Cleanse that palate and start a sippin’. The San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival returns for a five day span, as thousands join in celebrating the finer things in life. November 16th to the 20th, 170 wine and spirit purveyors will bond with 70 of San Diego’s celebrity chefs to host an event that highlights a few of our favorite things.
A thoughtfully concocted fusion of wine, spirits, craft beer, culinary all-stars, and fine cuisine make for a weeklong classic that never goes out of style. Aside from the innumerable tastings, star appearances will come from a handful of San Diego’s top chefs, gourmet food producers, authors, media personalities and more. For added interactive fun, guests can try their hand at a range of cooking and wine tasting classes.
Celeb Watch: The festival’s celebrity chef lineup includes the following culinary stars, Chef Bradley Ogden, Best California Chef award by the James Beard Foundation; The Heart Boys winners of "Search For The Next Food Network Star"; Chef Dave Martin, Former Bravo TV Top Chef; Eli Kirshtein, Former Bravo TV Top Chef; Kenny Gilbert, Former Bravo TV Top Chef; and San Diego’s own Brian Malarkey, Former Bravo TV Top Chef. Read on to discover when and where you can hang out with these celebrity chefs.
The wide-ranging realm of events held this year includes top tasting seminars, such as The Art of Distillation, hosted by founder of the San Diego Wine & Culinary Center John Alonge. Inviting all on Thursday, November 17th, the presentation will teach the intricacies of distillation and how the unique properties of different spirits come about. Or, take a step inside Napa Versus Napa, a comparative tasting of Napa’s Mountain Regions presented by Master Sommelier Joseph Spellman. Educational opportunities for the eager to learn and eager to eat include a course entitled Love Connection: Gourmet Mac & Pinot Noir. Hosted by Top Chef Contestant Chef Dave Martin, the seminar takes place on Thursday, November 17th from 11:30am to 12:30pm at San Diego Wine & Culinary Center. Or, try A Taste of the Mid East with Chef Billy Strynkowski from Cooking Light Magazine on November 18th from 11am to 12pm, and explore exotic flavors from the world’s spice capital.
One can’t-miss event is Brunch and Beyond: Weekend’s Favorite Meal hosted by Food Network personality and award-winning Pastry Chef Gale Gand. The James Beard Foundation named Gale Gand Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year in 2001, and during this class she will teach how to master easy but impressive classic egg dishes, such as omelets, quiches, strata, frittata, and crêpes, as well as her infamous baked goods, including Ginger Scones with Peaches and Cream, Moist Orange-Date Muffins, Glazed Crullers, and Quick Pear Streusel Coffee Cake. Brunch and Beyond takes place at Macy's School of Cooking from 12 to 1:30pm on Friday, November 18th.
For those of us who aren’t as likely to associate wine with "refinement" as we are with "party", the annual showcase features after-dark options as well, including a WineRave, Industry Insider’s Party, and an All-Star Mixologist’s After Party. The WineRave officially kicks off the celebrations on Wednesday, November 16th from 7-10pm by hosting 25 of the edgiest wine and spirits on the market today. View the full event schedule at worldofwineevents.com.
The Grand Tasting, a main star-studded finale of the week takes place on November 19th from 12-3pm on Embarcadero Park North behind Seaport Village. Here, attendees will find 170 Wine & Spirit Purveyors, top chefs, the “Chef of the Fest” culinary showdown, cookbook author signing and live entertainment from Clay Colton Band. Celebrity chefs to catch a glimpse of this year include Brian Malarkey, Bravo Top Chef and Executive Chef of Searsucker; Sam Zien, better known as Sam The Cooking Guy; The Hearty Boys, winners of Search for the Next Food Network Star; Mark Kropczynski, Executive Chef of Grant Grill; Try Foshee of Georges at the Cove; and Eli Kirshtein, Former Bravo TV Top Chef from Season 6.
Finish off the weekend in style at the Celebrity Chef Luncheon on November 20th, a wonderful event that is hosted by James Beard award-winning Chef Gale Gand of Tru in Chicago, James Beard award-winning Chef Bradley Ogden, Suzette Gresham of Acquerello in San Francisco, Chef Celestino Drago of Drago Centro in Los Angeles, Bernard Guillas of the Marine Room La Jolla, Chef Kenny Gilbert former Top Chef contestant, Denise Roa of Rancho La Puerta and 15 legendary wineries. From 10am to 2:30pm, you will be treated to welcoming spirits at the Bubble Bar, a six-course luncheon with wine pairings, and your chance to win incredible prizes in a live auction moderated by Master Sommelier Joseph Spellman. Each course will be prepared by one of the celebrity chefs, and paired with one of the flagship wineries' vintages and varietals. The Celebrity Chef Luncheon takes place at the Marriott Marquis. Tickets start at $175 per person, and proceeds benefit culinary and enology scholarships awarded by The American Institute of Wine & Food and the Chaine Des Rotisseurs. Call 619.312.1212 to reserve your place.
Ticket options vary, and can accommodate various event options throughout the festival. For example, the Wine Weekend Get Away Package for two includes reserve tasting and silent auction, two grand event tickets, and two nights at a participating hotel. For local guests, the Premier Cru Pass for One package includes one reserve tasting ticket, one grand event ticket, two wine tasting and/or cooking class tickets of your choice, and more perks for $290. For more ticketing options, visit worldofwineevents.com/buytickets.
For more information, visit the World of Wine Events website or call 619.342.7337.
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