The Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival returns for its 8th year Sept. 20-22 at the Marble House lawn, which will offer guests the chance to sample hundreds of wines from around the world and cuisine from local restaurants and caterers. Additionally, the festival is thrilled to announce a lineup of celebrity chefs.
Headlining the Grand Tastings to cook on the Jenn-Air Master Class Culinary Stage will be Alexandra Guarnaschelli and Michel Richard. Chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli is a Food Network “Iron Chef” and executive chef of Butter Restaurant and The Darby in New York City. Chef Michel Richard, a James Beard Award winner and author, owns restaurants in Washington, D.C., Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
Also participating in the weekend cooking demonstrations will be several other local and regional favorites. Ben Sargent, a Cambridge, Mass. native and host of the prime time hit show “Hook, Line & Dinner,” will bring his expertise back to his New England roots. Johnny Iuzzini, pastry chef and author of “Dessert Fourplay: Sweet Quartets from a Four-Star Pastry Chef,” is known for his sweet and savory skills in the art of cuisine and dessert. Jonathan Cartwright, executive chef of the Vanderbilt Grace Hotel, has had the honor to cook at the James Beard House in New York City and Versailles Palace in France. Jake Rojas of Newport’s Tallulah on Thames is an inspirational and passionate chef who combines a tempting array of flavors in each recipe he creates. Champe Speidel of Bristol, R.I.’s Persimmon Restaurant is known for a meticulous, ingredient- and technique-driven approach to American cuisine. Executive chef of Newport’s Castle Hill Inn, Karsten Hart, is famed for his vast knowledge of various cultures’ techniques of the culinary art.
Several guest chefs and others will also be greeting attendees and signing their books throughout the weekend. Both Richard and Guarnaschelli will sign copies of their recent books, “Happy in the Kitchen” and “Old School Comfort Food: The Way I Learned to Cook,” respectively. Additional book signings include “The Catch: Sea to Table Recipes” by Ben Sargent; “Dessert Fourplay: Sweet Quartets from a Four-Star Pastry Chef” by Johnny Iuzzini; “The Path of Life” by Alex & Ani CEO Giovanni Feroce; “The Coastal Table” by Karen Covey; and “75th Anniversary Bartender’s Guide” by Jonathan Pogash, the “Cocktail Guru.” All cooking demonstrations and book signings are included with the Grand Tastings admission.
The elegance of the Wine & Rosecliff evening returns to the Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival this year. The Friday night gala creates an evening of high style featuring fine wines amid seaside Gilded Age splendor. Also returning is the exclusive Collectible Wine Dinner at The Elms on Saturday night. This dinner will give guests the chance to taste and learn about a variety of rare, collectible wines while enjoying delectable food. All wine will be hand-selected by the Festival’s Director of Wines, Michael Greenlee, a 25-year veteran of the industry.
Fans of Alex Guarnaschelli will also be able to enjoy an exclusive Sunday Brunch with the chef in the Gold Room of Marble House, featuring recipes from her new book, followed by admission to the Grand Tasting immediately afterward.
New to the Festival this year will be a Newport After Dark Party, taking place on Saturday night at Forty 1° North on the Newport waterfront, offering Festival guests an extra opportunity to enjoy late night bites and cocktails by some of the Festival sponsors.
Three days of seminars begin Friday, allowing visitors the opportunity to learn about wines from different regions of the world. Guests are encouraged to ask some of the industry’s most respected experts about tasting, pairing and buying of wine.
All proceeds from the Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival benefit the Preservation Society of Newport County, a non-profit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and dedicated to preserving and interpreting the area’s historic architecture, landscapes and decorative arts. It’s 11 historic properties – seven of them National Historic Landmarks – span more than 250 years of American architectural and social development.
For more information and to purchase tickets for the 2013 Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival, visit www.NewportMansionsWineAndFood.org, or call 847-1000. Tickets for individual seminars, as well as an array of other packages, are available for purchase now.