The Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) has a spectacular line-up of celebrity chefs to host the 2016 16th annual Saratoga Wine and Food Festival on Friday, September 9 through Sunday, September 11. Headlining the Festival weekend are Food Network stars Anne Burrell and Marc Murphy, famed New York chef Josh Capon, and the world’s best sommelier, Joshua Wesson.
This year’s Wine and Food Festival will offer an incredible finale to SPAC’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. They will host superstar chefs Anne Burrell, Marc Murphy, Josh Capon, and sommelier Joshua Wesson to lead the festivities. This year, for the first time, chef extraordinaire Anne Burrell will share her trademark culinary style: rustic foods created from pure and simple ingredients with intense flavors.
With her trademark spiky blond hair and pumped-up personality, Anne Burrell has worked at some of the top restaurants in New York, studied the culinary landscape and traditions of Italy, battled alongside Mario Batali as his sous chef on Food Network’s Iron Chef America and wrote a New York Times bestselling cookbook. In September 2015, Ms. Burrell hosted the series premiere of Food Network’s Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition, where she mentored a team of celebrities who were in serious need of some cooking pointers. In addition, Ms Burrell hosts Worst Cooks in America, a prime-time reality show where she leads a team of hopeless home cooks from around the country through culinary boot camp. In her Food Network series, Secrets of a Restaurant Chef, she eliminated the intimidation of restaurant dishes and revealed concise, easy‐to-master techniques for the at-home cook. Ms. Burrell also starred in her own right on Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs in Fall 2011.
A regular judge on Food Network’s hit show Chopped, renowned restaurateur and celebrated chef Marc Murphy returns to the Saratoga Wine and Food Festival after a wildly popular debut appearance in 2014. Marc is the Chef + Owner of Benchmarc Restaurants (Landmarc & Ditch Plains), Chef & Partner at Kingside at Viceroy Central Park and Grey Salt located in the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa, Florida. In addition to the restaurants, he also heads up the company’s catering division, Benchmarc Events by Marc Murphy. Murphy has also made appearances on Guys Grocery Games, Beat Bobby Flay, Iron Chef America, The Kitchen, The Rachael Ray Show, TODAY show and Good Morning America among others. He is the President of the Manhattan chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association, a board member of City Harvest, and a member of the Leadership Council for Share our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. In 2012, Marc joined the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Culinary Partnership, where he takes part in public diplomacy programs that engage foreign audiences abroad as well as those visiting the United States. Marc’s debut cookbook, Season with Authority: Confident Home Cooking was released in April 2015.
Josh Capon, best known as the host of Spike TV's first cooking competition show, “Frankenfood,” is the six-time winner of the People's Choice award at the New York City Wine & Food Festival and South Beach Wine & Food Festival's Burger Bash event. He is the seasoned executive chef and partner behind Lure Fishbar, B&B Winepub and El Toro Blanco in New York City, and Lure Fishbar which opened recently in South Beach, Miami. He has appeared on numerous television shows including The Chew, Rachael Ray Show, Live with Regis and Kelly, CBS Early Show, TODAY show and Food Network and has been featured in The New York Times, New York Magazine, Time Out New York and other media outlets. Capon is also involved with charitable work including Wellness In The Schools, a non-profit organization dedicated to making school food healthy.
Best-known as the co-founder of Best Cellars, Joshua Wesson won the title of Best Sommelier in French Wines & Spirits in the United States in 1984. Two years later, he was named one of the top five sommeliers in the world by Sopexa, Food and Wines from France. In 2003, he received the prestigious Ambassador’s Award from the European Wine Council. Mr. Wesson is a leading authority on the pairing of wine and food and has written two books on the subject; Williams-Sonoma Wine & Food—A New Look at Flavor and Red Wine with Fish: The New Art of Matching Food with Wine (1989 Duboeuf Wine Book of the Year) which he co-authored with David Rosengarten. He has been a guest on The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS-The Early Show, Headline News, Moneyline and Power Lunch. Mr. Wesson is also a regular commentator on NPR/Public Radio International’s “The Splendid Table.” Most recently, in February of 2016, Mr. Wesson launched Suprema Provisions – a food market, salumeria and wine bar – in the West Village.
ABOUT FIRED UP! GRILL COMPETITION | Friday, Sept 9, 7:00PM – 10:00 PM
In the kick-off event to the Festival weekend, Saratoga Springs’ best chefs will compete with chefs from the Capital Region’s finest restaurants in a fiery grilling event presented by Stella Artois. Throughout the evening, guests will sample the inventive grill-off creations and help the judges to name the 2016 Saratoga Grill Master, all while enjoying great music, gourmet food, BBQ, and cold refreshing Stella Artois, wines, and spirits. The 2016 Fired UP! Grill Competition is hosted by SPAC’s Junior Committee. Event price: $85
Restaurants featured in Fired Up!: 15 Church; Druthers Brewing Company; Fish at 30 Lake; Henry Street Taproom; Primal- Butcher and Delicatessen; Sperry’s Restaurant; and The Wishing Well.
