This is it! The first week in July – the time when I begin counting the days (20!) until the Food Network Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival!
Each summer, at the end of July, it happens – four days of food, wine and incredible culinary talent take over the Atlantic City boardwalk and marina to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure. All four Caesars Entertainment properties – Caesars Atlantic City, Harrah’s Resort, Showboat and Bally’s – will play host to a lineup of fabulous, over-the-top events, like Blues, Brews & BBQ with The Neelys, Sexy Women Eat with Divya Gugnani, Guy Fieri’s Cheesesteak Battle, and Sunset Sliders with Sunny Anderson. There are also cooking classes at the Viking Cooking School taught by Cooking Channel personalities, and an amazing Chef Party Saturday night at the exclusive Foundation Room at House of Blues, where you can have a drink and rub elbows with your favorite chefs from the Festival!
One of the coolest things about the Food Network Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival is how celebrity chefs and local culinary royalty alike enjoy rock star status during the weekend. Local chefs are recognized for their craft, and are held in the same “idol worship” category as the celebrity chefs you recognize from tv. These amazing chefs are usually behind-the-scenes at their restaurants, but for this weekend, they have the opportunity to bask in the well-deserved glow of their incredible talent.
Chef David Suscavage, for example, is the Chef at the Foundation Room at the House of Blues. His passion for food and creative approach to fine dining will be featured at Divya Gugnani’s Sexy Women Eat event, and at Wine Unplugged “The Dead,” as well as at the Chef Party at the Foundation Room. He will also be contributing to the decadence that is The Neelys’ Blues, Brews & BBQ!
Chef Deborah Pellegrino is the Executive Pastry Chef at Showboat and Harrah’s Resort. Regular readers may recognize Chef Pellegrino as the pastry wizard responsible for the unique, whimsical and completely yummy desserts at the kickoff event for Atlantic City Restaurant Week. Chef Pellegrino will be offering more of her delicious dessert couture at the Festival’s Sweet & Stylish event hosted by Sunny Anderson. She is passionate about her pastry, and loves to check out all of the desserts at the event, so if you see her there, make sure you stop by and say hi! And if you want a sneek peek at Chef Pellegrino in action before the Festival, check out Food Network Challenge: Chocolate Myths on Sunday, July 17 at 8pm, and cheer her on!
I have to admit, I get ridiculously excited for the Food Network Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival – like I said last year, this is my culinary Woodstock! You can spend all four days completely immersing yourself in food, wine and celebrity, or select just a few special events to savor. Check out the Festival website for a full listing of the events, and then decide how you want to experience the Festival. You can also scroll down to the bottom of my homepage or click on my “Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival” tag to the right to read my posts about my incredible experiences during last year’s Festival.
Keep your eyes out for my weekly countdown posts this month, featuring Sunny Anderson and Divya Gugnani! And if you’re headed to the Festival, let me know – what events are you attending? If you’re not able to get there, don’t worry – once I hit the Festival, I will put you in the middle of the action through plenty of Twitter and Facebook updates!