Wine and Food Festival announces 2014 events, chefs, winemakers, brewers, distillers set May 14-18Tickets go on sale Nov. 11
At a launch event Oct. 29, it was announced that Bank of America had become the presenting sponsor of the 2014 MidAtlantic Wine and Food Festival, with 42 food, wine, beer and spirits events from May 14-18, 2014.
There will be nine events in Sussex County, four events in Kent County and 29 events in or around New Castle County. Tickets for all 42 events will go on sale to the general public Monday, Nov. 11 at 11:11 a.m. at www.mawff.org.
Chip Rossi, Delaware market president for Bank of America said, “The MidAtlantic Wine and Food Festival serves as an economic driver and has a great deal of growth potential for our area. Not only does it help increase tourism and increase awareness of our cultural assets, but it also provides an unparalleled experience for the high school, college and other culinary students who are being tapped to support the Festival chefs during the course of all 42 events.”
Speaking to the crowd, which included Wine Guild members, chefs and sponsors, festival founder and board President Ajit Mathew George described the festival’s intentions: “Our purpose is to be the premier food and wine event of the Mid-Atlantic, featuring international vintners and chefs in collaboration with our local talent, to bring tourism to Delaware and to increase awareness of our cultural assets.”
The festival organizers expressed their pride in offering something for every taste, from the most discerning wine enthusiasts and gastronomes to those just starting to explore the world of gourmet food, fine wines, premium spirits and craft beers.
George said that what makes this festival different from most other wine and food festivals in the United States is its international nature, featuring collaborations between over a dozen chefs from around the world and those from the MidAtlantic region. He added that visiting personalities, which include chefs, vintners, brewers, distillers and other experts, would likely come from six continents. 46 local and regional chefs, as well as local culinary students, will share kitchens with the visiting chefs. Winemakers will be on hand at the majority of the events to talk about their wines’ unique attributes. Regional products, such as craft beer, small batch spirits, seafood and seasonal produce, will also be featured at a number of events.
In addition to many new events in and around the Brandywine Valley, and central and coastal Delaware, popular events have reappeared on the 2014 schedule. Returning marquee events include the Sunday Gospel Brunch, black-tie Gala Winemakers Dinner and Live Wine Auction, 1000 Point Wine Tastings and the Festival’s signature, sell-out events, Bacon & Bourbon and Scrapplegasm.
Describing the variety of locations chosen for this year’s lunches, dinners, tastings and educational courses, Executive Producer Kelly-Ayn McKay said, “We have formal and casual events planned in private homes of distinction, stately hotels, historic venues, award-winning restaurants, elegant barns and dramatic public spaces rarely used for events.”
George Fiorile, vice president and general manager of the Dover Downs Hotel & Casino and chairman of the Delaware Tourism Advisory Board, enthusiastically supported the idea of high-end culinary tourism. He said, “This vast array of culinary creations with some of the finest chefs in the country, including those from Delaware, is an outstanding opportunity to showcase Delaware’s finest restaurants and destinations. Marrying culinary and wine events with interesting venues creates a great opportunity to drive tourism to Delaware.”
A designated portion of the net 2014 proceeds will benefit five arts-related beneficiaries throughout Delaware. The beneficiaries are: CAMP Rehoboth, Christina Cultural Arts Center, Joshua M. Freeman Foundation (which operates the Freeman Stage in Fenwick Island), OperaDelaware, and the Smyrna-Clayton Heritage Association (which manages the historic Smyrna Opera House). Beneficiaries will also receive board governance consulting services from the Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement (DANA).
Following is a brief overview of the Sussex and Kent events announced:
• Festival Brew Lunch, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, Thursday, May 15,
• Progressive Winemakers Dinner, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino Lobby, Libertie Suite, Michele’s Restaurant and Toppers Spa, Dover, Delaware, May 15
• Tapas and Rioja Lunch, Ivy Restaurant, Dewey Beach, Friday, May 16
• I’ll Have What She’s Having Lunch Adventure, a(MUSE.), Rehoboth Beach, May 16
• Winemakers Dinner: Barefoot Black Tie, home of Alex Pires, Dewey Beach, May 16
• Scrapplegasm at Michele’s, Michele’s Restaurant, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, Dover, May 17
• Winemakers Lunch in Rehoboth, Eden Restaurant, Rehoboth Beach, May 17
• 1000 Point Wine Tasting - South, Eden Restaurant, Rehoboth Beach, May 17
• The Farmer Meets the Fisherman: A Pop-Up Dinner, Mystery Location, Sussex County, Saturday, May 17
• Sunday Jazz Brunch, Nassau Valley Vineyards, Lewes, Sunday, May 18.
An additional eight events will be announced on or before Nov. 11, when tickets go on sale to the general public.
Complete event descriptions can be found on www.mawff.org. For additional information about the festival, call Laura Stimson at 302-660-2200, Ext. 105.