ABOUT GRAND TASTING AND CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE | Saturday, Sept 10, 12:00PM – 4:00PM
Saturday’s Grand Tasting and Concours D’Elegance event is centered on unparalleled wines, spirits, local foods, and the region’s top restaurants. All guests will have the opportunity to savor exquisite foods created by more than 30 chefs in the Capital Region; a live auction, a mystery wall, and cocktails, wine and beer. The Saratoga Automobile Museum will present a show of luxury collector cars including classes of Shelby Cobra, Alfa Romeo, Porsche, Lancia, Maserati, Ferrari, Lamborghini, among others. A VIP Grant Tasting ticket, which allows earlier entry to the Grand Tasting and exclusive access to the Connoisseur’s Tent, offers the ultimate Saratoga Wine and Food experience for wine enthusiasts.
During the Grand Tasting event, Marc Murphy will host a book signing and meet and greet event for the first one hundred guests to join the VIP tent. Anne Burrell will host a book signing and meet and greet event for all Grand Tasting guests.
Event price: $75. A VIP Grant Tasting ticket, which allows earlier entry to the Grand Tasting and exclusive access to the Connoisseur’s Tent, is available for $175.
Local restaurants featured at the Grand tasting will include: Ama Cochina; Campagna; Carney's Tavern; Comfort Kitchen; Dinosaur BBQ Troy; Druthers Brewing Company; Friends Lake Inn; Hamlet & Ghost; Harvey's; Healthy Living Market & Café; Henry Street Taproom; Marrello Restaurants & Catering Bellini's Italian Eatery; Nove Italian Restaurant; One Caroline Street; Prime at Saratoga National; Sperry’s; Simpson’s at The Desmond Hotel; Tavern at The Desmond Hotel; The Brook Tavern; The Hollow Bar + Kitchen; The West Side Sports Bar & Grill; The Wine Bar; Three Vines Bistro & Bar; We Do Fondue-Chocolate Fountain Rentals; Wings Over Saratoga; and Wheatfields Restaurant and Bar.
OTHER FAVORITE EPICUREAN EVENTS RETURNING TO SARATOGA WINE AND FOOD FESTIVAL INCLUDE:
ADIRONDACK ROAD TOUR & GOURMET LUNCHEON | Friday, Sept 9, 10:30AM – 3:00PM
This spirited 1 ½ hour, professionally-led road rally for auto collectors winds through beautiful Adirondack roads to finish at the historic Lake George Club, where a gourmet lunch includes library-quality wines and imported fine foods. Event price: $75.
IN THE GROOVE JAZZ BRUNCH | Sunday, Sept 11, 11:30AM – 2:30PM
This sumptuous Sunday Brunch will feature gourmet offerings from six of Mazzone Hospitality’s finest restaurants in Saratoga National’s idyllic setting. Live jazz, culinary delights, delectable Mimosas, and test drives in luxury automobiles throughout the grounds make this the ultimate Sunday Bruch experience. Event price: $75.
ABOUT SARATOGA WINE AND FOOD FESTIVAL
The Saratoga Wine and Food Festival is a fundraiser for both the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and the Saratoga Automobile Museum’s educational programming. Proceeds directed to SPAC support Classical Kids, a collaborative arts education program in which SPAC works with local schools to teach elementary and middle school aged children about the classical performing arts. SPAC both designs and teaches dance and music curriculums to educate young students about the world-class ballet and orchestra performances presented at SPAC. Following classroom studies, SPAC hosts students at summertime performances by New York City Ballet and The Philadelphia Orchestra to experience the works that they studied. Graduates of Classical Kids receive two free tickets to a SPAC classical performance annually until they graduate from high school.
Sponsors of Saratoga Wine and Food Festival include: Adirondack Appliance, Atria Senior Living, Bouchey Financial Group, Ltd., Celebrity Cruises, Certified Angus Beef, Chubb Personal Insurance, Capital Luxury Car Company, Fingerpaint, Four Roses Bourbon, Healthy Living Market & Café, Independent Helicopter, Key Private Bank, Marshall & Sterling Insurance, Mazzone Hospitality and The Hall of Springs, Mionetto, MVP Healthcare, New Country Porsche, SaxBST, Saratoga Eagle, Stella Artois, Southern Wine & Spirits, Sysco, Tri City Rentals, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Woodford Reserve, Wine Worldwide, Inc., and Wide World Ferrari Maserati
SARATOGA WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL PACKAGES
Packages for the weekend are also available:
Grand Tasting Package (one ticket to Fired Up!, Grand Tasting, and Jazz Brunch): $210
VIP Grand Tasting Package (one ticket to Fired Up!, VIP Grand Tasting, and Jazz Brunch): $285
Concours d’Elegance Auto Registration
VIP Concours d ‘Elegance Auto Registration- Includes Car Registration and VIP Grand Tasting Ticket
(VIP includes Connoisseur Tent Access): $240.00
General Concours d ‘Elegance Auto Registration -Includes one Grand Tasting Ticket: $150.00
Concours d ’Elegance car registration only -Grand Tasting Ticket not included: $100.00
Tickets to the festival and more information about the complete festival schedule are available at spac.org or www.saratogawineandfood.com; by calling 518-584-9330; or in person at the SPAC Box Office. Contact Heidi Shull at the Saratoga Auto Museum regarding auto registration and Adirondack Luncheon Road Tour. 518.587.1935 x16.