The Star-Studded, Fourth Annual Newport Beach Wine & Food has once again come and gone but not without leaving tasty memories accompanied by celebrity and Bravo TVs Top Chefs. Held during the weekend of Sept. 29 through Oct 1., festival attendees were able to purchase tickets for variety of food and wine experiences. Those experiences included: Intimate Dinner with Nobu, Dinner with Hubert Keller, Dinner with Richard Blais, Havana Night After Party, Top Chef Women All Star Dinner, VIP early access with Chef Richard Blais, Riedel and Hundred Acre Tasting, VIP Champagne and Caviar, and / or the Grand Tastings on Saturday and Sunday.
As one of our “Most Unique Wine and Food Experiences” in the South-land, these high calibur chefs included names such as Nobu, Hubert Keller, Richard Blais, Brook Williamson, Fabio Viviani, Casey Thompson, Shirley Chung, Rick Moonen, Melissa King, Katsuji Tanabe, Amar Santana, Brian Malarkey. Other local talent included Yvon Goetz (The Winery Restaurant), Rainer Schwartz (Driftwood Kitchen), Michael Rossi (The Ranch), Eric Samaniego (Michael’s on Naples). As usual, it was an over the top chef line up, and the food did NOT disappoint.
Held again on the grounds of Newport Beach Civic Center, the location with it’s modern accents was the perfect backdrop for pictures. And if this doesn’t feel luxurious enough, it’s one of the only place you can find an Aston Martin parked by the entrance along with over-sized sofas to enjoy the sounds of light Jazz by DW3 alfresco.
The Food? AMAZING. Local coastal restaurants and executive chefs brought their A game with creative, sexy, and flavorful bites. What this sets this festival apart from others is the over the top, melt in your mouth goodness from the best restaurants. Here are just some of the samples below:
Only the best wines were served along side with the best restaurants from Orange County. With names like Hundred Acre, NellCote, Justin Vineyards and Duckhorn, and many more, an over-stimulation on the nose and tongue were fulfilled as the wine flowed in our commemorative Riedel wine glass.
For entertainment, one can simply dance the night away or partake to watch a TOP CHEF Demo. I was fortunate enough to watch a smackdowns between Chef Amar Santana and Chef Katsuji Tanabe. While both chef made Arroz Con Pollo from their motherland (Amar from Dominican Republic and Katsuji with Mexican/Asian influence), it was more entertaining than you can imagine. Let’s just say you needed to be there for lots of laughs comparing their superior dish to the other. Smack talk aside, both chefs were great at their craft due to their constant engagement with the audience.
Lastly, one of the best attribute with the Newport Wine and Food is to be able to mingle face to face with Top Chefs. (Also the perfect place for a photo -op). Whether you partake in a book signing, sit and watch a Chef Demo, or just simply having a drink with fellow master chefs like Hubert Keller or Rick Noonen, it’s always a once in a life-time experience. (That is, until next year!)
Make sure you follow Newport Beach Wine and Food’s website for next year’s dates. Until then, we can’t wait to see how they will Top this year’s event.