Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival
Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City
2100 Pacific Ave
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Dates: July 26-29, 2012
Prices: Individual tickets $40-$149. See the website for package deals.
The Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival started in 2007 as a “Toast to the Coast,” showcasing New Jersey’s great seafood with a smattering of select chefs. A huge success, it has continued to grow steadily over the past few years. In 2010, it partnered with The Food Network, adding celebrities and drawing over 20,000 excited attendees. The 2012 Festival promises to be the biggest star-studded event to date. A bevy of foodie stars will be in attendance, like Anne Burrell, Tom Colicchio, Robert Irvine, Paula Deen, Aaron Sanchez, Buddy Valastro, Andrew Zimmern, Nadia G. and Tyler Florence. You are sure to rub shoulders with some top chefs and taste some memorable dishes over this exhilarating weekend.
Beginning with the Poolside Launch Party, where you’re likely to have a sneak peek of some of the festival’s celebrity chefs and sample some indulgent bites and beverages, there are 28 entertaining events. Here is just a taste of what to expect:
The Grand Market is a tasting village with over 100 stations of food samples and demos, wine and spirits tastings and innovative tools of the trade. You have four hours to wander the Grand Ballroom and taste morsels from top food celebrities, try new wines and watch talented chefs show off their cooking chops. If you can only make it out for one event, this should be it. It will open your eyes and palate to a diversity of talent and cuisines.
At Define “Cheese-Steak,” Jersey-boy Tom Colicchio walks you through a who’s who of Philly cheesesteaks. Watch as local shops and celebrity chefs battle it out for the title of Best Cheesesteak. Root for your favorite local and see if he/she can take down one of the pros.
The Viking Cooking School at Harrah’s will be hosting several Celebrity Cooking Classes. Learn how to make decadent desserts seen on The Food Network from the infamous Cake Boss Buddy Valastro. Tyler Florence and Nadia G. will also be instructing classes that teach you how to make their signature dishes in your own kitchen. Take home some knowledge and share your new recipes with the family.
Sunset Sliders, Sushi & Sparkles is a surf-and-turf party on the Pool Deck at Caesars featuring Anne Burrell of Food Network’s “Worst Cooks in America.” Anne will host this chic party that mixes socializing with sliders, sushi and a unique sake tasting. Rest assured, only great cooks will be preparing the menu. This is a great way to spend your evening relaxing among fellow excited foodies. You won’t want to miss it.
On the last morning of the festival, treat yourself to the Gospel Brunch with Paula Deen in the Showboat’s House of Blues. Like no brunch you’ve ever been to, Paula Deen, the queen of Southern cuisine, and the Showboat chefs will whip up an incredible down-home brunch while a soulful Gospel choir sings and praises. Get a taste of one of the decadent buttery dishes Paula is so well-known for.
The 2012 Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival provides events that everyone can enjoy. Build your own itinerary for a memorable weekend full of great eats and drinks.
Related: Top Cooking Classes in Philadelphia
Trish Deitemyer is a freelance writer living in Philly. She covers Food & Drink and has been writing since 1986. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.