Did you listen to me when I told you that, you must come? Did you buy your tickets in time? Did you catch the amazing 2 for price of 1 deal on Groupon? Or did you miss the golden opportunity?
Greenwich Food & Wine Festival 2013, was the BEST EVER! It’s popularity has really grown (hard to believe that its just the third year) and it is now starting to pull amazing talent both locally as well as nationally. The festival is such a comprehensive study of our local culinary landscape, with a hearty dose of celebrity chefs the we all know and love.
There was so much to do at the festival this year. I want to share some of my personal favorites. So here goes:
The friday night Grand Tasting just blew me away! It was so well done! A handful of local star-chefs (like Bill Taibe, Tim Lablant, Rui Correia, Debra Ponzek...) were invited to present their culinary talents to about 450 people in attendance. I loved how each chef’s station was set up like a mini-restaurant. You walk up to the station and take a seat. The food came to you almost instantaneously .... in real bowls and plates (no paper or plastic goods)! As you enjoy the tasting by the chef, you could chat with him or her about anything and everything. Done?... ready for more? Just get up and walk over to the next mini-restaurant. So classy and so much fun!
All day, Saturday, was the main festival. The Culinary Village was huge, and yet jam packed with people as well as food and wine purveyors. If you ask me, it was a bit too crowded for my taste. I hope folks at Serendipity think up some creative ways to disperse the crowds a bit next year - or maybe get an even bigger tent. There was so much food to taste from all the area restaurants .. that it is virtually impossible to eat it all. My strategy: I went for only those samplings that sounded out of the ordinary.
You may remember me telling you in my past blog posts that cooking classes at Clarke Kitchens in SONO are like my dream come true.... how perfect that Clarke Kitchens sponsored the two Culinary Demo Tents at the festival. The line-up of chef demos was phenomenal this year. Richard Blais, Dale Talde, Michael Psilakis, Graham Elliot, Duff Goldman (Ace of Cakes), Francois Payard....!!! I LOVED the line-up and made sure to catch my faves during the course of the day.
This year saw the addition of Burgers, BBQ & Beer Tent. All the major players were there: yow know, names like Bobby Q’s and Dinosaur BBQ .... but I felt that this tent was way too small for the number of people that showed up this year. The lines were long and it was just too crowded to be fun. :-(
My dear friends at CTBites hosted a Bloggers Lounge this year. And instead of just a lounge with charging stations and refreshments - they went the extra mile and invited many area chefs to come in for informal chef talks. I got to interview Chef Michael Lucente of Barcelona Greenwich and Chef Prasad Chrinomula of Thali, Thali II and Oaxaca Kitchen. It was so much fun to ask questions and engage in conversations with these chefs. Some other names that came to the Bloggers Lounge for chats were Chef Arik Bensimon of Le Farm, Chef Geoff Lazlo of Whelk, Gretchen Thomas - Sommelier at Barcelona restaurant group .... and, wuld you believe it, even the national celebrities like Michael Psilakis, Dale Talde, Graham Elliot and Duff Goldman. It was WAY COOL!!! This, was probably my most favorite part of the entire festival.
Oh! Did you mention that I got to meet Richard Blais and engage in an informal conversation about his new show coming this fall? He also talked about instagram! He is addicted to it. :-) He said one thing that gets him all riled up is when bloggers or diners take bad photos of stunning looking food..... OK. Richard. I promise to be mindful of that when I eat out next. :-)
I am so glad I was there to take in all of the fun! If you missed it this year, make a note in your calendars for next year .... NOW!
For this and more articles by Fairfield County Foodie visit, http://fairfieldcountyfoodie.me