Pinehurst Hosts 21st Annual Food and Wine Festival
Pinehurst opens its 21st year of the annual Food and Wine Festival this Labor Day weekend, Sept. 3-7 -- and the access to its international lineup presents one of the best culinary and wine events on the East Coast.
Ten chefs. Twelve wine experts. Over 100 bottles of wine from which you can sample each day. Thirteen seminars. Two culilnary demonstrations. And evening gala dining events -- with entertainment to boot.
Those wishing to attend for the weekend can get a package that includes all events, room, breakfast and daily wine tastings.
"After 20 years of hosting this event, many wonder how we draw larger crowds every year," says Pinehurst Food and Beverage Director Ed Peckels. "The Wine Fest team starts working on the event the day after the last one ends. We add new wineries. We change event venues. We challenge our vendors to have seminar topics on cutting-edge topics. And we continue to draw exceptional chefs for our dining events that surpass all expectations."
Seminar topics range from basic Food and Wine 101 with Sommelier Journal editor Randy Caparoso, to Wine and Sushi with Academy of Wine co-founder Luis Torres. There are experts that teach guests how to start their own cellars, and topics on the latest in Biodynamic wineries that are becoming all the rage on the West Coast.
They represent a sampling of the more than 100 wineries providing sips for each of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings' grand tastings. Values in Australian, Chilean, Argentinean and New Zealand wines are all hot on the sampling menus this year. But what guests love most is accessibility to both national award-winning wines from wineries such as Stag's Leap Wine Cellars and Silver Oak, as well as boutique wineries that can't always be found at the local grocery or wine store --like Washington State's L'Ecole No. 41. Several of them will be part of Thursday's Wine Competition to determine Best of Show.
Friday night's opening ceremonies, which kick off with a celebratory Champagne Saber Ceremony, include a room full of fancy delights, featuring three regional chefs -- all with a Northern Hemisphere theme. Adam Axman of the 1895 Grille, John Tharp of Bleu and Patrick Cowden of A Southern Season have prepared a menu that includes such delights as warm brie tarts, herb and dijon crusted lamb rack, cold poached truffle salmon salad, seared tuna and more. Friday's event finishes with live music on the Carolina Outdoor Terrace and the annual grand dessert buffet.
Saturday's Wine Fest Lunch features the Chilean wines of Terra Andina, matched perfectly with a three-course meal designed by Pinehurst Executive Chef Thierry Debailleul. Wild-caught shrimp and watercress salad, Winston-Salem pheasant with pancetta potato risotto and vanilla cloud cake are on the menu, and are sure to fill and fascinate.
Saturday's Grand Gourmet Gala features five chefs -- each of whom will prepare one course for the black-tie optional event. A combination of seafood, locally-grown vegetables and pork belly are forerunners to Robert Mondavi Winery Chef Jeff Mosher's seared duck with forbidden rice entre, followed by Ritz Carlton-Tyson's Corner Pastry Chef David Nolan's mango and coconut terrine. The night finishes with the music of the Gary Lewis Big Band.
Both Mosher and Nolan will also offer culinary demonstrations throughout the weekend.
And for those that want to kick it up a notch, the Prestige Dinner offers the superior wines of Silver Oak and Twomey, and talents of Chef Jonathan Luft of the Intercontinental Tampa Hotel on Saturday evening. The exclusive wine dinner has only 24 spaces available.
The event finishes on Sunday with a Feast from the Four Corners, featuring local chefs Mark Elliott of Elliott's on Linden, Warren Lewis of Chef Warren's, Adam Hinderliter from the Centennial at No. 8 dining room, Ryan Payne of the Magnolia Inn and Ashley Van Camp of Ashten's Restaurant. Each chef will be on hand to present live action stations and their own menus as guests sample wines and food from around the world at this last event. A silent auction of large format bottles and prizes will also be part of Sunday's finale.
Guests also have access to the exclusive Wine Mart, where festival wines can be purchased at cost plus 10 percent.
Individual event tickets are also on sale at the Pinehurst Resort Services Desk, starting at $30 per seminar. Reservations can be made by calling or visiting the Pinehurst Resort Services Desk at (910) 235-8415. For more information, a complete schedule and winery listing, visit www.pinehurstwinefest.com.
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