This week is all about wine and food (two of my favorite things!) and I simply can’t wait! Starting on Friday at Saratoga Performing Arts Center is the Wine & Food and Fall Ferrari Festival, a weekend full of epicurean delights and fabulous cars. SPAC will be the place to be all weekend, and the Live on Stage Gala on Friday night is going to be a not to miss event. At the Epicurean Exploration at the SPAC Amphitheater Honorary Chairs Julie and Sonny Bonacio will welcome guests on stage (LOVE IT!) for an inspired contemporary menu created by Executive Chef Mark Delos, paired to showcase the impressive Antica Cantina di Canelli wine collection. An ARTrageously haute cocktail and sparkling reception will start the evening, and I'm so excited for the incredible Willy Wonka Dessert Room featuring a Moscato Bar! Mamatoga favorite DJ Dragonette will be there and I can't wait to dance! Click here to buy tickets! Then on Saturday at 11am head to the Wine & Food Fest for a first ever premier event this year, when CDPHP presents the Cast Iron Chef’s Challenge sponsored by Adirondack Appliance and Blue Star at the Hall of Springs. I was lucky enough to be a judge for the preliminary rounds of this great competition and Saturday is going to be so exciting! Executive Chef Jamie Ortiz, of Mazzone Hospitality, faces off against The Wishing Well’s Executive Chef, Patrick Longton, in the final round of The Adirondack Appliance Cast Iron Chef Challenge. Chefs will receive gourmet ingredients from featured Italian Cheese Sponsors, Grana Padano and Agriform. A selection of wines from the festival’s Official Wine Sponsor – Antica Cantina di Canelli – will be made available for pairing their final dishes along with a mystery ingredient that will become the foundation of a contemporary dish featuring authentic Italian ingredients. Juried by Bravo TV “Top Chef Master”, Suvir Saran, this competition is going to be so much fun and I can't wait to be a judge once again. I am beyond honored to be able to judge alongside Steve Barnes of the Times Union and Barbara Seelig Brown of PBS's "Stress Free Cooking" and incredibly thrilled about being part of it with the amazing Suvir Saran. This event is family friendly and open to all with a $10 ticket so come down to the Hall of Springs and cheer on the Chefs! Here's a great preview video to get you even more excited about the Cast Iron Chef Challenge Finals!
The Grand Tasting and Live Auction will take place on the SPAC Grounds from 1-5 featuring 200 international wineries including an unparalleled Italian Pavilion that features a myriad of wines, spirits, and authentic products; the region’s top restaurants; world-class seminars and a live and silent auction of luxury items. This 21 and over event is seriously the most fun you can have this fall, sample incredible wines, cheeses, small plates from local restaurants, there is something to try at every step. Everyone I know that has been in the past (including myself) lists this as one of the top not to miss events in Saratoga. And new this year I can’t wait to check out the Haute Style Fashion Tent & Lounge featuring items from Georg Jensen, Max Mara, Ike Behar, Badgley Mischka, Salvatore Ferragamo, Ralph Rucci, John Varvatos, Donna Karan’s Urban Zen and more. Proceeds from the auction go to SPAC in order to support continuing classical programming at SPAC.
There will be a fabulous After Party Saturday night and finishing up the weekend will be the Sparkle for SPAC brunch at Saratoga Polo Association. Click here for all the details on the weekend and I’ll see you at SPAC!