Biz Buzz: Appetizing Details Revealed for Newport Beach Wine & Food Fest

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Chef Craig Strong of Studio at the Montage
Chef Craig Strong of Studio at the Montage

Bravo master chefs, Top Chef winners and Food Network stars will join a stellar lineup of local restaurants for the fourth annual Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival, to be held Sept. 29 through Oct. 1.

Presented by Land Rover, Jaguar, Aston Martin of Newport Beach, the event kicks off with a “Taste Around Town,” where celebrity chefs join forces with executive chefs in local restaurants to create memorable culinary experiences.

The main Festival takes place over two days at the Newport Beach Civic Center green, where 40 different top restaurants will be serving tastings of their signature dishes.

Dozens of acclaimed wineries and beverage purveyors will be pouring samples of over 250 varieties of wines, spirits and craft brews.x_MG_0978

Over the course of the weekend, there will be VIP events, celebrity chef cooking demos, master sommelier tasting panels and interactive mixology courses.

“Following the enormous success of our third year, we are absolutely thrilled to bring back the most exclusive, intimate, and world-class food and wine experience in Southern California,” said Festival Founder and CEO Stefanie Salem.

x20161002_134257Having attended the previous three incarnations of the Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival, I agree that the Festival has improved every year, and last year was indeed fantastic. In addition to the terrific food and wine, the Festival’s focus on cooking demos throughout the day, seminars and panels that focus on food and wine, and live music add to the Festival’s upbeat and dynamic ambiance.  

Among the recognizable names participating this year are international restaurateur and James Beard award winner Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Bravo’s Top Chef Master Finalist Chef Hubert Keller, Top Chef Finalist Chef Brian Malarkey, Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen: All Star Tournament Winner Chef Fabio Viviani, Top Chef season 14 Winner Chef Brooke Williamson, Top Chef first runner up on season 14 Chef Shirley Chung, Top Chef first runner up on season 13 Chef Amar Santana, and Top Chef finalist Chef Casey Thompson.

The “Taste Around Town” dinners include an evening at Waterline Restaurant at Balboa Bay Resort with Brooke Williamson, Shirley Chung and Casey Thompson joined by Waterline executive chef, Rachel Haggstrom; an evening at The Winery Newport with Master Chef Hubert Keller, Winery executive chef/owner Yvon Goetz, executive chef of Pelican Hill Executive Chef Jean-Pierre Dubray, and Driftwood Kitchen’s executive chef Rainer Schwartz.x20161002_134629

And, since Nobu will be opening this year in Lido Marina Village, Chef Nobu Matsuhisa will host a dinner at his restaurant.

New restaurants participating this year include Marche Moderne Newport Beach, NOBU Newport, Water Grill, Michael’s on Naples, Herb & Wood, The Dock, Chianini Steakhouse, The Ranch, and Puesto.

Returning restaurants include Selanne Steak Tavern, Watertable, Sushi Roku, Waterline Newport Beach, The Winery, Driftwood Kitchen, Broadway, Vaca, True Food Kitchen, Five Crowns, and A&O Kitchen + Bar.

Additional restaurants and events will be announced leading up to the Festival.

Tickets will be available for purchase starting this June at

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