It seems like only a year ago that we were getting that happy happy joy joy feeling because it was time for the Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival. Back for another year, the AC Food and Wine Fest (July 25 to 28) may not have as much star power as in previous editions, but there still be plenty to devour over the coming weekend. Here’s what you need to know…
* The Headlining Acts
This year will see the return of Robert Irvine (“Dinner: Impossible” and “Restaurant: Impossible”) and Pat and Gina Neely (“Down Home with the Neelys”) to AC, and they will be joined by Rocco DiSpirito (“The Restaurant”) and wine expert Laurie Forster.
* What events are back this year?
The Grand Market – The staple event for the Food & Wine Fest, The Grand Market is a big, almost unwieldy but fun event that lets you check out rows and rows of food and drink vendors. Many of them are local businesses trying to get the word out to a larger audience and be able to interact with them. Be prepared for the crowds, though – the sessions are always packed! There are four Grand Market sessions available: Friday night (6PM to 10PM), Saturday afternoon (12PM to 4PM) and night (6PM to 10PM), and Sunday afternoon (12PM to 4PM). Sessions are $55 a person, and like all the events you need to buy your tickets ahead of time.
Blues, Brews & BBQ – My personal favorite event. Bring together local BBQ folk, have local and regional craft beers available, and plenty of live music…hey, like what else do you really need? After having the event last year outside (and we sweat up a storm, let me tell you), the event goes back indoors to the House of Blues this year. Blues, Brews & BBQ will take place on Saturday from 12PM to 3PM and tickets are $75.
Gospel Brunch – A close second to Blues, Brews & BBQ in my book, the Gospel Brunch lets you get your church on while chowing down to some God-inspired grub. Can I get an Amen? Can I get another piece of fried chicken? Yes and yes.
* What’s new for 2013?
Phillips Seafood Spiked Brunch – Chef Paul Drew at Phillips Seafood at The Pier will be serving a special four-course mini seafood fest partnered up with special cocktails. The brunch will be on Saturday at 12PM, and the cost is $69 a person.
Rocks of Ages: Cocktails through the Decades – Mixology is white hot right now, so if you’re just getting into cocktails it might be worth your while to get a little history lesson in mixed drinks. Laurie Forster will be your tour guide through each decade.
Beach Soiree – Taking the place of the usual Saturday night Sweet and Stylish event, all of the stars join up at Caesars Beach for a night of dancing, drinking and delicious little nibbles. The Soiree starts at 10PM and tickets are $75.
* Anything else?
Sure! You have cooking demonstrations and wine tastings, a Taco and Tequila event at Dos Caminos, and lastly an Island Luau on Sunday night.
Check out the full schedule for times and ticket prices.
Restaurant News and Notes
Had the pleasure of getting an invite to try out what Tortilla Press in Collingswood is serving up for Farm Fresh Restaurant Week. Chef Mark is still doing wonderful things there…Glad to hear that Chef Joseph Muldoon has his own place now: Roberta’s in Northfield. We loved his work while he was in the kitchen at The Reserve in Bally’s…Approval was given for Osteria’s Moorestown Mall location to have outdoor seating…the Voorhees location for Iron Hill Brewery will be open for business on August 5…and what’s going to happen to Joe Pesce in Collingswood?
Here’s the Farmers’ Market Report
Corm, peaches and tomatoes seem to be out in force now.
There will be a farmers’ market at the Burlington County Library on Thursday starting on August 1.
And in other food news this past week…
Oyster harvesting from the Shell Rock Oyster Beds in the Delaware Bay has been suspended.
Got a favorite dipping sauce recipe for French fries? Enter Morey’s Piers contest for cash and a years’ worth of fries!
And check out a mighty mighty large hot dog that will be served up on Monday down in Cape May Court House.