Orchid Island Fourth of July Barbecue table
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Red, White and What a View at Orchid Island’s Golf and Beach Club

Posted on: June 28, 2023
Read time: 4 minutes

Read full article featured in Vero Beach Magazine, written by Renae Tesauro.
June 26, 2023

Hosting a memorable Fourth of July barbecue is as easy as apple pie when your backyard is a tropical oasis, and the menu is in the creative hands of a highly seasoned chef.

Native Canadians Steve and Jane Jones have embraced this all-American holiday—and many more—since acquiring their riverfront estate in the member-owned Orchid Island Golf & Beach Club, a private barrier-island community spanning 600 acres between the Atlantic Ocean and Indian River Lagoon. Purchased in March 2020, their 6,200-square-foot British West Indies–style residence has an outdoor living area rivaling that of a premier resort.

two patriotic cocktails
“It’s one of those backyards that’s so unique,” says Steve about the dramatic freeform pool, meandering paths, cabana, private dock, lush vegetation, and expansive loggia for alfresco dining. “When we bought the house, we reached out to the gardener, who had worked with the owner 17 years ago to recreate her vision of Hawaii. He continues to look after the grounds, and it’s kind of a wonderland.” A wonderland well deserved after decades of hard work, including an 18-year career at Coca-Cola Co. and the founding of Fairlife LLC, a health-and-wellness company that produces premium high-protein, ultrafiltered milk products.
orchid island members backyard pool party for 4th of july
The British West Indies-style home of Steve and Jane Jones is a riverfront oasis for friends and family.

Life at Coke was fast-paced and dynamic, Steve admits, as he assumed marketing and operational roles in Atlanta, London, Tokyo, and Houston, before his final job as corporate chief marketing officer. At 46, he wanted more entrepreneurial challenges. This wish led to several private equity deals and, ultimately, the launch of Fairlife, an experience he describes as the most rewarding of his business life.

patriotic table set up

By 2018, the Joneses were ready for a simpler but equally engaging life in Florida. They didn’t know the Sunshine State very well, so they spent the next two years exploring towns and communities, only to discover that life at Orchid Island checked all the boxes.

“You can’t beat living here,” says Steve. “It offers both ocean and Intracoastal living and a small but engaging community nestled around a great Arnold Palmer golf course. Add in excellent racquet sports, a fitness and wellness center, clubs and activities, and wonderful food and dining experiences, and it’s second to none.”

In 2020, the Joneses decided a riverfront property at Orchid Island was a perfect fit for their active and social lifestyle. “The river is full of life,” says Steve. “Between the pleasure craft, the yachts, the birds, and the dolphins, there is nonstop entertainment out there.”

“The house is on the larger side, so it’s far livelier when people are here,” he adds. “We’ve had parties for 50 to 100 guests with half inside and half outside and many people walking to the dock to look at dolphins. It’s a very versatile property.”

For their Fourth of July celebration, the Joneses planned a more intimate backyard gathering with seasonal, locally sourced cuisine prepared by Orchid Island’s Executive Chef Chris Sozio as well as colorful cocktails and mocktails created by Food and Beverage Director Alex Heater.

cooking the celebration meal

The all-American menu includes a garden salad composed of locally sourced baby lettuce, pickled heirloom carrots, and sweet peppers from Pepper Trail Farm; pickled cucumbers and assorted heirloom tomatoes from Aunt Zorada Farm; preserved apricots; and goat cheese tartines—all tossed in a luscious green goddess dressing.

full dinner plate
For the mains, Sozio fires up the outdoor grill to prepare Florida lobster tails and jumbo prawns with island spice butter and grilled lemons, prime bistro steak with citrus herb salsa, and chicken paillard with Donna’s corn relish.

For a light, no-fuss dessert, Sozio created a patriotic parfait of macerated strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries layered with vanilla bean and Orchid Island Honey–whipped cream cheese, presented with a gluten-free chocolate pecan cookie.

Sozio, who has been pleasing discerning palates at Orchid Island since 2014, says, “Our commitment to using locally sourced products as often as possible even extends to an often-used sweetener. We have beehives on the property from which honey is extracted, bottled, and sold in our pro shops as Orchid Island Honey. It’s become a popular staple in our club’s kitchens and in the homes of many of our members.”

Steve and Jane Jones, Megan and Rick Briggs, and David Prothro.
Steve and Jane Jones, Megan and Rick Briggs, and David Prothro.

Good food, good friends, and a backyard with an expansive water view. Sounds like a recipe for a memorable Fourth of July as well as a happy retirement!

To view the festive Fourth of July recipes, read full article here.

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