For the past few years the Greenwich Wine and Food Festival has been one of our favorite food events in the state and this year was no different. If you're not familiar with the event, it is held annually in Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in Greenwich and raises money for Paul Newman's Hole In The Wall Gang Camp, Wholesome Wave and The Greenwich Department of Parks and Recreation.
The Grand Tasting Tent allowed guests bites and sips from over 100 restaurants, beverage companies and vendors. Some of our favorites of the day included Little Mexican Cafe's chicken taco, the ahi tuna taco from Little Pub and the spicy grilled octopus and blueberry ginger sauce from Fjord's Fish Market. We also highly recommend that you get on the SpikedSeltzer train if you haven't already, and to keep your eyes peeled for Gifft Wine's Pinot Grigio when it returns to the shelves this January.
Celebrity chefs this year included Marc Murphy who did a demo and signed copies of his new book, "Season with Authority;" Yale grad Adam Richman who showed everyone how to make a brat and slaw sandwich inspired by the famous Primanti Brother's in Pittsburgh; Marcus Samuelsson who very kindly poured the crowd shots of whiskey during his demo; Michel Nischan whose initiative Wholesome Wave and Alex Guarnaschelli who shed a little light onto her hiring process during a sit down interview. "I actually don't make anybody cook. I have them come hang out in the kitchen and work and see if the staff likes this person and if this person likes the staff. I've found that 90% of a kitchen staff at a restaurant is social, and that if people get along with each other and feel collaborative that the other 10%, which is the cooking, comes much more naturally."
There were a couple of competitions throughout the day, including the Top Bartender Showdown which allowed guests to vote for their favorite cocktail made by area bartenders. The National, Cask Republic, Mecha Noodle Bar, Bistro V Patisserie and Eastend Greenwich were represented with Eastend bartender Juan Meyer taking the prize for his Ashmead Kernal cocktail.
Later in the day the Grillmaster Tent and Ultimate Sandwich Tent opened up and we got to devour a whole hog bbq sandwich with cracklins from Hoodoo Brown BBQ and a Korean chicken sandwich from Joel Viehland of The Pine Leaf, among others.
The day came to a close with performances from Ziggy Marley and Old Crow Medicine Show as the sun set over the marina. Needless to say we cannot wait for next year. For more information on the festival visit http://serendipitysocial.com/greenwich-wine-food/ and we will keep everyone updated when tickets go on sale for 2017!