Wine + Food Festival to celebrate culinary scene
One of the area’s top culinary festivals returns this weekend, with several thousand set to attend the gathering.
Marking its eighth year, the Greenwich Wine + Food Festival will showcase scores of local restaurants and food and beverage retailers on Friday and Saturday, at the town’s waterfront Roger Sherman Baldwin Park. About 6,500 people are expected to turn out for the events.
“The festival is definitely one of the biggest events of its kind around here,” said Suni Unger, founder and CEO of Unger Media, whose Serendipity magazine is sponsoring and organizing the festival. “We’re excited to feature and support the area’s amazing food scene. And you can’t beat Roger Sherman Baldwin Park for the setting.”
Kicking off the festival on Friday night, a dinner will recognize Alex Guarnaschelli, a judge on the Food Network series “Chopped,” an Iron Chef honoree, an author and executive chef of Manhattan restaurant Butter.
Guarnaschelli and other leading chefs including Daniel Boulud, Scott Conant, Dina Cheney, Kevin Des Chenes, Christian Petroni, Adam Richman, Bill Taibe and Serena Wolf will lead cooking demos, hold book signings and meet attendees on Saturday, the main day of events.
Today show host Kathie Lee Gifford, a Greenwich resident, will moderate at 3:45 p.m., on Saturday, a Meet the Masters panel discussion with Boulud, Conant, Guarnaschelli, Petroni and Richman.
Tim McGraw will close out the festival with a solo concert at 8:30 p.m., on Saturday. Singer-songwriter Caroline Jones, a Greenwich native, will open for McGraw at 6:30 p.m.
A Grand Tasting Tent, hosting more than 150 vendors, will be open from 12:30 to 5 p.m., on Saturday.
Among the participants, Stamford-based Cylinder Vodka and Greenwich-based Val’s Putnam Wines will be running a stand together on Saturday. Cylinder is returning for its second year; last year, it served more than 1,000 drinks at the festival.
“This is a great opportunity for us,” said Cylinder founder Stelios Stavrianos. “We’re thrilled to partner with Val’s, which has a really amazing reputation. And being at the festival helps to build awareness about the Cylinder brand. We always want to engage with our customers.”
Most ticketholders last year came from Stamford, while other attendees came from other parts of the tri-state area and states including California, Florida and Ohio.
“It means a lot of for the festival to gain national attention,” Unger said. “I think that speaks to not only the rich talent we have here, but also our partner brands that have helped us to grow. The support we receive is incredible.”
An undisclosed portion of the festival’s proceeds will be donated to the Norwalk-based Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, the Town of Greenwich Parks & Recreation Foundation and Ment’or, a foundation that supports young culinary professionals.
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