Festival events.

Participating Wineries & Distilleries

These distinguished vintners will be presenting their craft

2018 FESTIVAL WINERIES AND DISTRIBUTORS

Enjoy our delectable wines and spirits from global, national, and regional wineries and distilleries. Our 2018 line-up will include over 200 varieties for your tasting pleasure!

Entertainment Served Fresh!

Featured

Artist

The Lake Oconee Food and Wine Festival Presents:

Eric Dodd

A Lake Oconee Native Taking the Nation by Storm

Read About Eric Dodd

About Eric Dodd

“When I write, I try to envision my live show and how the songs will translate to my fans. Personally, I’m in a really good place right now, and I am sure my new material reflects that. I am so excited to get these tunes out to everyone soon.”

Eric Dodd, MV2 Entertainment singer-songwriter, CMT Discovery Artist, and Greensboro, Georgia native took his time moving to Nashville. He wanted to learn the road first by playing shows wherever there were people willing to listen. He wanted to know how it felt to travel and sleep in a van with a band and give it all to the grind… to the music. For his first four years full-time in the music business, Dodd played over 500 shows by making his rounds on the SEC college circuit and around Georgia all while honing his songwriting skills. Between 2011 and 2014, he released four albums independently to his loyal, grassroots following, and the word kept spreading and still is. “It’s like a muscle, you have to keep working it. Whether it’s writing songs or playing shows, it’s all about getting to the people and keeping in touch with them.”

Growing up a talented golfer, Dodd earned a golf scholarship to Georgia College and State University. Although golf was his first love, he was more was in love with music.

In 2015, Dodd began working with one of his best buddies and high school bandmate, Jesse Triplett (Collective Soul’s lead guitarist) who produced Dodd’s 2016 release, ‘FUN / FIRE/ RAIN.’ Later that year, Eric was picked as a CMT Discovery Artist. Dodd’s video for the party anthem, “Outskirts” reached the #1 spot on CMT’s 12-Pack Countdown twice. The singer-songwriter’s positive vibe and feel good lyrics combined with the soothing tone of his voice and impassioned guitar skills is continuing to win over crowds wherever he plays. “I always aim for my shows to be engaging. Music is an escape from reality, and I want to give people that and take them on a trip during the hour I get with them,” he explains.

Dodd has shared the stage with Jake Owen, Old Dominion, Sam Hunt, Zac Brown Band, and most recently Sister Hazel, Corey Smith and Cole Swindell. “Opening up for Sister Hazel’s sold out show at the Georgia Theatre in Athens (Georgia) has to be one of my favorite moments onstage. I earned my music business degree from UGA so it was one of those full circle moments,” says Dodd. Stay tuned for updates on Eric Dodd’s new release hitting Spotify and iTunes early 2018.

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Thomas

Arvid

ENCAPSULATING THE SPIRIT OF WINE

Thomas Arvid

AMERICA'S PREEMINENT PAINTER OF WINE

read about thomas arvid

Live Entertainment

Enjoy national and local talent as you feast your way through tasty food and hundreds of wines! Updates on 2018 Festival musicians and live entertainment coming soon!

Award winning musician Matt Rogers pictured in a rustic setting with his guitar. Hear Matt Rogers performing live at the lake oconee food & wine festival.

Matt Rogers

Musician

Performing at The Grand Tasting

Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) Top-40 songwriter and Georgia Country Awards Overall Artist of the Year, Matt Rogers, is no stranger to the stage. With over 200 performances a year and opening for some of country music’s hottest names, including Cole Swindell, Lo Cash and Michael Ray, Matt has built a devout fan base with his electrifying stage presence.

When Rogers isn’t on the road he is writing music with some of Nashville’s best songwriters. NSAI and CMT selected his song “I Was Raised” for a songwriting achievement award. It went on to be selected by NSAI as a Top 40 song and secured him a finalist spot for the Georgia Music Awards for Country Male Artist and Music Video of the Year. “Read My Mind” was selected as an official entry into the International Songwriters Competition.

The Georgia native creates a connection with his listeners through his emotionally gripping lyrics and unmistakable melodies. 2018 is shaping up to be another groundbreaking year for Rogers. He started the year by debuting the lyric video for his second single, “Britches,” exclusively on the popular country music outlet, The Boot. The release followed many career milestones in 2017, including becoming the first Brand Ambassador for Durango Boots.

Market Place Vendors

Simply the best in local and regional artists, food, wine and more!

Participating Market Place Vendors

The Market Place is brought to you by Fiji Water.

Stay tuned as we continue to confirm The Market Place vendors!

Become A Sponsor

Tiered spsonsorship levels make it affordable to support local charities and earn some recognition!
Learn About Sponsorships

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