A celebration of the world’s best wines and top chefs from around the U.S, the seventh annual New Jersey Wine & Food Festival at Crystal Springs Resort takes place March 20 – 22, 2015. 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 benefitting the mission and programs of the James Beard Foundation.
Held at Crystal Springs, New Jersey’s premier culinary destination, the weekend’s events are designed to allow food and wine lovers to meet and mingle with chefs, winemakers and fellow food and wine aficionados. Events 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.
Tickets for the 2015 New Jersey Wine & Food Festival can be purchased at www.njwinefoodfest.com. Resort reservations will be available then as well at 855-391-7454.
Opening Night Festivities on Friday March 20:
7pm Champagne Reception Guests meet Chef David Kinch and enjoy Krug Champagne and hors d’oeuvres from Manresa and Restaurant Latour ($50, included in Restaurant Latour dinner).
8pm Dinner at Restaurant Latour prepared by Chef David Kinch and new Latour Chef Anthony Bucco paired with wines from cult California winery, The Prisoner Wine Company ($295).
8pm Wine Cellar Dinner with Executive Chef John Greeley and Larry Stone, Estates Director of Quintessa and Huneeus Wines. Held in the stunning award-winning Crystal Springs Wine Cellar ($195).
Saturday March 21 Events:
11am Coffee Seminar Artisanal organic coffee from Coffee Afficionado, New Jersey coffee roaster, paired with chocolates ($30).
11:30am – 2:30pm Marketplace Lunch with local New Jersey wines and products served ($40)
12pm David Kinch Meet & Greet/ Book Signing Chef Kinch will recounts 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).
1pm 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).
2pm 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).
2pm 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).
3pm New Jersey Craft Distilling Meet the state’s newest craft distillers, Jersey Artisan Distilling, and experience samples right from barrels currently aging their rum, Busted Barrel. Guest will also enjoy Busted Barrel rum cocktails made with syrups by Jersey’s own Blue Jay Syrups ($40).
3pm Digging into Quintessa James Beard Award-winner Larry Stone leads an exploration of the Quintessa vineyard through a tasting of barrel samples and wines from diverse vineyard blocks ($65).
4pm Macaron Happy Hour Macarons from local Garden State macaron baker Asalt & Buttery. Paired with sparkling and still wines from around the world ($40).
4pm Ardbeg Haar A truly unique experience to sample Ardbeg single malt scotch both neat and inhaled to replicate the Ardbeg Haar - haar refers to the blanket of fog that appears on Islay where Ardbeg is produced ($40).
6:30/7pm - 10pm The Grand Tasting is the Festival’s signature event featuring more than 100 wines from over thirty wineries and 25 top restaurants from New York City and New Jersey ($150, VIP $275; VIP admission 6:30pm). 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) along with Restaurant Latour
- Restaurant participants: Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen, Ryland Inn, Elements, Ninety Acres, Escape, Agricola, Mistral, Terre à Terre, Maritime Parc, Strip House, The Orange Squirrel, Osteria Morini, Blu, The Bernards Inn, Pig & Prince, Fascino, Morris Tap & Grill, Ho-Ho-Kus Inn & Tavern, Villalobos, Axia Taverna, Crystal Tavern, Lunello, VB3, Prime Ninety Five and more
- A wide range of wineries and Champagne houses from around the world
- Live entertainment by the thirty-two piece David Aaron Orchestra
- An exciting silent auction benefiting the James Beard Foundation
10pm – 1am Meet the Chefs and Winemakers After Party with open bars, DJ, buffets and more ($150).
Sunday March 22
10am – 1pm Champagne Brunch A lavish, decadent brunch buffet accompanied by Champagne ($50).