On Friday, March 20 – Sunday, March 22, 2015, a celebration of the world’s best wines and top chefs from around the United States, will take place at the seventh annual New Jersey Wine & Food Festival at the Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg, NJ. This year, the Festival welcomes James Beard Award-winning Chef David Kinch of the Michelin 2-star Manresa as the guest of honor. Once again, the Festival will benefit the mission and programs of the James Beard Foundation.
The Festival’s weekend events are designed to allow food and wine lovers to meet and mingle with chefs, winemakers, and fellow food & wine aficionados. Weekend highlights include dinner in Restaurant Latour prepared by Chef Kinch and the Latour team; a wine cellar dinner with featured winemaker Larry Stone of Quintessa and Crystal Springs Executive Chef John Greeley; the Grand Tasting, featuring 30 restaurants and over 100 wines, as well as winemaker seminars, cocktail tastings, and a new chef competition. Michelin-starred chefs from New York, including Carlo Mirachi (Blanca & Roberta’s, Bryce Shuman (Betony), and Brooks Headley (Del Posto), will anchor the VIP Grand Tasting.
A complete schedule of events is noted below…
Friday, March 20: Opening Night Festivities:
7:00 p.m. Champagne Reception: Guests will meet Chef David Kinch and enjoy Krug Champagne and hors d’oeuvres from Manresa and Restaurant Latour ($50.00, included in Restaurant Latour dinner).
8:00 p.m. Dinner at Restaurant Latour, prepared by Chef David Kinch and the Restaurant Latour team, paired with wines from cult California winery, the Prisoner Wine Company ($295.00).
8:00 p.m. Wine Cellar Dinner with Executive Chef John Greeley and Larry Stone, Estates Director of Quintessa and Huneeus Wines. To be held in the stunning, award-winning Crystal Springs Wine Cellar ($195.00).
Saturday, March 21, Events:
11:00 a.m. Coffee Seminar: Artisanal organic coffee from Coffee Afficionado, New Jersey coffee roaster, paired with chocolates ($30.00)
11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Marketplace Lunch with local New Jersey wines and products served ($40.00).
12:00 p.m. David Kinch Meet & Greet/Book Signing: Chef Kinch will recount his career and talk about the rebuilding of Manresa, which was damaged by a fire last year and recently reopened. He will be signing copies of his new cookbook, Manresa: An Edible Reflection and serve light bites paired with wine ($50.00).
1:00 p.m. Exploring Napa’s Oldest Vines: Winemaker Jennifer Beloz offers an inside look as to how she works with Napa’s oldest farming families in selecting grapes from vines dating back to the early 20th century when creating her award-winning cult wines, which will be tasted: The Prisoner, Cuttings, Saldo, and Blindfold ($45.00).
2:00 p.m. Garden State Chef Throwdown: Three chefs compete to see who can make the best dish during the event – the audience crowns the winner. Participating chefs: Francesco Palmieri of The Orange Squirrel (Montclair); Mike Carrino of Pig & Prince (Montclair); and John Greeley of Crystal Springs Resort ($50.00).
2:00 p.m. Secrets of the Crystal Springs Wine Cellar: A look inside Crystal Springs’ famous 135,000 bottle wine collection, holder of Wine Spectator’s Grand Award since 2006, with Wine Director Robby Younes. A tasting of rare and highly rated wines from the cellar for connoisseurs ($150.00).
3:00 p.m. New Jersey Craft Distilling: Participants are invited to meet the state’s newest craft distillers, Jersey Artisan Distilling, and experience samples right from barrels currently aging their rum, Busted Barrel. Guests will also enjoy Busted Barrel rum cocktails made with syrups by Jersey’s own Blue Jay Syrups ($40.00).
3:00 p.m. Digging into Quintessa: James Beard Award-winner Larry stone will lead an exploration of the Quintessa vineyard through a tasting of barrel samples and wines from diverse vineyard blocks ($65.00).
4:00 p.m. Macaroon Happy Hour: Macaroons from local Garden State macaroon baker Dana’s Bakery. Paired with sparkling and still wines from around the world ($40.00).
4:00 pm. Ardbeg Haar: A truly unique experience to sample Ardbeg single malt scotch, both neat and inhalted to replicate the Ardbeg Haar – haar refers to the blanket of fog that appears on Islay where Ardbeg is produced ($40.00).
6:30/7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. The Grand Tasting is the Festival’s signature event, featuring more than 100 wines from over thirty wines and 25 top restaurants from New York City and New Jersey ($150.00; VIP $275.00; VIP admission 6:30 p.m.)
Highlights of the Grand Tasting…
The VIP Experience: An outstanding collection of wines and spirits, tastings from Michelin-starred chefs David Kinch, Carlo Mirachi (Blanca & Roberta’s, NYC), Brooks Headley (Del Posto, NYC), Bryce Shuman (Betony, NYC), and Restaurant Latour
Restaurant Participants: Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen, the Ryland Inn, Elements, Ninety Acres, Escape, Agricola, Mistral, Terre á Terre, Maritime Parc, Strip House, the Orange Squirrel, Osteria Morini, Pig & Prince, Morris Tap & Grill, Ho-Ho-Kus Inn & Tavern, Axia Taverna, Crystal Tavern, VB3, and more
A wide range of wineries and Champagne houses from around the world
Live Entertainment by the thirsty-two piece David Aaron Orchestra
An exciting silent auction benefitting the James Beard Foundation
10:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. Meet the Chefs and Winemakers After Party with open bars, DJ, buffets and more ($150.00).
Sunday, March 22, Events
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Champagne Brunch: A lavish, decadent brunch buffet accompanied by Champagne ($50.00)
Tickets for the 2015 New Jersey Wine & Food Festival are on sale at www.njwinefoodfest.com. Resort reservations may be made by calling (855) 391-7454.