by tony reverditto –
The Newport Beach Wine And Food Festival, Southern California’s premiere epicurean fete, is celebrating its third year from Thursday, September 29 through Sunday, October 2.
In a new twist for 2016, organizers are pleased to introduce Taste Around Town, with celebrity chefs such as Rick Moonen, Hubert Keller, Pascal Olhats and Nancy Silverton, hosting a series of exclusive food and wine tasting experiences on Thursday and Friday, September 29 and 30, with pairings by master sommeliers, at Ritz Prime Seafood, Pizzeria Mozza Newport Beach and The Winery Newport Beach.
Next on the agenda, the Daytime Festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday, October 1 and 2 should prove to be quite the party! The event provides the ultimate opportunity to mingle and enjoy fantastic eats and drinks, as you hang out at the ultra-cool Newport Beach Civic Center grounds. Twenty different restaurants will be showcased each day inside two Grand Tasting Pavilions, offering you the chance to sample 40 signature treats from award-winning Orange County executive chefs, each there representing their respective restaurants.
The incredible lineup of participants include: RED O, Mastro’s, The Winery, Oak Grill, Andrea, Aqua Lounge, Pelican Grill, Driftwood Kitchen, True Food Kitchen, Selanne Steak Tavern, Twenty Eight, Filomena’s Italian Kitchen, Montage Laguna Beach, Slapfish, Roy’s, Five Crowns, A & O Kitchen + Bar, Honda Center, Tackle Box OC and B.CANDY. Restaurants new to this year’s lineup include: Pizzeria Mozza, Vaca, Broadway, Ritz Prime Seafood, Waterline Newport Beach, Provenance, AVEO at St. Regis Monarch Beach, Watertable, Tanner’s Huntington Beach, Café Beau Soleil, Le Pain Quotidien, Sushi Roku, Maggiano’s, Café Bistro Nordstrom, Sam & Harry’s and Nothing Bundt Cakes.
Both days showcase live cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs, paired with wine from world renowned wineries. On Saturday, Top Chef winner Mei Lin will take the stage with friend Shirley Chung, another Top Chef alum, for a cooking demonstration followed by a very special “Meet the Masters” presentation with more wine pairings.
Sunday’s lineup will feature a surprise, celebrity chef cooking demo followed by the return of the “Top Chef Home Cook Challenge,” featuring more Top Chef competitors such as Brian Huskey and C.J. Jacobson. In the center of it all, in what can only be described as the ultimate adult Disneyland, wine tastings from over 200 cult boutique and world-renowned winemakers, will also be offered.
Wine tasting panels led by master sommeliers will also be available each day at the Daytime Festival, located at the cooking demo stage. Master Sommelier Michael Jordan, better known as the O.C.’s “Somm of the people,” will be leading the Festival’s wine programming.
Returning to the festival for 2016 is the Jazz Lounge, with a variety of gifted, musical guests, there to add a soulful backdrop, beautifully harmonizing the overall vibe of the event. Also check out the new VIP Experiences, taking place on Saturday and Sunday, also during the Daytime Festival, from 12 to 1:30 p.m. each day.
This year, VIPs will enjoy four all-new private tastings at the Civic Center just before doors open for general admission guests. VIP tickets are already sold out for the Hundred Acre 100-point Wine Tasting, featuring a live cooking demo with Rick Bayless, but you can still catch a live cooking demo and wine pairing hosted by Master Celebrity Chef Huber Keller. The demo will begin with champagne and hand-passed hors d’oeuvres, followed by a meet-and-greet, with all programming access to the Daytime Festival.
If that doesn’t inspire you to buy tickets, I don’t know what will…Though we highly recommend using a car service and/or booking an overnighter at a nearby hotel.
The Third Annual Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival returns to the luxurious, coastal city of Newport Beach Thursday, September 29 through Sunday, October 2, with proceeds benefitting Project Hope Alliance, the festival’s long-standing charity partner.
For ongoing updates, follow NBWFF on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. To purchase tickets or for more information, call 888.511.3378 or go to: newportwineandfood.com.